Back when we were kids, we had friends whom we got tired of because they were clueless about boundaries. Sometimes, it was because they never knew when to make themselves scarce—they were too available. They would show up at our doors at odd times and stay for hours until we pretended we had to run an errand or go somewhere. They were our friends, we liked them, but soon that friendship got strained—a consequence of their lack of emotional intelligence. As young as I was then, I understood the unwritten rule: being friends with a person should not translate to choking them with one’s presence. I made a mental note to never be a nuisance to anyone (If I could help it) no matter how close I was to them.
I also found that the friends that were often reluctant to stay in their own homes, preferring to plant themselves in other people’s houses did so either because they were bored or unhappy about their situation. Many times, the kids who had loving parents and a variety of entertainment sources within their homes were content being indoors while their counterparts who were without such privileges paid regular homages to them.
Again, the lesson for me here was: give your kids the comfort they need and they will be less likely to covet what others have.
There are 195 countries in the world, yet, Nigeria is only one of the five other countries that have drawn the hammer of America.
Nigeria’s immigration ban reminds me of my childhood experience. Nigeria is that kid who has become a nuisance to others because he refused to read the body language of his friends.
He is the laughing stock, the one everyone else is tired of and snigger at when they see approaching. They have only tolerated him so far because he is still somewhat relevant in the scheme of things. But there comes a time when they cannot stomach his irresponsibility anymore.
They cannot continue to accommodate this recalcitrant adult who has refused to shed the toga of a toddler. They know having him around for longer than necessary will increase the probability of him rubbing off on them, and because they have no plans to be associated with such delinquency, they cut him off.
When we reiterate the importance of instituting structures and processes and procedures and systems to drive the sectors of our economy, it’s because we understand the far-reaching effects of inefficiency. One can only get away with a laissez-faire attitude for so long.
At a time when the rest of the world are stepping up their effort on security, we are still grappling unsuccessfully with terrorism—wanton destruction perpetually unleashed by a well-known sect.
Day after day, news platforms share heartbreaking stories of people who have been kidnapped and killed for no known reason. Their only offence is residing in a country whose leaders are tone-deaf and where nothing works.
The sad part is that some of us think we are impervious to all the weeping and gnashing of teeth that are aftermaths of our nonchalant behaviour because we can afford to migrate to climes with working systems.
We are not invested in Nigeria, our thoughts are fixed on escaping Nigeria. We want to go to God’s own country.
Well, now that the doors of Eldorado have been shut in our faces, what are we going to do?
The US has said we are yet to comply with the standard requirements for managing identity and information.
A country that breeds some of the most dreaded terrorists in the world chooses to play hopscotch with public safety by withholding terrorism-related information.
Their patience for our anyhowness has run thin, but we think they are being high-handed.
A part of me wishes the rest of the first world would ask us to keep ourselves until we fix our country. Maybe if we are faced with the reality of being unable to escape, we will pursue a turnaround in the fortunes of Nigeria with the needed vigour. Maybe if we knew we were stuck here and didn’t have the option of securing second citizenship, we would sit up and get Nigeria working.
I have no issues with the ban. A host has the exclusive prerogative to entertain guests or not, and if they choose to keep certain hitherto welcomed visitors at bay, they are well within their rights. They do not owe anyone an explanation for choosing to exercise this right.
When you do not do the right thing, you are subject to disrespect.
When you are a frequent visitor to a friend’s place, there’s a tendency they’ll grow weary of your presence; even the good book warns against drawing hatred on account of incessant visits.
Be circumspect, be cautious, be detailed, and you’ll earn the respect you deserve.
Don’t be like Nigeria; anyhowness will bring you far more reproach than praise.