Here’s a post we received from an individual who’d prefer to be anonymous (due to the embarrassing nature of the experience detailed below). Please read & let us know if you agree with the authors views…

When you meet someone for the first time and share your Nationality, chances are they’ve formed an opinion of you based on their knowledge of your stated country. Hence why should I say I’m Nigerian each time I meet someone? I don’t have the power to carry corruption, nepotism, witchcraft, wickedness and 419 all by myself.

When people ask me where I come from now, I tell them Ethiopia. I have chosen Ethiopia because it is the only country in Africa that resisted colonization, and of course, because of my faith. Before you quickly say I am denying Nigeria, please listen to my dehumanizing experience traveling with a green passport.

The Experience:

I’m a Sportsperson and I arrived the Middle East for the first time in the month of February 2013. I was experiencing knee pains prior to traveling, hence I came with about 19 sachets of Tramadol, just in case the knee proved stubborn. I also made sure to get a signed Doctors prescription.

I got stopped by security at the airport and the first thing they requested for was the Doctors prescription. Upon seeing it they collected my 3 pieces of luggage and searched every single item. Every single pair of my shoes was put through a scanning device, and my box was searched vigorously. I was told to stand erect and take my hands out of my pocket, while the intense search of my belongings continued. After searching all my clothes, bags, shoes etc. I was taken to a private room. In this room I was told to take off all my clothes. Now at this point I was completely naked and in full shock. This had never happened to me before. These men started looking through private parts of my body and touching sensitive areas. I had never been so humiliated in my life. Since they found nothing they asked me to leave. They said if I did not have the Doctors prescription, the next venue would have been the Police station.

Once I left the Airport I felt so sick, depressed and worried. Many thoughts ran through my mind.

Did this happen because of my green passport (Nigerian passport)? If I were British, American or European will this happen? Should I have refused and rebelled? What are my rights here? Can anything really be done and does this happen to other Nigerians or people from Africa? Are these men homosexuals? What is wrong with Tramadol? After all it’s allowed by WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) and many athletes use it.

Despite all these questions, the truth is evident. Nigerians are known for smuggling cocaine and heroine; we are known for 419 scams and identity theft.This is all part of our brand; this is how we are perceived by the world.

Now many ignorant Nigerians like to blame the Government, but who is the Government? Are they not Nigerian people? Are they not humans? Is it not Nigerians that get into Government?

The problem of Nigeria is not solely the Government, but also the people: Nigerians. The Nigerian people are responsible for their downfall. The problem stems from many little things like the family. Yes, we have leaders that don’t think, but leadership is not Aso Rock, it starts from the family, e.g. when a parent pays a teacher for exam questions. In addition, we Nigerians are very much into expensive and materialistic stuff, yet many can’t afford these things. Nigerians love oppressing themselves with more & more stuff, then go to Church on Sunday and pray to God for more money so that we can oppress more people. How hypocritical!

We Nigerians need to have a rethink; we need to change our strategy. Our people are wandering all over the earth looking for hope. They are in China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and all over Europe. I have even heard of some Nigerians who arrived Europe and immediately threw their passport into the Sea. What kind of curse is this?

Many Nigerians all over the world are suffering due to the poor image the world has of us/the actions of a few rotten eggs. My humiliating experience is just one of many; some have even been beheaded. To move forward and overcome, we need to be aware and know our history. We must never depend on the West. We must understand that the solution to Africa’s problems is in Africa (Nigeria inclusive).

Please let us all wake up and remember, “The people are the Government”. Each and every one of us, and our actions wherever we are, reflects on the country and will have an impact on how the rest of the world views and treats us.

After my experience, I’d gladly swap my Nigerian passport for one from any of the following African countries; Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Angola and Zimbabwe.

  1. Dear Poster,

    I understand your pain and the reasons why you would drop your Nigerian passport for another.But I still would not drop my Nigerian passport for anything. I agree the solution to our problem is the mindset of nigerian people (government and people).I am aware that Nigeria has been associated with lots of negative things and happenings but let not us forget that it is normal because If my sister should bring a Pakistan or some Hausa guy home as a Fiance, my entire household including myself and even you(if you were a family member) would ensure the guy is sent back to Pakistan with immediate effect.This is because of the stereotype associated with Pakistanis(terrorists,heartless etc).Such stereotypes are battles that many developing countries are try to detach from their identity including Nigeria.

    So my advice is whilst Nigeria as a whole (especially those in power) consistently struggle to fight this battle created by former leaders of the country, let us(the citizens) try to be on our best behaviour every where we go irrespective of the treatment we receive this.This is because every single Nigerian is used as a point of reference to the behaviour of Nigerians generally. This is something I have said I would continue to do as far as I am alive. The solution starts with me and you and with time Nigeria would be respected.

  2. You really do need to get over yourself. So Nigeria has a less than stellar international reputation, and several things are wrong with the society and system here. Yes just about every bad thing under the sun can probably be found here. The air peels the skin off your body. The water is radioactive. The roads have all signed death pacts with Satan the Devil. And we all wear smelly socks.

    Suck. It. Up.

    You know what? At least Nigeria is not a country which deliberately starts wars halfway across the world and uses these as avenues for looting whole countries while destroying hundreds of millions of lives (USA). Nigeria is not a country in which being a foreigner is enough to earn you a death by burning sentence (South Africa). Nigeria is not a country in which you have to bribe government officials when your wife gets pregnant for the 2nd time or else risk having it forcibly terminated (China). Nigeria is not a country where millions of people have had their land expropriated and livelihoods destroyed because rich European opportunists see dollar signs (Brazil). Nigeria is not a country which is thoroughly dependent on sex tourism and drug peddling for survival (Thailand).

    Nigeria is however, the only standing beacon for Africa and the rest of the Black world. It is the place from which economic and cultural salvation for Black people worldwide stems from. It is the country which on its own stood between Africa and total European domination. It is the country which gave millions of dollars in funding, arms, training and assistance to liberation struggles as far afield as Zimbabwe and Angola. Did you know that Thabo Mbeki went to UNN at a time when Blacks were not admitted into South African higher institutions? Or that Robert Mugabe and the original ZANU-PF were trained at the National War College in Zaria?

    Nigeria is the single greatest African project of our time and the most strategically important country on this side of the world; the scene of a covert war between yesterday’s Western world powers and tomorrow’s Eastern world power. So while people like you are engaging in self immolation of the most puerile and immature variety, foreign powers are licking their lips and eyeing the massive prize that is Nigeria – the same Nigeria you refuse to see any value in.

    Your experience is nothing special or unusual, especially with regard to a Middle Eastern country. Arabs historically have never needed the excuse of Nigerianness to harass Black people. The death toll they inflicted on Black Africans while pushing into North Africa is conservatively put at 180 million. So chances are an Arab man does not like you as a Black man. Why conclude that it is because you are a Nigerian, and something is wrong with being Nigerian?

    If indeed you have travelled widely and particularly across the African continent, you will know that of all the listed countries with supposedly better reputations than Nigeria, not one wouldn’t jump at the chance to be Nigeria if they had the chance. Not Ethiopia, not Ghana, not Ivory Coast or any other colonially dominated banana republic we share a continent with.

    If you and others like you have nothing better to say about my great country than “Nigeria he nor good oh”, then you are welcome to take a hike to anywhere that will have you.

    I am proudly, overtly, unashamedly, permanently NIGERIAN.

    Thank you.

    1. Mr Dario,

      It is good that you are defending your nation. I learnt some new information while reading your post. Whether they are true or not I cannot say, however in the following areas you are clearly misinformed:

      1. Nigeria is not a standing beacon for the black world; you are just clearly being biased. Nigeria is not worthy to be called a country. For the sake of this post, I will refer to Nigeria as an ‘Area’.

      Nigeria is not a country because its citizens are helpless, many of whom are also souless and in religious bondage. An Area that cannot defend its people when they are in harms way, an Area where you have incidences like ‘Oga at the top’. An Area where people practise heavy witchcraft.

      Let me tell you some things I witnessed and experienced while residing in Nigeria in 2012; a man burying his sales girl alive under his shop in Alaba Market just for his business to boom, a “mamaput” lady putting her menstral blood in food just to get more customers. Trust that my sources are legit. Now what kind of country is that?

      You are simply agitated at my post because it is the truth. Ghana will be a good example as a beacon for Africa as they have constant electrical power and are seen more positively. Ghana also adopted a radical approach in fighting corruption (I am sure you know the Rawlings case). Ethiopia will be another great example as they fought and defeated Italy, the only African country to resist colonization. Nigeria is not even worthy to exist, how much more to be mentioned?

      2. About sucking it up: Are u basicly telling me to be quiet, to shut up? How dare you? Then what is the essence of an avenue such as ReviewNaija?

      Evidently you are part of the country’s problem, shuffering and shmiling (As Fela would put it). That is not my portion in Jesus name. Do you think I am a fool? Or that I wrote this up because I have nothing to do? I guess you really don’t know me much, if you did you could have chosen your words carefully. If any wrong has been done to me I will shout, oh yes! I will scream. If I can go to a radio station I will also go. About two days ago an Arab man threatned me here, and said he was going to call the police. Of course it caused a scene, many Nigerians here will just be quiet because they walk in fear. I cannot be threatned! I made it clear to him that today today he must call that Police. Afterwards I shouted Allahu Arkbar. I am telling you this because I am not a quiet person, hence I will never SUCK.IT.UP.

      3. Finally about being widely travelled: I’m fortunate and blessed by God to have been to Belgium, France, Ivory coast, Luxembourg, Abu dhabi, Neatherlands, Qata. And I lived in London for 5 years. In Nigeria I have visited Akure, Ogun, Abuja, Lokoja, Onitsha, Nnewi, Oka, Ibadan. I have experieced life threatning situations on some of my trips, there was even one case where I almost lost all my family members. Now for a 23 year Old, I’d think that’s enough for being well travelled.

      Drive through Lagos, Dario. If you are okay with what you see then you are part of the people that want Nigeria to be just the way it is. God forbid!

      Scream, shout, broadcast it. We must do anything to be heard!

      1. As to the veracity of the information in my post, Google is your friend if “you can’t say”. It doesn’t say much for your credibility when your riposte to an informative post consists of “I don’t know if this is true.”

        Nigeria occupies a unique geopolitical presence in Africa and the world which no other nation does. Whether by chance or by design, it so happens that it possesses the perfect mixture of large resource endowment, large and resourceful population, rapidly expanding economy and the largest military on the continent with one of the world’s best trained ground forces. Even current world powers openly acknowledge that after the current threat of China and Russia, the country which will become a threat to their dominance over the next century is Nigeria. Go and read the Project for a New American Century document produced for the US Congress. There, Nigeria is expressly mentioned as “a potential threat to American dominance in Africa due to its economic and military presence on the continent which must be contained”. Read this article by a British journalist which outlines the ways in which Nigeria is and will yet become the dominant partner in the relationship between both countries.

        The truth is that travelling around the world does not on its own give anyone any sort of enhanced insight about anything. If travelling around the world gave me the right to get on my soapbox and postulate self-righteously about Nigeria, I would be some kind of public figure by now. In addition to having a negative image, Nigeria is also viewed with immense admiration and jealousy. Which of those banana republics you enumerated has a GDP to rival that of Lagos and Oyo state? Which of them has a nuclear programme? A space programme? Fully indigenous vehicle manufacturing? Is about to start aircraft manufacturing? Has had a solid 7% year-on-year GDP growth since 2006? Do you actually know anything about Nigeria, or have you cobbled together a load of hearsay, personal anecdotes and lies into what you consider a comprehensive account of Nigeria?

        The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘evidence’. If you cannot produce solid facts and figures to prove that your beloved Ghana (which is the ultimate European-owned African banana republic) is somehow better off than Nigeria, then you are best served consulting Google and learning something. It is typical of some sort of Nigerian who suffers from a deep-seated inferiority complex to spend their young adulthood looking for other identities to identify with, even when these places are actually worse off. I have seen these types a lot – those who land at Kotoka International Airport, take a taxi to Sheraton Hotel, observe the lovely 37 Road on the way, and then take a tour of Legon and the central shopping district in Accra and from these short experiences, conclude that Ghana is ‘better’ than Nigeria. Did they ever perchance branch off 37 onto one of the untarred side streets? Did they leave Accra and go to Kumasi, Tamale or Cape Coast? Do you know that half of Ghana is not connected to the national electricity grid 55 years after independence? Do you know that Ghana’s entire production sector is extractive and foreign-owned? That Ghana produces nothing and even imports its exercise books from Onward Mill in Nigeria? That its entire service sector is owned by Nigerians, Chinese and Americans? Just what do you actually know about how the world works? Who doesn’t like those who can be easily exploited and used?
        People like you see a negative foreign headline about Nigeria and instantly begin self-immolation without engaging your brains to examine the aims, interests and motives behind it. You think the world is divided into ‘Good countries’ and ‘Bad countries’?

        The Arabs disgraced you in their country and yet the same Arab league of nations are the ones giving covert support and funding to the violent campaign of Islamisation in Africa, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria. But I guess it is a ‘Nigerian’ thing and the pure hearted, blameless Arabs are the good guys in all this. What terrible luck on your part to be a citizen of such a demonic country! “In Jesus’ name it shall not be your portion” to remain Nigerian, etc etc.
        The good news for me is that regardless of clueless, angst-filled people like you, Nigeria only gets better day after day.

        After my degree, I had a well paid job at KPMG in Leeds. Yet I chose to come back to Nigeria not because I had to, but because what I had in England is not a fraction of what I have and will yet have here. I choose to be a master on my land rather than a self-immolating immigrant with an inferiority complex, begging to be accepted in another man’s land.

        If you like, continue bringing up irrelevant anecdotes about individual Nigerians and blaming an entire nation of 200 million for them (because apparently only Nigerians do bad things of all 7 billion+ people on earth). Nigeria will not stop getting better.

        You will just have to learn that the problem is with you.

        1. Mr Dario your post is very insultive, hence this will be my final reply.

          Firstly I was very reluctant in writing about this incident because of situations like this (comments from people like you). However, something in me said I should just share it. I made it clear from the onset to the owner of this site, I told her how reluctant I was. Some of my peers have thanked me for having the courage to share it, despite the negative criticism that may come up, because they know how secretive I am and how I uphold my dignity.

          I could have also used very harsh words but this is very unnecessary.

          I have read all of your responses, so be sure that some of your comments had an impact. However I took what was important and positive in what you said. The negative aspects are too weak to affect me.

          Like I said earlier, this is my final comment.

  3. This is so humiliating. I cannot even begin to think of what this fellow went through.

  4. Suck it up does not mean shut up, it means get over it and you really should, to move forward.

    Mid-Easterners are racist in nature especially if you are black. I have heard first hand experiences from acquaintances, they would get you to do jobs for them and then cheat you of your money and threaten to call the police (if they know you are in the country without a permit).

    They would stare and purposely give you a wide berth in the streets, like you are dirt/taboo (an acquaintance who was an aspiring footballer experienced this first hand, nobody told him anything before he packed his load and bundled himself to Naija).

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