Let’s not be deceived, Nigerians are not eternally accommodating. Events of recent weeks have made a large number of Nigerians reevaluate their continued patience, love and connection to their country. Yes, people have been seen to be quiet and docile about the deaths – the plane crash(es), the bombing, the tanker incidents. The social media isn’t buzzing with bitterness – not as much as we are used to. People seem to have gone on with their lives and seemed to have stuffed the recent weeks into their “shit happens” box.
The common thinking may be that the overwhelming amount of corruption, ineptitude and overall evil in the country has made Nigerians apathetic – and the perceived lack of action from the national leadership may have further fueled this apathy. There may be true.
It may also be true that silence we’re hearing is people finally deciding they’ve had enough of Nigeria and it’s time to move on. People have been so emotionally drained, they can’t expend any more energy on Nigeria, and would rather use that energy to plan their next move.
The reality is that people just cannot get up and leave a country, especially Nigeria, so it’s going to take one to five years to get the full picture, but surely, many Nigerians are making plans to leave.
This country has seen mass migrations before, especially during the military era (read Abacha days), but recent trends had shown that many highly educated Nigerians were returning to their home country with a desire to serve and make the country a better place. Many had come in to take up jobs or set up businesses, while the global economic crisis also forced some to come back home (because when all else fails, home is best).
But now all those high hopes seem dashed. Too much is happening within such a short time, it’s impossible to be reasonable. Even when one was forced home by the recession, it seems now that recession in Europe is better than what is currently happening in Nigeria. So many are dusting up their passports, checking their visa or applying for new ones. The thinking is similar across the board:
I could stay, but can’t expose my family to this nonsense.
My children cannot grow up in this environment.
I just cant…
In all of this, the biggest loser is Nigeria. Some of the smartest people are queuing up to leave the country. When that happens, who will run it effectively? Unfortunately, we’ve been living the answer to that for the over 40 years as a nation. It’s only going to get worse.