Patricia the Valour
“Hello. I really enjoyed your article. Although I am not Nigerian, I too, feel what you are feeling. I am an African American woman who married a Nigerian man on January 4, 2007 in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. Ever since I told my family and friends about my choice, I have had to be on the defense. It is like the mention of the word Nigeria brings distaste to many people, for Nigeria is well known for scams. I walk in the bank and I see signs about not doing any business dealings with Nigerians. My husband and stepson should join me in the states next month, and still, people tell me to “be careful” with him. One thing I did not know is that Nigerians were known for their athletic ability. That is very good to hear! I really never knew what mixed couples go through, but now I do. It is like I go around with my fist up on the inside always ready to defend my decision and my husband if someone says something very insensitive about him and my stepson. Although Nigerians are well known in America for their schemes, that does not mean all Nigerians are like that. I met many Nigerian people that were humble, lovely, honest, and kind. Unfortunately the number of Nigerians that take advantage of people are increasing yearly. I get an e-mail from Nigeria telling me I have won a lottery . .and you know the rest. Recently, someone e-mailed me and asked me to help a teengage, Nigerian boy. Although she never asked me for funds directly, she sent me correspondence of the conversations she had with this supposedly teenage boy, and in those e-mails, he did ask her for funds. She responded that she was unable to help him. I wrote an article (blog), and she got my e-mail address and contacted me that way. She asked me to help him! However, my stern reply let her know that I would “never” send funds to anyone in Nigeria, or America, without personally knowing the person. How do I know his story is true–I don’t? How do I know that she and this person are not working together–I don’t. I was taken advantage of by a person who identified himself as a Nigerian man, and I will never put myself in that position again! If I do not know you personally, I do not loan or send you funds or do anything financial on your behalf–bottom line!! With all this deception going on, one has to be careful. So although I am not Nigerian, I still feel the shame of Nigeria’s bad reputation. When Nigeria’s economic situation is changed, then perhaps the schemes will decrease. Desperate people, although that is no excuse for manipulation, sometimes do desperate things! Excellent article . . .I know how you feel.”
Some Nigerians prefer to pour out their venoms on writers who dare to write on topics like this instead of addressing the subject matter and condemn the perpetrators. They claimed the articles labels and that it’s just a way of lazily re-echoing what they already know. If they know it why have they not done anything about it? They should remember that no amount of garnishing will change evil because evil will always remain evil. ‘Ti ako ba sofun Obayeje pe on baye je aro pe awon jo tu Ilu se ni’ If you don’t confront a clandestine saboteur he’ll think you are together in the business of nation building’. When we keep quiet we do not only condone this appalling acts, we also support them in principle. ‘Woe unto them that keep quiet in the face of crises’. A Nigerian who was not bold enough to disclose his identity responded to Patricia M. Daboh comment on part 1 of this article posted on www.nigeriansinamerica.com
The anonymous Villain
“Yeah, yeah another Naija bashing! Cant we get something else to talk about? I feel your concern but I must say I feel the Western media are just magnifying the issue of Nigerian scammers just as they magnify the issue of Blacks on welfare (for your inf. do you know there are more whites on welfare than blacks?) but you will never know becoz the media with thier hidden agenda continue to show and publicize only blacks on welfare. As for the case of 419. It is share greed on the part of the duped that make them get duped in the first place! How can I tell you I have an unclaimed amount of money and I need your account and a token amount to clear it and you believe? Where do you know me from? The internet? You see what I mean? I do sympathize with the scammed but there is a spiritual law that says what goes round comes round or chicken come to roost. White people from the time of Christopher Columbus have raped, duped and cheated natives of their land and rightful inheritance. Its no surprise to me we are witnessing this on their descendants. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirl wind. Nuff said!”
……..and Patricia fired back some scud missiles:
“No one is bashing Nigeria, but it cannot be denied, especially by those of us who receive weekly e-mail schemes from Nigeria asking for our help in trying to retrieve funds from some type of lottery, that Nigeria is known for its many schemes. We are not making up these things, but it is really happening to many of us! If something is a fact, than it is a fact. And until those facts change and are replaced by more positive facts, than, unfortunately, the numerous schemes that come out of Nigeria will be the focus. Of course, the recent elections, and all the negative things that happened during the elections, does not help Nigeria’s image as well. Every country is known for something positive and negative. Unfortunately, again, this seems to be a time when the world is focusing on all the negative things that are coming out of Nigeria (schemes, poverty, electricity shortages, and fraud). If anyhone is tired about the negative things that are being said about Nigeria, which I fully understand your feelings, than write a positive article about Nigeria. Give readers something positive to focus on to balance out the scale of people’s negative perception of Nigeria”.
On a final note, If it will take a non Nigerian who by marriage has become one of us to hammer home the truth that will sink in us so be it. ‘Oloorun kin gborun arere’. A stinky person does not perceive himself. Until we decide to address and uproot the source of the shame in our own little ways nothing will change, shame is shame and no amount of laundering can remove it …… not even the popular ‘Kongi’ soap.
“Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done” – Isaiah 3:11