Nigeria Matters

Why Would Any Alien Become A Nigerian Citizen?

79 Aliens, as in, foreigners or immigrants, became naturalized citizens of Nigeria on
Tuesday!

But why would any sane person want to become a Nigerian? Especially, if that person was not born in Nigeria? Or even if born in Nigeria, but to non-Nigerian parents? What sort of foolhardiness is that? This is occurring in an era in which native born Nigerians are quick and glad to shed their citizenship of Nigeria almost giddily! In an era in which Nigerians with means now prefer to have their babies delivered in American hospitals for a shot at American citizenship? Some aliens became Nigerian citizens on Tuesday January 30, 2007!

Well! But that is the report in The Guardian Newspapers on the web, the Wednesday edition as reported by one Mr. Emeka Anuforo from Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory.

What could possibly explain the foolhardiness of any alien or foreigner becoming a Nigerian citizen? How could these ordinarily decent, hardworking and self-respecting immigrants in Nigeria want to jettison their prior primary nationalities in favor of Nigeria?

Are these new Nigerians unaware of the political economic, cultural and religious challenges in Nigeria? Are they unaware of the pervasiveness of cynicism and pessimism among the Nigerian elite as can be readily deciphered from the front page of any Nigerian newspaper and Nigeria-related web sites?

Are these new Nigerians unaware of the frequent attacks on Nigeria’s self esteem and self image by Cable News Network CNN and their cohorts in the Western media?

Are these new Nigerians unaware of those native born Nigerians who are audaciously fatalistic about all prospects Nigerian? Could these new Nigerians all be on sedatives or elixirs? Could these new Nigerians be on Prozac or some other mood-enhancing narcotic drugs?

Why would these new Nigerians engage in such irrational exuberance? Why won’t some sane relatives from their old countries pressure them to curb their enthusiasm about Nigeria?

Are these new Nigerians unaware that Nigeria has been severally proclaimed and pronounced a failed state by some Nigerians? Are these new Nigerians unaware that Nigeria is scheduled for disintegration according to a timetable set by the United States Intelligence?

Are these new Nigerians unaware of the travel warnings issued by the President of the Philippines Ms. Arroyo? Are these new Nigerians so ill-informed? How could they not have heard about the other travel warnings by Nigeria’s trade and diplomatic super-friend and partner, the United States?

Have they not heard about the impossible environment in Nigeria? Have they not heard that there is no enabling environment in Nigeria for investment in Nigeria? Hasn’t everyone heard of the absence of an enabling environment for good life, for the creation of wealth and happiness?

Haven’t these new Nigerians heard of the absence of public infrastructures in Nigeria? What about the bad roads? The hospitals bereft of medical equipment and staff and pharmaceuticals? How could anyone without a death wish want to live in a county without potable water and steady supply of electricity? Have they not heard of NEPA and its offspring PHCN? How about garbage and potholes and gullies and erosion menace? And Electoral body or impeachments gale?

Are these new Nigerians unaware of our police? Our Customs and Immigrations Services? Have these new Nigerians heard of four one nine? Have these new Nigerians heard of Transparency International and Perception Index? Or is it just a matter of perception?

Why would anyone! Why would anyone not born a Nigerian want to become a Nigerian?

Do non-Nigerians perhaps see the boundless opportunities and endless potentials in Nigeria that we native born Nigerians do not see? Chose not to see? Is there perhaps a loud message in the fact that every year, Nigerians in their thousands besiege embassies and consulates of countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe with attitudes of any where but Nigeria? While on the other hand, some non-Nigerians quietly saddle up in their new Nigerian citizenships?

Should Nigerians maybe just maybe? Reexamine our attitude towards our Nigerian-ness? Shall perhaps reexamine Nigeria’s prospects with less fatalism, cynicism and pessimism? Could we use the bashfulness of these new Nigerians in Nigeria, the bountiful and endless opportunities in Nigeria and faith in Nigeria’s present and future prospects? Could we possibly reinvigorate our commitment and dedication to our country through the starry eye of our new citizens? Could we see the new Nigerians as adequate and sufficient reasons for deep introspections and
circumspections about our Nigerian-ness and its value to Nigeria?

Could we start to examine Nigeria’s challenges and prospects with some optimism, even if with some healthy dose of skepticism? Could we, old, native born Nigerians be good examples to these new Nigerians who are obviously more optimistic about Nigerians than most of us?

Why do so many native born Nigerians see dust when they look at Nigeria, but somehow, these new Nigerians seem to look at the same Nigeria and see gold and diamond, in such luminosities and translucence?

Nigeria has begun to dazzle and sparkle and I suspect that even Steve Wonder can see it!

Some Nigerians will argue and I have heard it argued that non-Nigerians have it better in Nigeria than native born Nigerians, which is by the way, the sorts of comments I have heard the natives in America’s underclass equally erroneously assert about, and against the seemingly incurable enthusiasm of new immigrants in America. If anyone argues that Oyinbo, Arabs and Indians are enabled to succeed in Nigeria, how about the Ghanaians and other Africans who are also immigrants in Nigeria and have done well? All this makes me do a rethink of my sojourn in America!
We all ought to rethink!

Could we change from our ways? Could we stop acting like bad refugees who only see life in refugee camp as life in transit to somewhere else? Shall we now begin to see Nigeria as our country and not merely a transit point refugee camp precursor to some better place in America, Asia or Europe? Could we borrow from the unalloyed enthusiasm of Mr. Mr. Robert Elias? Who in responding to conferment of Nigerian citizenship ceremonies, on behalf of the other recipients, in an emotionally charged voice, thanked President Obasanjo and Nigerians for giving them the opportunity of
becoming Nigerian citizens he prayed, God bless Nigeria and bless us all”. Good attitude! Nigerians are coming! Nigeria has arrived!

Shall we rededicate ourselves to the service of Nigeria? I need a resounding yes!

I congratulate and welcome our new citizens, particularly, given their infectious enthusiasm, exuberance and faith in our great nation. Their contributions to development will advance Nigeria strides to a pride of place in the world. Nigeria is a country with endless opportunities, bountiful rewards, with immeasurable potentials for those with boundless energies, talents, creativities and imaginations. Not even the
sky could limit anyone. Reach beyond the skies! This land is your land!

Nigeria’s development, Nigeria’s advancement and Nigeria’s greatness arriving!

8 Comments

  1. Nigeria is country in Africa. with natural and differents mineral resources, so also its people we are loving people; so i believe who ever became or want to become citizen of Nigeria is attracted with attitude Nigerian and is aware with the situation we are presently which I Joshua Kargo Ikara believed one day, its will be History. Up Up Up my great Nigeria

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  2. I Love this article about Nigeria. I am in love with a nigerian man and i would like to stay in Nigeria and become a nigerian citizen I see the potential of changing a nation that is already reach with each culture and natural resources. But my husband to be wants to ship out of nigeria. I pray he change his mind

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  3. Blessings, I want to say everytime I have gone into Nigeria I have come to love the people and culture more… and more. Soon I shall be moving to Nigeria to live with my family there and excited to become one with those I love. Yes my culture is different but so is Nigerian cultures and that makes it all the more exciting. Your writing is excellent but depressing. I know there are dangers but so was the American wild west when America was young. It is called "growing pains" but look what America has become. m

    Maybe it's about time you looked at Nigeria with NEW eyes like many of us that are moving there for Nigeria is precious and beautiful! May the Lord bless it greatly.

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  4. I am an African-American who recently visited Nigeria. After reading th article by Mr Paul T. Adujie I became even more enthursiastic about Nigeria's development. I saw the rudiments of Entrepreneurship among many young Nigerians and the endless possibilities for both social and economic growth there. New Nigerian citizens can only enhance the growth and will of Nigeria to become a powerful and grand state in africa and the world scheme. Congratulations to the New Citizens of Nigeria!

    POWER TO NIGERIA!!

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  5. this discussion is very interesting, but i only got liltle to say about it. first of all i congratulate those new citizens and God bless nigeria'n'. why not naturalise when you got the opportunity. i do understand the situation in nigeria. lack of infrastructure, insecure etc. but these happen around the world. This people are business men/women, they have business and they live there for so many year. they contribute to the development of this nation. i didn't see any foolhardiness in people becoming a nigerian, once nigeria constitution does allow nigerian to have foreign passpot. ( there are nigerian born american citizen holding nigerian & american passpot respectively. so nothing wrong with a lebanees or indian citizen or any foreigner living in nigeria and entittle to citizenship). God bless Nigeria and everyone else.

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  6. As far as Im concerned….every oyinbo person that would leave his country to naturalise as a Nigerian is a thief! In as much as i love my country I know its is in desperate need of heart surgery….it is potentially one of the richest countries in africa if not the world but greed, mismanagement among many other things has rendered it what it is today. But it is in chaos you can still find opportunity….and opportunity to feast on the suffering cow is what those foreigners have found. Im sure most of them who naturalised were indians and lebanese! God help us! Anyway God dey! If they misbehave too much, naturalisation or no naturalisation they will go the way of the Chagourys and the Vaswani Brothers. For the uninitiated, they were deported for anti-nigerian (aka over-sharp practises)! Let them be warned. A word is enough for the wise!

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  7. Paul,

    All the maladies you pointed out about Nigeria are opportunities to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a response to environmental turbulence and chaos.

    On the sociological side, immigrant population appears to produce more entrepreneurship per capita than non-immigrant population. The bottom line is that entrepreneurs see opportunities in chaotic environments as they struggle to fit into there new environments.

    Collins and Moore in 1964 on entrepreneurship wrote that entrepreneurs are mostly immigrants or the children of immigrants. This is true then, and it is true now. This trend will continue world wide in the long-range future, including Nigeria and other African nations, as the world becomes a global village with globalization. National and cultural identity will be in the heart while citizenship will be in economics.

    It happened and will continue to happen in the USA: Jews, Italians, Polish, Irish, and Latin immigrants are very entrepreneurial in the USA. Nigerians and other African nations are just recently joining the entrepreneurial trend in the USA.

    Give an empty Coke bottle to several people and ask them to name alternative uses for the bottle. They will list many uses, including as a flower base, a container for liquid, or as candlestick. But if you break the bottle, you will expand the use to include the base as ashtray, the mouth as ring or pendant, the chattered pieces as covering for a fish tank, grind the pieces, and you have other uses. In essence being creative and going beyond the obvious, and thinking outside the box to discover a myriad of possibilities is what differentiates entrepreneurs. Seeing natural raw material as it is is not entrepreneurial. What are entrepreneurial are the possibilities the natural resource can create.

    So when are you ending your sojourner in the USA? Let us put action into words.

    Cletus E. Olebunne

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  8. We shall witness more of this in ten years time. Not just Nigeria but to other parts of Africa too. Expect a serious influx of our white brethren come that time. Nigeria will get better. Africa will get better. The continent has all the natural resources except the political impetus to accommodate the influx.

    Let us be prepared. The time is close. Nigerians, Africans get close to your root so that you do not become refugees in your own land. Remember I predicted this.

    Yomi Dawotola

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