Remember the tagline: “Nigeria – Good People, Great Nation”?
The campaign was initiated in Nigeria by the late Yar’adua led-government , under the auspices of the late Dora Akunyili (former Information Minister).
The campaign was meant to signal a new birth of Nigerians and purposed to showcase the true Nigeria spirit to the ends of the earth.
Who is a Nigerian? An American? A Briton? A Frenchman? A Dutchman? A German? An Irish?
I know a typical Irish man believes in his freedom of expression and takes a pint of beer seriously. A Briton is more conservative, always trying to be shrewd and can be arrogant at times. A French man is wild and enjoys life. A dutch man is quite eccentric but a lot more private and adventurous. An American is crazy! They are great with calculations and how to make their world a better place. A German on the other hand is just damn smart. They are gender-less, spontaneous and yea, like you guessed, arrogant too.
But a Nigerian is hard to define. Why?
By 1960, Nigerians were known to be loving, accommodating and enterprising people. After the 1st and 2nd coups of 1966, some believed they are a bunch of tribalistic, selfish and corrupt people.
Over the years of military rule and corrupt democratic experiences till this date, Nigerians all over the world are less described as “Good people”. They could be called “Nice people” or “Fun people” but certainly not “Good people”.
Someone like me usually typified a Nigerian as being selfish, scared, enterprising and a glutton, until recently.
So one lovely morning we heard through the media channels that a bank security guard had returned a missing stash of about $10,000 (I doubt i can do that effortlessly). The security guard was a Nigerian.
This story reminds me of an Nigerian, a woman to be precise, who found some missing cash at the airport while doing her cleaning job and turned in the money to the authorities.
Just last week, a female Alumni at the advertising academy I attend, 02 Academy Lagos was unfortunate to forget her PC laptop and some official documents at the back seat of a local taxi (mind you, this was not a technology-based taxi).
Over the night, some of us feared for the worse because it was easier to assume that such valuables in the possession of a Nigerian that cannot be actually is GONE…
In closing, Nigerian or African we write our own story. Others can read whatever they like but we must ensure we write our own story. Our story might reflect cowardice from doing what is wrong, we might even be mocked but we need a story that shows that we are GOOD, SMART, ENTERPRISING and BOLD.
By the way, she found her valuables well kept as she returned to the Taxi park in Ajah axis of Lagos (where she boarded the taxi initially).