Mr. President, firstly I am not oblivious of the fact that there are various critical issues taking your attention at home, before bringing overseas’ plights to your fore. Secondly, I would not want to bore you with some irrelevant philosophical mumbo-jumbo. I will be concise in relaying the truism of my message by stating the difference between identity and image. Identity is philosophically opined as the perceptions about an individual personality that are mindfully constructed by the individual to the public. On the other hand, image is what the masses actually perceived about one’s personality. Sir, it is precariously demeaning to know that your very own country Nigeria has deplorably failed in offering the world a positive identity of herself and in securing positive images from the world views.
Take for instance Sir, here in Malaysia; an average Malaysian on the street of Kuala Lumpur believes every Nigerian is either “Keldai Dadah” (a drug dealer), a Scammer or a Gigolo. No matter how decent you look, regardless of how academically prolific you are and even if you are meeting in a religious platform, the sneer and fear of dealing with a bandit will obviously be sinuous in their looks when hobnobbing with you.
Nigerians have been painstakingly living with this stigma for years. Few innocent Nigerians have been brutally mobbed by Kuala Lumpur hoodlums in the quest of cleansing the smear on our national or their personal integrity. Some others find it easy to disown their nationality and will never want to have anything to do with their fellow Nigerians. It is also unfortunate that many a Nigerian has found tribalism, ethnocentrism or religious jingoism as a personal means of denouncing the sheer stigmatization. The responses of such Nigerians when discussing the illegalities of their fellow Nigerians are galling and dangerously anecdotal. You will hear statements like: those Yahoo boys are from the West and South, or the drug dealers are mostly Igbo boys, while some will say gigolo is a Christian/Islamic thing, depending on their religious affiliation. Of course, you can’t blame their bewilderment.
Mr. President, it is not as if Malaysians are not aware of the scores of Nigerians in many public and genuine private universities over here that are doing the nation proud. It is not as if some of their petroleum and telecommunication companies and universities can do without the expertise provided by some Nigerian professionals. They also know that some Nigerians involve in legitimate businesses with an undeniable dividend on their economic development.
But still the Nigerian identity and image are not fascinating. The Malaysian communities have their reasons for being extraordinarily careful whenever the name Nigerian rings around them. It is probably because of the incessant broadcast they see on their national televisions of drug smuggling dramas often staged in their airport by Nigerians, or because of the stray Nigerian youths in their capital city, that are either graduates or school drop-outs perilously scamming and virtually pilfering their people of emotional and financial chattels.
Mr. President, I am not writing you this letter only because I have personally been a victim of the disgraceful consequence of these criminal and notorious Nigerians. I am writing to inform you that those Nigerians need your help. They need you to fulfill your promises in transforming the present catastrophic situation in every part of Nigeria. They need you in reshaping their future through a creation of economically peaceful environment where business idea thrives and excellence is rewarded.
Mr. President, you have done so well in repaying the cabals that got you the power and fulfilling the promises you made for your wife since you become the President of Nigeria. Please Sir, the position you hold today in Nigeria makes you the only succor that can turn things over for these hopeless Nigerians.
Many a time we watch these scammers and drug dealers on television, they often prefer accepting death penalties here rather than being deported back to their home country. Some of these lads are brilliant graduates now enrolling in English language classes just as means of getting visa and gaining survival with their own shameful endeavors. The creative skills they employ in plotting their terrible scams would tell you these youths are not dullards. They are potential productive resources for a serious nation to be exploited.
Whenever any well-meaning or concerned Nigerian engage them in discussion, they replied by saying it is the fault of the president. They realize the Nigerian government has made them urchins in their home-country. The government has exposed them to unbearable poverty, and in lieu of providing them with meaningful employment, they would rather be used as political ruffians.
Sir, the Nigerian shameful identity and image are the resultant of the anti-masses government you are heading and it your fault. Those youths –the leaders of tomorrow- have been disoriented, misguided and wrongly decided to resolve in actively staining and shattering the good names of the Nigerian people and robbing the stain on the entire populace.
Mr. President, if truly you are patriotic and you are really God fearing, you should start making progressive moves that will utterly change the devastating situation of the country. You should start taking the condition of youths more seriously than your own personal eating allowances. You should start restructuring the shambolic economic situations in Nigeria by creating employments, rather than self-praising yourself for inconspicuous achievements. Sir, if you do these for us we will never forget you like the South Africans and Ghanaians won’t forget their saviors. And if you decide to continue in your ways we shall never forget to include your name in the already long list of our draconian leaders and your self-centered predecessors.
On behalf of me and millions of utopian Nigerians, I pray may God help you in heeding to these suggestions and in bringing Nigeria to the promise land sir.
Raji Ridwan Adetunji
Department of Management and Humanities