Lagosians woke up to the rather disturbing news yesterday of a two year old cub being found in the home of an Indian national. The man in question lived in a residential area somewhere on number 229 Muri Okunola Street in Victoria Island.
We don’t know for how long the cub resided there which was a huge risk to the lives of the people within that environ.
To make matters worse, the Indian snubbed the invitation of the Nigerian Police when he was invited for questioning opting to send three of his Nigerian members of staff to stand in for him. As at press time yesterday, he is still at large.
It is sad that Nigeria, the supposed ‘Giant’ of Africa has been turned into a dumping ground for all sorts of foreigners who rape and pillage the nation without any iota of remorse.
Nigerians living in the Diaspora dare not try this nonsense in their host countries but it is the reverses when foreigners come here as they get away with all manner of hocus pocus.
Who in his right senses will bring a cub to a residential apartment where there are children most especially? What if the cub strays? Won’t that pose grave danger to the innocent kids and even adults lurking around?
The Asians — Indians, Chinese and Lebanese most especially are the most notorious when it comes to their ill treatment of Nigerian citizens ironically in the latter’s so called motherland. We recall the frequent cases of Nigerians getting killed and maimed in their dungeons called factories because they failed to provide the necessary safety apparel for the handling of the sensitive machines and corrosive chemicals.
Many pay Nigerians something worse than starvation wages and even owe them salary arrears in many cases. I vividly recall one of them who worked as the Chief Operating Officer of a national newspaper where I once worked for. His spoken and written English was akin to a tragic-comedy, he brought nothing to the table in terms of ideas and strategy. He will sit in the corner of his cosy Ikeja home which the company provided for him and dish out destructive criticisms and at the end of the month coasted home with well over one million naira.
The foreigners treat us like beasts of burden because our heartless rulers who masquerade as democrats are complicit. The security forces share the same guilt as well. Are you telling me that nobody saw the cub and raised an alarm to the police all this while knowing the grave dangers posed by this wild animal? The police may have been ‘settled’ with some ‘roger’ to look the other way. Afterall, since the government doesn’t place premium priority on their welfare, it was wise to look inwards and deploy their creativity to survive as they have numerous bills to pay.
Foreign nationals don’t just wake up and come to Nigeria. In most cases their arrival is facilitated by some prominent Nigerians who are co-shareholders by proxy in their business ventures and so turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by their business partners since they are part and parcel of the racket.
The late afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti sang a hit song ‘kolo mentality’ a nauseating practice where supposed independent Africans will willingly jettison their own things or ideas for those of the white man. A high school drop out from India or any Asian or western nation is made a Chief Engineer in Nigeria to supervise those with higher degrees here all because they possess a light skin. None of the foreigners gets jailed here for their daily atrocities but the reverse is the case of our brothers and sisters living in the Diaspora who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
We have a disgustingly high taste for anything foreign at the expense of our local expertise or content. Anything in fair skin who is foreign is suddenly better than our fellow black brothers and sisters. We develop a tragic inferiority complex when we stand besides foreigners even though we are the best. This quest for validation from foreigners must stop if this nation is to make any ounce of progress.
The Asian tigers wouldn’t have made any massive and rapid economic progress if they had relied whole-heartedly on foreigners. They looked inwards and developed their home grown technology which they now export to the rest of the world to bring home the bacon. Why can’t our visionless leaders or dictators think in the same direction?
Nigerian leaders must show more love for their citizens by creating the enabling environment for their business ideas and resilience to adequately thrive. That way, foreigners will treat us with greater respect on our home soil especially when they know we have many alternatives to working like monkeys in their sweatshops.
Look at the swift progress made by Thomas Sankara in the short four year stay as the helmsman of Burkina Faso formerly known as Upper Volta before his 1987 assassination allegedly masterminded by his best friend and compatriot, Blaise Compaore. The country under Sankara was on the route to becoming self-sufficient via industrialization as he was determined to get the tiny country weaned off from her undue dependence on her former colonial master, France. He drastically cut the cost of governance and could hardly boast of worldly assets. Burkinabes were forced to deploy their talents and gifts for the advancement of the nation.
Africa and Nigeria in particular desperately need a clone of a Lee Kuan Yew who can take us to the economic Byzantium. Former Ghanaian President, Jerry John Rawlings was quoted to have said that he didn’t know much economics but he knew when he was hungry.
There is raw hunger working naked on most streets of Nigeria; we need a new economic deal that can make us take a great leap forward. Enough of politicking and let’s get down to the noble task of governance.
Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos and edits www.africanbard.com