Temitope Shittu-Alamu: I want to be a first-class citizen

by Temitope Shittu-Alamu

I cannot get over the fact that many Nigerians do not love Nigeria.

They have expressed their disgust in all the many ways they can. The twenty-first century way would be to swear, curse, and vent on twitter. On a second thought, it is probably more than being twenty-first century. Maybe it’s because there is no other way to vent.

Anyway, I am shocked at the ridiculous comments people make when Nigeria is not matching up to what they want. For instance I once saw a tweet from a Nigerian that lives abroad that read, “My people back home be suffering from no light no water sigh thank goodness I am here.” Another ridiculous one read, “No light in my crib for 2 weeks—packing my bags to Togo.” Not only did I find these tweets ridiculous. Unimaginable would be another word. Seriously, Togo?

I mean don’t get me wrong I am all out for touring the world and exploring its beauty. I like the blueness of Miami, the near faint heat of Dubai. I want to visit sexy Trinidad and Tobago, and the large heart of the warm Ghanaian people is something to look forward too. But no, I ain’t packing my bags to go nowhere.

Now, I have been to Togo and I must say that their beaches are at the same time cool and mind blowing. They are ocean-green and serene, with spectacular gigantic waves and white sand. Not like that Elegushi one y’all Lagosians keep making noise about. Their roads are nothing short of clean. Your bread and akara can actually fall on their high street and you would not feel any iota of disgust picking it. And I mean that literally.

But then again we need to realize the beauty of where we are and not take it for granted. I get the no-light-no-water situation. But the potential and beauty of this country I wouldn’t trade for anywhere.

First the people. At the moment Nigerians are angry, agitated, very tensed, and on the edge. Many haven’t gotten their salary for three months in a row now. But throw in a Barcelona Chelsea match and a couple of drinks and bam, we are Nigerians again. No light, we head in one accord to a viewing centre. We follow on twitter or just patiently wait for somebody’s personal message on BBM and then a random guy who probably won the lottery and is working as a security guard in McDonalds has the audacity to tweet crap about his country. I wonder if this guy would be able to diligently stand in front of Mr Biggs day in day out and be a security guard.

Then I think to myself, Why would I wanna be a second-class citizen?

I mean I get that people have the right to school and work, and of course get medical attention from anywhere in the world (seeing that even as poorly as Nigeria is viewed, foreigners come here for all of that). Now whether the foreigners are from neighbouring Benin Republic or famine plagued Sudan is not the matter. A foreigner is a foreigner. We all need to realize that as much as we feel that the devil is tormenting Nigeria, all countries around the world are going through a phase really. Till tomorrow there are murder cases piling up in the UK yet to be solved. CNN will not let us hear word with Syria. Syrians are constantly in the news.

This isn’t in any way to applaud the Nigerian government, they need to wake up. But their lack of attention doesn’t make another country home to us. Nigerians even travel and completely deny home. They pick up nationalities like Kenya and refuse to help or associate with Nigerians they meet abroad. If American citizens all had that attitude I wonder who would have fixed that beautiful country we are all now running to.

Each time, I always look at my brown sexy colour and say to myself, babe you are so Nigerian o. There’s nothing to be appalled about. You can never get rid of your African origin really. Afro-American, Black-British, whatever. That’s the most you can get. That’s the most you’ll be. And you’ll most likely be made out as a Nigerian the instant you utter a word. So let’s be easy, yea?


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (7)

  1. I love my country I no go lie….ha ha ha…let's see how much love you have when you loose your husband because the Doctors are on strike or your sister get amputated as a result of fake drugs better yet your mother is burnt to ashes while trying to light her generator…need I go on…a pcsresident of this country died in a foreign nation while in office and you think people care about if they are second class citizens.

    I hope you feel the sane way when your son is kidnapped and killed after you paya $200,000 ransom oh have I mentioned Boko harem? All this happening in the mist of plenty squandered by a few!!!

  2. very well written…I love my country. still wondering why anyone would want to settle in another mans land where they know they would never be fully accepted as own.. all I'd say is we will make nigeria better by His grace.

  3. U said it well Tope. I read two novels twice some weeks back by American writers and their use of Nigeria as a country in the books were bad and I think it is because of what they hear from even the citizens of this country. Iris Johansen(one of the authors of the novel) in her novel said that Nigeria is a place where shit can be done although not in the same exact words but she painted the picture of Nigeria as a country where anything can happen without you being questioned. I still feel like sending her an email to ask what she meant by that and who is feeding her such crap. So Nigerians people are reading amd watching what you potray about this country. Things will get better!

  4. Brilliant! Yah much as its getting somewhat unbearable, home is still home n nigeria is d 1 place dat is home 4 all of us! Good 1

  5. An incredible writeup Very real. We are all Nigerians but yet we want to de-associate ourselves from our motherland. Yet they say we are the happiest people in the world. I agree absolutely Nigerians are happy people. If you are Nigerian be patriotic and proud because there are worse nations in the globe *wink-wink*

  6. Funny and true. A very honest expose that shud bring nigerians to their senses. Thanks Tope.

  7. Hearty cheers to you for this one, in the spirit of a true Nigerian. We just won't give up on this country. God help us all!

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail