THE TRUTH ABOUT NIGERIA


I have watched for quite some time now as the world has taken jabs at the Federal Republic of Nigeria in various ways. From the news channels to movies and even most recently TV commercials. And in truth, I have never really cared about it because they are mostly all flawed facts or flat-out lies. My first and only motivation so far was sparked by the Christmas Day Delta Airlines ordeal with the 23 yr-old Nigerian male who has now been charged with intent to destroy an airplane.

Let me start by dealing with the wrongs of Nigeria and apologize for them on behalf of the nation before I give the world a list of things that need to be relayed to less informed judgmental individuals. You may take these wrongs and document them. You may NOT modify them nor add your own facts.

The media (from news channels to movies) have portrayed us primarily in 2 lights:

First, as the highly rebellious nation of intense political unrest. An almost gun-for-every-child war zone. And secondly, as the possibly most corrupt nation in the history of man.
I want to discuss these issues right before we earn ourselves yet another identity as a nation of suicidal religious fanatics, because the worst reputation given to countries today are dependent on the context of terrorism alone. Nigeria already has 2 priors as warlords and crooks, and I refuse to sit back and watch a third one stick.

Also, on the low, the media has enjoyed portraying us as a poverty-stricken country and shanty expanse of “third-worldism”. I am yet to see on international TV, the bits of Nigerian luxury that the average Westerner cannot financially afford to indulge for a full week. Or the “higher” calibre of automobiles on our roads that were all paid off in 3 hours rather than over 3 years. But that’s another story. I don’t mind us being portrayed as broke. After all, we are only the 7th oil producing country in the globe today and the million foreigners in our country don’t seem ready to leave here. Stop focusing on the ghettos and take your cameras elsewhere. We don’t see much Compton on MTV do we?

Facts about Nigeria (starting mostly with the negatives)

1. We have had an unfortunate streak of corrupt leadership and have seen the murders of those who have attempted to change this pattern.

2. Our corrupt leaders are guilty of utilizing a smaller fraction of the Nation’s budget on infrastructure than on setting up their families and squandering on outlandish habits. The Nigerian man is a man of extreme taste but over-indulges so very blindly and quite often.

3. This corruption takes place on every level of our government and by the time funds reach their destination, remains next to nothing and of course greatly cripples basic infrastructure.

4. These political crooks represent less than 0.01% of our entire population causing situations that lead to a survival adaptation of an added 10% of make-shift crooks.

5. Make-shift criminals are the offenders of piracy, scams, prostitution, frauds and other get-rich quick schemes. Just like the rest of the world.

6. We have a younger generation of criminals who are responsible for the most commonly known international scams and frauds and are perhaps single-handedly responsible for 80% of the damage to Nigeria’s international reputation today. Almost every foreigner has at one time or another, gotten a dodgy e-mail about transactions involving large sums of money. These e-mails are sent by 20 yr-old Nigerians with nothing to lose but study time after school. And with such a huge impact on the world, this class of criminals still represent less than 1% of the Nigerian population. And yes, they keep a busy schedule doing these acts not for survival but as a result of watching one too many hip-hop videos.

7. There are a few pockets of Nigeria no bigger than little towns with rebellious activity of minimum violence and almost zero death rate. These groups spawned mostly as a result of resistance to the corrupt government of Nigeria. They don’t always do the right thing but if the government did its job, there would be no activist groups to begin with. Think Black Panther before you say “Aha”.

8. There have been a few tribal and/or religious disputes within certain regions of Nigeria but nothing more shocking than the gang wars in America we have grown so fond of over the years.

9. The FBI has named Nigeria as the 3rd country responsible for the overall fraud count on the internet today. We are preceeded only by the USA as #1 and the UK as #2. So if we must point fingers, I suggest we start at New York or Manchester.

10. Nigeria has had absolutely no record of international terrorism. The first and last one so far has been the situation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Please note that even this virgin case did not come without early warning to the US government from the much concerned father of the perpetrator to further paint the absurdity of this event to the average Nigerian family.

11. The general Nigerian population is much more angered by this event than the USA a hundred times over. This is behavior that we do NOT condone. And yes we will beat our kids to keep it that way.

12. Nigeria in all its political crises has recently been named the happiest people in the world. Don’t look at me. ‘Twas CNN said it.

13. The major crime of the everyday Nigerian is the comfortable ability to see all the above crimes and say/do nothing out of fear or laziness.

14. The major setback of the everyday Nigerian is the deeply religious mindset that someday, God will repair everything at His own time.

15. The Nigerian is not known to have the mind or heart to fight and/or die for a cause. We are still till this day yet to produce a “successful” suicide bomber nor have we seen anything close to a civil war in over 40 years. We are still in shock over the guts displayed in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt even as a failed one.

16. We are NOT in shock that he was allegedly recruited in the United Kingdom and not in his homeland Nigeria.

17. The average Nigerian is “almost” satisfied with a long life of poverty. As long as the life promised remains long.

18. The idea that we are a trigger-happy militant nation is completely out-of-place as the average Nigerian has not set eyes on any firearm not in the hands of the Police Force or the occasional mugger.

19. We DO have a crime rate not too dissimilar in frequency and severity from any other nation in the globe. We have also acknowledged that 99% of these crimes are crimes of survival or greed. We therefore, cannot boast of serial killers or mass murderers who blame their childhood for these heinous crimes. Again, we are not afraid to beat our kids to keep it this way. A treatment that might have changed the course of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s life as the world knows it today. We produce even less Charlie Mansons’ than we do Osama Bin Ladens’.

20. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a mere 50 years old (younger than your dads) and requires more support and encouragement and not the occasional kick in the nuts by countries hundreds of years older. And in all prejudice against this young nation, let it be known that YOU are judging and referring to less than 10% of us at every point in time.

Some movies and media that have wrongly referenced Nigeria recently.

1. Avatar (2009) – In James Cameron’s recent blockbuster, Nigeria is the only non-fictional geographical location to be mentioned in the almost 3 hour movie and is passively referred to as hostile environment.

2. District 9 (2009) – This movie represents the boldest of negative references to Nigeria in entertainment so far. So much you can almost tell that its personal with the makers of the film. (You’ll get yours Neil).

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – Nigeria portrayed as hostile and rebellious environment.

4. Tears of the Sun (2003) – This was the first major reference to Nigeria and the entirety of the film is set in Eastern Nigeria. It is also rumored that none of this movie was actually shot in Nigeria. Sony’s (Sony Pictures) first shot. It is almost flattering how we are portrayed as hard-to-kill bastards with infinite firepower. Yeah right, we’ll buy a truck load of ammunition right after we save money for a quick sandwich.

5. Lost (Seasons 2 & 3) – Mild reference to Nigeria as hostile environment.

6. The Sopranos (Season 5) – Passive reference to Nigerians as a corrupt people.

7. Sony PlayStation 3 Commercial (2009) – Bold and blatant reference to Nigerians as corrupt people with heavy generalization. (Strike 2 for Sony)

8. Identity Guard Commercial (2009) – Subtle insinuation that Nigeria might as well be the capital of corruption.

9. Sahara (2005) – Careless depiction of Nigeria as a country where a fraction of the film takes place. These scenes were not shot in Nigeria.

10. The Bourne Identity (2002) – This movie uses a distinct Nigerian language called Yoruba as the choice language for the character of the African terrorist mastermind.

NOTE: I am NOT saying make up fairy tales to make Nigeria look good in your films. All I’m asking is “Do you really have to refer to us at all? And if you must, is it okay to ask you to get your facts right?” Its all media and movie tickets to you guys but to us it makes everything harder. From getting visas to getting laid.

We, Nigerians, now have the second largest film industry in the world today (google it), we too can create a lot of trash about your country when we deem it necessary. We do more world travel than any other nation so we won’t even need to make up lies.

My name is Jay Lenny Levanne and while we are terribly sorry for Abdulmutallab, I am begging the world to back the fuck off my country. Please.

Thank you.

JLL.

P.S. – While we’re on the topic, you guys are the reason Nigerians like Seal and Sade no longer have last names. You made them feel shame for fucking nothing.

And oh, by the way, THIS is the face of a Nigerian. No longer a naked snot-nosed infant. Thanks.

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228 Responses to THE TRUTH ABOUT NIGERIA

  1. Nkami Armon says:

    Thanks so much for this article Jay. We feel awfull over this mishap back here at home! The generalisation and name calling by the western media is so absurd. We will make good of our country Nigeria, we will.

  2. jennifer says:

    Noice, noice! I don’t think Sade is Nigerian, but the rest of your article is on point! We are a corrupt, lazy and somewhat shallow people. But not terrorists!! Abegooooo

  3. Jay says:

    Sade is child of a Nigerian King. Her mom is English. Who cares really. All I’m saying is I understand how she would keep this info away from even you.

    Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    • Wale says:

      …..Actually Sade Adu is from Ondo State. Nigeria. She hailed from a middle-class family who lived in Ibadan (where she was born), Oyo state. I am not entirely sure if it was the murder of her Dad or a failure in the marriage that caused her British Mom to pick up and leave Nigeria with Sade and her older brother; Back to England it was….the rest as the say, is History:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sade_Adu

    • jennifer says:

      lol….oops…lol… my bad! I was confusing her with Shola Ama. Sorry! Thanks for the correction!

    • tamosu says:

      Just to note, Nigeria is the 6th largest oil supplier (not 7th)

  4. Proud Nigerian says:

    Co-sign!
    9ja, keep ur heads up!!!!

  5. ladun says:

    Finally! I wanted to do a write- up as response to ‘farouk’s mishap! But this totally does justice!

  6. Sege says:

    Great Post. Iv been alarmed by Mutallab”s portrayal considering the fact that the US n Uk have more known terrorists, rapists, serial killers etc as citizens. Its almost an orgasmic feeling as the news reporters can’t stop emphasizing on THE NIGERIAN BOMBER.

    We don’t condone terrorism and Mutallab isn’t a terrorist cos he”s Nigerian, he”s a terrorist cos he’s got warped views.

    About Fraud, the Enron guys n Bernie Madoff aint Nigerians n I can guarantee that the combined worth of their scams will eclipse whatever corruption/fraud perpetrated by our leaders n citizens alike

    Finally, I think its high time Nollywood starts making movies bout the ills of the western world.

  7. Os says:

    Man!!! that was awesome…. you should get this in the newspaper!!!

  8. Anthony says:

    Well said man, all you said were on point. Na spoil we spoil, we no dey throw bomb!!! We love life and freedom too much. 1 love

  9. Anonymous says:

    God bless you sim!and ur large brain too.

  10. ur twin bro says:

    God bless you sim!and ur large brain too.

  11. Eyimife says:

    Nice one bruv!

    If only evryone could be this positive and confident!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Honestly Sim, I definiately now give it to you, you dug out the words from your guts. This is spot on sim and i def think you need to Publish this thing…. Unfortunately our leaders back home whos shud fire back hard at this reputational disaster, cant be bothered, they sit back and feel comfortable… Honestly I think wat the world shud do is simply say we dont give a f… where you from, where you were born, leave our country. Maybe then they might feel the state of emergency.

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  14. Kushina says:

    Yes all u said is truth,but there’s a fact i want 2 establish,what is my fact? We r nt terrorist,cal us any orther names.we r nt al financial ok with economic,but still we want 2 live long.thanks

  15. kenny says:

    I must say that i can’t find any flaw in ur write up and i support all d points u made. U are the kind of Nigerian our nation needs not our corrupt leaders and those 1% money brainwashed youths and as for muttalab believe me no nigerian is ready 2 follow suit. A great work jay kip it rolling.

  16. Adedeji says:

    When we no get president who wan reply them na dora wey de say the federal govt do dis na hin any1 go take serious make una look am now-

  17. Ameer says:

    Jay, may God reward u! finally u revealed what a lot of us cant, this is what we suppose to do we should start showing our concerrn about our country and ourselves we really need change and that is only if we change ourselves. my fellow Nigerians we already pinpoint our weakness. And about those movies Nigeria isnt worth what was displayed.

    God Bless.

  18. imari says:

    LOL! On point. I enjoyed this write up and you hit the nail on the head.

  19. Ibk says:

    thanks for your pinpoint summary. Dis dudes wit white skins only knw propaganda b’cos if only dey took time 2 investigate,dey wuld have found out dat in 9ja nobody wan die but everybody wan go heaven. Ciao!!

  20. Olutunde A says:

    I like your articles. Nigeria people are good people. it was the people in power that put us into this mess. The boy that tried to bomb the plane can be found in other countries. We will be tainted black if will accept it. Let everybody contribute to the growth of this nation positively.
    Thumbs up for you!

  21. Robertkmy says:

    Lenny you couldn’t have said it better..++rep on the research…`
    i’m really tired about it though, when u think your country is improving these things keep popping up and you find ur country is in a worse cluster fxxk than it started out with.
    But to find a nigerian that would give his own life for a cause (i mean blow himself up) that shit ain’t funny… These terrorist groups must be using some strong drugs or mind control equipment on them over there.
    Its a class A shit storm when u mix that with the problems we nigerians already have..
    I use to believe any kind of publicity is good publicity but this terrorist stuff is just not it..

  22. mfonabasi says:

    This is impressive, its only our generation that can save this nation…not even our ”eloquent” minister of information can be this bold at times like this.

    Kudos bro.

  23. Ier says:

    Word! you talk am well well!

  24. Annabel says:

    I agree with everything you said but I noticed one thing that stands out about elitist Nigerians.
    Just because there are some people with massive houses and can afford buy 3 7 series and a private jet without blinking an eyelid doesn’t meant that there is no truth in half of these movies or what the world thinks. By the time you take someone to Ikoyi and VI and then Abuja where else are you going to find such extravagance? And why should we show that when you walk 10mins down the road and find ppl living such a poor quality of life. These rich ppl are a minority, 1% if anything. When they are ill they pack themselves in a plane and go somewhere that isn’t Nigeria for treatment. The majority are poor and that is the truth. After they show Shoprite and Churasscos what else is there to brag about and why should we brag about it when only a minority can afford anything inside. If God told you had to pick one country anywhere in the world where you would be poor pls lets not pretend Nigeria would be in the top 200. Even America and Britain we all like to point fingers and say ‘Oh but they are corrupt too’ at least they make accommodations for their people. I love Nigeria but lets stop thinking things are OK because some of us are fortunate enough to be born into families that have second homes in the UK and America. I don’t like seeing the way Nigeria is portrayed either but its unfortunate that not very much is needed to create negative stereotypes. And half of it is true, no need to make excuses for it. When Nigeria makes movies about cults, robbery and witchcraft we sit down and laugh at their shells. But when Hollywood does, ‘Ohhhh its soooo bad, its all a lie’. Lets all set examples through ourselves and remember that those that there is more to Nigeria than Parkview Estate. It is nothing to feel cool about because we have brand new cars and Blackberry’s, your AVERAGE Nigerian man is struggling to make ends meet. He can’t ever dream about living a quarter of your life, yet we want to tell Hollywood to get their facts right. Even rich Nigerians live in fear, barricading their homes with electric fences and barbed wire, hiding their money in secret accounts cos only God knows when Govt will change something and you lose everything. Let me stop now. But 90% of the people reading this blog are not the average Nigerian. The average Nigerian doesn’t care what District 9 showed. He has more important things to worry about.

    • Damy says:

      you said Abuja, Ikoyi n VI? Are u serious? There is more to Nigeria than that gurl…2 states out of 36 states? Take any of the states n go visit and i know for a fact they all have something to brag about. You don’t need to have a private jet to be considered rich. Majority of Nigerians r not poor, go do ur stats over, like yea, they don’t have their own private jet, you betta believe if i ave a roof on my head, food to eat, a good car to drive n can take care of my fam i know i’m rich….do agree with you on the movie part because that has tarred our image a lil too..we have ignorant people watching these movies and for some reason they fail to understand it’s fiction and believe everyone in Nigeria is into witchcraft

    • Anonymous says:

      best comment so far, to the best article i’ve read in a long time 🙂

    • eya says:

      well said my sister. i am nigerian and very very proud to be. jays article was well researched and i felt some joy at reading it, we might sometimes not be as bad as we are potrayed, but you are right, i disagreed with some parts of it too.

      Its pointless putting our heads in the sand and pretending that things are not so bad, cos its getting as bad as it can ever get.

      yes, we are potrayed by the western countries as corrupt and all that, and believe me, we are corrupt, and it might be 1% of us as has been pointed out, but it takes the passively corrupt mindset of the rest of the 99% for it to be happening so effortlessly!

      stereotyping and profiling are not concepts that i agree with, but it is a proverb in nigeria that ‘when one finger gets soiled by palm oil, what happens to the other four? they all get soiled’. we are all going to be tarred with the same black brush weather we agree with abdulmutallab or not cos we are nigerians, we suffer collectively for his sins.

      narrowmindedness on the part of human beings means that if adam commits a sin, then we are all sinners no matter how good you want to be personally.

      i am fadeup with the wahala that comes from being a nigerian, and when i sense behaviour that is brought about when people realise i am a nigerian, i know it, and it really infuriates me i can tell you cos i know i am being judged on the popular stereotype and they dont even know me yet! bit i will not trade my country for any other cos i know that there are still some good people who are not part of ths mess.

      jay talked about hollywood not seeing the big cars paid for in three hours? with money earned from working where? its a false economy, and until we see it for what it is and check our values and what we applaud in our country, one mans mercedes will always mean a life of impoverishment for a million others as a result of curruption.

      as for terrorism, nigerians are not terrorist, we know that, i think the rest of the world suspects and knows that too, putting us on the terrorist list is a knee jerk reaction from america and i cannot find it in my heart even though i know its wrong, to completely blame them for that reaction.

      its about time we all stop talking and each one do something in our own little way to change the image of our country. there is power in our hands – the power of one!

  25. Nd says:

    Am absolutely touched by this………! Lots of love dear! keep the green flag flying! I just wish other Nigerians can have a bold heart like yours……

  26. tega says:

    who give a 4k about wat those white pig say about us…we are the happiest people on earth…yes.
    And i support ths yahoo yahoo boys because its pay back time..Proudly naija anywhere i go

    • dona says:

      well, dont know who looks more like pigs but it’s defo not the white folks. U r another example of why Naija has such a notorious reputation – u cant stop fire with fire. Simple.

    • eya says:

      you are the kind of idiot that is adding to the problems are country have. go educate yourself and stop being so stupid.

  27. tari says:

    this is good stuff. thanks jay. is it too much to ask for them to extend the same goodwill shown to them when the father of the boy reported his own son to the U.S embassy. if they cant be fair to us, they shouldn’t be anything at all.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Annabel, where in NIg have you been too, Have for once taken a tour urself across all states in Nigeria. Do you understand that on average if you take a randon sample around the country during OBJ regime, are you aware that people were either bankers or telecoms staff.. THis job creation increased the per Capital income nationally. Are you aware that the the ideology of poverty stricken ghetto accounts for less than 5% of the whole nation. People of Nigeria still try to make bread and equally grow their buz.. Other states in NIgeria equally have their luxurious side (I ve been 20, portharcourt, jos, yola, even Gombe) so wen we ask you to show a side, we ve got more than one.
    The mineral and human resoucre the country posseses is emmense and rich. We are amongst the most educated people in the world and def do not enjoy poverty, therefore we utilize our ideas in our our little way to create bread.
    So if you were to show a side are we we deserve more respect… Stop trying to identify flaws in this article please, cos it is spot on. Thanks
    Moro..

  29. Ossai kelvin says:

    Thanks Jay. Its a nice one. And i hope everyone you there will NOTE IT. together we can make things work..

  30. omena says:

    thanks man. i really appreciate this piece. kudos.

  31. bakinde akindapo says:

    am a medical student at O.A.U IFE..ur write up touched me and i really felt sorry for my country that i almost cried…see,we cant really say this or that is our problem.it is like a chain reaction..its stil God that wil save us.Good job

  32. Toma says:

    Good job brother…GOOD JOB!!!!

  33. Annabel says:

    To Anonymous.
    No I havent been to as many states and I am not saying the article is flawed or picking flaws. I said I do agree with everything but was just noting that it is easy to say there are such a better side if you live in the better side. No the whole of Nigeria isnt in ABJECT poverty but the standard of living is extremely low and even if there are more people working in banks that has not changed. The average Nigerian worked in a Bank and Telecoms company in OBJ’s time? Really?….the average Nigerian of the 150 million? How is that possible when the literacy rate isnt even 60%..so I take it you dont need to read and write to work in these places.
    And my point is just because there are a couple of stupidly rich people it is the majority that is important. You talk about the country being rich in resources…so out of these resources…95% of our GDP comes from OIL, so no point saying we have it when we dont even sell it. Sorry to pick at you, ur ‘facts’ have nothing to do with my point…but they werent supporting your argument either.

    I have always admired the high ambitions of Nigeria and yes things are improving. But no matter how many more MTNs and Zains come to Nigeria there was still a damn lot of truth in what Hollywood portrayed. And we shouldnt bother making excuses.I dont think the media should be blamed for what the world thinks and showing how the rich live does not solve the real issues. The media/Hollywood say what they want about whatever country. Nigeria is NOT the only victim.

    I dont like how Nigeria is being portrayed either, Tears of the Sun infuriated me, that movie was a joke and an insult to the unfortunate events that happened in the late 60s.
    But I also highlighted that it is unfortunate that it is not much is needed to create a negative stereotype. So yes it is not true the WHOLE of Nigeria is full of bad people but the few have done a hell of a lot of damage.
    Let Dora stop wasting her time telling Sony to remove comments from their advert. When they play Yahooze in the club wont you dance? But because someone not Nigerian disses you for it you want to get upset. Double Standards. I love Nigeria but sometimes feel they look for the easy way out and are more worried bout looking good than solving the actual issues.

  34. CHINEE-DU says:

    what is expected of a country treated wit shame, with our leaders are to blame……..
    what is expected of a country where its people only feel safe knowing its greener on the other side (abroad)
    i m disappointed in the govt, my hart grieves but glad cos there is light beyond the tunnel…….WE HAVE A DREAM and wont die with them.
    GOD BLESS NAIJA, NAIJARIANS AND ALL FRIENDS OF NAIJA

  35. Victor M says:

    You are such a huge ball of talent! I say ball not in any weird way but cause of the way you constantly roll over and surprise us all!!! I will be the first to buy anything you put in the market!!!!!!

  36. Anonymous says:

    anabel and co..lets just keep prayin 4 Nigeria

  37. Mike says:

    It’s a good thing we have smbody like JLL who have their facts strait. Look @ what is happening in the presidency. We don’t even knw where our president is, nobody is telling us anything. But then, the average nigeria is going about thinking of ways to make ends meet. And i don’t think suicide bombing is one of them.

  38. Blizz says:

    Let those white pigs mind their own business. let them take care of their own problems(serial killers and gun carrying teenagers).

  39. dgeeklord says:

    Well done JLL

  40. Drealnoni says:

    Jay your article was definitely spot on , I think you have a great gift of thinking outside the envelope and are definitely destined for great things.

    farouk has definitely dealt 9ja a serious blow, fighting a fight that was never his in the 1st place. he has set back all efforts to redeem our country’s image, but all we have is hope that people like you and a lot of other young nigerians can potray a better side of nigeria.

    keep up the blogging, while we keep reading.

  41. Sei Jey says:

    To move naija forward,we have to start our campaign inwards. Identify d corrupt men nd SMOKE THEM!! Y’all wd agree with me,dat we need a REVOLUTION. I wonder what Dora is rebranding! Jerry Rawlings did it for Ghana,Mandela 4 SouthAfrica,Kwame Nkrumah,Morgan Tansvigirai……. Who would do it for Nigeria?? It could be you,so why not take up d baton,and lets march forward.
    Nice work girl.

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  43. Anonymous says:

    Annabel wat exactly are you on about..? Listen, The fact remains the media in watever circumstance is edited. THe movies everything. How much of orleans did you see during the disaster, how much of the real bronx do you see, how much of shanty brixton do you see, how much of pecham do you see, how many blockbursters have brixton featured. The fact remains they shud refrain form depicting a whole nation as negative.
    Let me give you some of my figures:
    1:There are more than 18 million students in Nigerian schools at all levels. That is more than the total human population of South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania and the school population of France, Britain and Spain. (Excluding numbers abroad)
    1: Private corporate institutions make up make up 60% of employment, 20% of the population. (Excluding interprenuers)
    2: Growth rate in the btw 2002/2007 was up 500 points
    3: Never in the history of NIgeria have we seen higher level of brian expansion in the ecomnomy, due to high numbers of skilled people previouly abroad returning.
    Take note they recorgnize the growth and prospects of change. Unfortunately the country is being run by ur vice and president’s wife.
    4: The country std of living is low, i agree but in comparism to Abacha, where are we?
    My initial point is where is the government wen you need them most, the private sector has played their part, now time to defend the integrity of the country and speak out, then …oh let alone provide safty, and i hear the president is sick, i forgot…
    5: Ur google will tell you the literacy rate is not even 60%, wat does the same google tell you about the US, 99%? Now examine the definition of literacy of the US (read and write) and that of Nig, school leaving certificate.
    My point is in the light of claiming to be the best, the news you hear isnt really isnt the whole truth. Take a trip and explore, travel the whole Nigeria and your perspective might jus be slightly changed.. I apologise if i sound offensive, Apologies to Jay for the circus on his blog.. Moro

  44. Musa says:

    Bull’s eye!

    Well done Jay, you have said it all.

    Proudly Naija

  45. Anonymous says:

    Noone could have said it better
    Beautiful

  46. I really appreciate this,am really short of words,thanks a lot 4 standing out to defend your country.pls add me on face book wit this i.d.akpoguma t-rari oberhirhi beris

  47. Anonymous says:

    Anabel is right. It’s some facts that we should not ignore. There are large number people that are battling with poverty inside this country. The bedrock of everything which is corruption has done alot of damages to the lives of this nation. That’s what Gani Fawehinmi was fighting for before he passed away. If we ignore those facts, nothing will work out. Our inner pollution is now being perceived outside.The corrupt people are over powering the good people because remain in silence. We’d better analyze the problems and get hem solve that pretending to be OK and ans suffer beneath.

  48. Supo says:

    Annabel, you are speaking with both sides of your mouth in my estimation. What exactly is your point? It’s hard to follow your argument.

  49. DJ says:

    Annabel is right. It’s some facts that we should not ignore. There are large number people that are battling with poverty inside this country. The bedrock of everything which is corruption has done a lot of damages to this nation. That’s what Gani Fawehinmi was fighting for before he passed away. If we ignore those facts, nothing will work out. Our inner pollution is now being perceived outside.The corrupt people are over powering the good people because we remain in silence. We’d better analyze the problems and get them solve that pretending to be OK and ans suffer beneath.

  50. Tony says:

    Anonymous thanks for the figures. They really form put things in perspective..

  51. Annabel says:

    To Supo,

    Sorry my point is that just because there are a few rich places to show it doesnt mean that the fundamental issues arent there. And we shouldnt bother so much about the media because it isnt what is important to Nigeria’s real development.

    • kemi sawyer says:

      Hi,

      I found some of your points quite valid, and some of the points made in retort to your issues as well. I disagree with some of the things you said but see why you would feel that way. What i do feel the need to stress is that you do not underestimate the importance of how we are portrayed in the media to the development and future of Nigeria. It is something the United States has successfully done for decades- making their country great simply by saying their country is great. It is the same way African Americans were constantly portrayed a certain way in the media, leading to limiting stereotypes of them in society.

      People like me who work in the media know that you can build a country into greatness by selling it as great. All those movies we watched as children telling us America was the land of the free, the home of democracy, all those action movies where the Americans would come and save the poor unfortunate people the world over. Time and maturity have shown us that America is really nothing like that, when they do take their guns into their other countries, they are looking out for their own interests. But the plan worked. America was portrayed as paradise where everything is possible. It still is. Not because it is true, but because they had the power and resources to sell that image to themselves and the world.

      I don’t think we should expect America to come to our aid in whitewashing our image. We’re not their problem, it’s up to us. But i do think that while in many ways we are a broken, albeit resilient nation, we have enough going for us that if simple things like affordable fuel and regular power supply were brought into effect, i believe we would be a changed nation in ten years. And i think taking offence for the way we are portrayed by the media is our first step towards taking action and changing things.

      We don’t need to be the most affluent nation. Lots of countries have it just as bad or worse than us in terms of how many rich neighbourhoods and people there are in it, without having the world news focus on their chaos. Ghana is rolling with millionaires, they have their market women and shoemakers and farmers and people selling things on the roads just like us. And they also complain about corruption in their government. But because they’ve fixed their lives and built themselves a thriving tourism industry, everyone says now how wonderful they are.

  52. Mohammed S says:

    Lenny great piece and thanks for your forthrightness. We’re a people who have given in to our excesses (Lazy, talk too much, we know our problems and even solutions but can’t act on it, those of us who can string words together but feel what we are or earn is as a dint of hard work,). For once lets walk the talk.

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  54. JoAr says:

    Dude!!! This is a remarkably well written piece and it pretty much sums up everything nigerians at home and abroad are thinking. Well done Jay, well done.

  55. Max says:

    So right Jay about the getting laid part. Congeal wan kill your bro for U.K…lol. But seriously, the psyche of a suicide bomber does not reflect any nationality…it reflects a mental state that in any other circumstance would be a completely escopatory defence to any crime or at least receive the the sympathy of the psychiatry community. So sad that one has been registered as having his ethnic roots in Nigeria. However, one way forward would be for Nigerian’s (especially those who now reside overseas) to quit publishing negative news about the country on social networking sites, when there are many progressive and encouraging others to post. People just circulate materials from God knows where (many of which have no bearing to Nigeria) on these websites, and the Nigerian’s among us, start dropping demeaning comments about their only father land. Its really so sad. We are not saying we do not have problems as a Nation or that some of our people have worked hard and well to ruin the countries image, but every country has its issues and produce a number of bad citizens as well.

  56. lizzie says:

    I agree with Annabel. I’m not Nigerian, but this is true for most Africans. Showing the rich areas won’t solve anything. As you’ve stated, there are 150mil ppl in ur country, if half of them were bankers and Telecoms staff, why do you still need aide? I’m just saying. And another thing, why give us facts comparing yourselves to countries like Kenya and SA? Some of these countries are not even half Nigeria’s population. You said the West should pick on countries their own age, I say pick on countries your own size! Do you know that that is also where the grass is greener and that this is where you go for a better life? These ppl have the same view of Nigeria, not because of media, but because your currupt one percent has shown themselves and spilled over in these countries already.There’s not one country on this earth that a Nigerian hasn’t crooked someone and gained the corrupt trait. Heck I can’t even say I’m African confidently for fear of being assumed Nigerian. I quickly have to say where I’m from to be met with welcome.

    I just get tired of hlistening to you all complain. CHANGE. Be unselfish. Take responsiblity. Then things will start to look up. That attitude of ‘get yours by any means necessary’ is only disastrous because everyone can’t be a big man. There will always be the haves and have-nots.

    With a population of 150mil and oil, Nigeria should have far surpassed any other African country. There is no excuse! And blame cannot be placed on anyone but self—your leaders. Like the rest of Africa, everyone (especially those elected to look out for the little ppl) is looking out for numero uno.

    Don’t get mad when you are thrown in the media spotlight and everything which is said is negative. Act! And act positively. I don’t know how many articles I’ve read which are almost carbon copies of each other exclaiming the truth about Nigeria. What you should be doing is trying to make that chane within urself. Ask yourself what you will do to change ppe’s perpective of you and your people. What u will teach your children, etc.

    Its cliche by now. But I’ll say the same thing I tell my countrymen, be the change you wish to see (in you country)!

    Happy New Year!

    • Anonymous says:

      Lizzie, you have omitted to tell us where you are from. The problem I have with other Africans is their inability to mask their beef when they comment on anything Nigerian. Yet they cannot seem to stay away. If the title if this post was ‘The truth about Kenya’ for instance, I doubt that you would have many Nigerians posting the kind of comment you have posted. You have made some valid points but the underlying beef makes it difficult to take you too seriously. Oh and Happy New Year to you too.

      What I like about Nigerians (some anyway), is that we try to talk honestly about things like this and the general state of the nation. Unfortunately, it also provides haters with an opportunity to spew all sorts.

      On a different note, very good write up Lenny. I could not have put it better myself. Only we Nigerians really understand what this is about.

      • Wale says:

        the reason they can’t stay away is because they see Nigeria as a country that SHOULD be a role-model for Africa. And it hurts them that we – Nigerians – are wasting our opportunities away. They think this way because of their personal interactions with Nigerians. Every Brit/American I know (and I know a ton) has a story about a Nigerian they came across at one point in their life or another. Its always the same story >> competency, brilliance and yes swagger…that we too often put on display……that keeps ’em interested.

    • Bo says:

      My dear Lizzie!

      I am so grateful that you are not Nigerian! Although it would have given some perspective if you had actually stated your country of origin since you are not ashamed of it. I guess that is the big difference between Nigerians and other Africans… we are proud of where we come from. Not because of our bad press, but because of the our achievements. By the way the ‘welcome” you get when you state your country of origin is probably down to that westerner masking his ignorance of not being able to place it on a map at all.

      The point made in this blog post is about the good points of Nigeria which you have obviously overlooked because like the media you have chosen to focus on the same incidents of Nigeria’s perceived singular corruption (like it does not exist in your very own country, only nobody cares there because the rest of the world has nothing to gain from it either way)

      If you say that by virtue of our population size we should have more educated and professionals then I guess that means by virtue of this same population we should also have that many more criminals than you. Its maths… do it. To say every country in the world has been crooked by a Nigerian is indeed fresh and irresponsible of you. For every crook in another country I assure you there are 20 doctors and various other professionals there at the top of their game and continuing to rise to the top. But of course those ones will never be acknowledged by westerners and other “threatened” African nations like yourself.

      I was in Tanzania a few years ago and at the time they had started a budding porn industry out there and had the audacity to blame it on Nigerians. Yes we make pretty scape goats! Armed robbery in Gambia… blamed on Nigerians. Oh and I hear in Uganda they are skeptical about doing business with Nigerians strictly because of Nollywood depictions of Nigerians. Forget the fact they love Nollywood and are addicted to it… but obviously have not the intelligence to separate reality from fiction in that very child-like way.

      Your comment that because of its oil production and various resources Nigeria should have surpassed any other African nation is baseless. The most prosperous countries in this world have hardly any natural resources at all. Instead they are the ones who have been pilfering those from others for centuries. Malaysia is a prosperous country with NO resources. The issue isnt how much you have, but the level of good governance that you have. We readily admit we have suffered years of bad governance… but then I guess so can your country. When you can show me how prosperous your country (assuming it isnt one of those with a consistent appetite for genocide and famine(pun intended)- which is how the west represents the eastern part of Africa by the way) has gotten… resources or no resources; or how your government has provided perfectly for its nationals; or that you have had no history of corruption, violence and still collect handouts from the west… I will give you a soapbox to stand on specifically for the point of berating Nigeria. Until then, I suggest you recognize there is a general African problem with good governance and various other issues.

      The point is almost every westerner I have met in the west (not to speak of sprinklings of Africans too) has either been to Nigeria or knows someone who has been there for work or to live. If it was seriously the rot you make it out to be please answer me this question…. Whats the attraction and more importantly what has attracted you to a blog post about Nigeria given how much disdain with which you view it??? I certainly dont spend time on Kenya.com, Ghanaiansdoitbetter.org or a KKK website for that matter!

      An even better 2010 to you yet!
      I pray for the peace and understanding of the Holy Spirit over all African nations and for less finger pointing and hating in the new year… after all once upon a time we werent even separated by western created borders at all and we prospered.

    • eya says:

      thank you, well said, i am nigerian, always proud, i will teach me kids not to do the things that i am compliaining about and hope that the future will change with them cos right now its getting a bit late for us.

  57. Anonymous says:

    before y’all start spitting venom at each other, the article didn’t say nigeria doesn’t have its problems. It just simply states that its not all bad as you’d like to think, there’s still some good left.

  58. Jay says:

    Please tell them. Before we start to look like warriors on this blog.

  59. zenith says:

    This is a really touching piece. I love it. Nigeria will surely get there, not minding all this unfortunate distractions.

  60. Reality says:

    As much as I agree with this article I still think that it is a failure to be upset with the Westernized media. You cannot ignore the West, for it is the West that most Nigerians flock to for the hopes of a better life. Also when has it ever been that the West has not stereotyped other nations.

    Terrorists have always been depicted as being Eastern European or Middle Eastern from the smallest to the biggest of Hollywood films time and time again. In fact you cannot even compare the frequency of this occurrence to the frequency of the mentioning of Nigerians in Hollywood.

    Look the reality is the West owns the media in fact they own everything. You cannot be upset because it is this same West that your own brothers and sisters flock to, including me, for a better education, life, opportunities, etc. It sucks that this is the case but that is just what it is the case.

    Nigeria is a corrupt country, America is a corrupt country, England is a corrupt country. The difference is America has CNN, England has the BBC, and Nigeria has…(nothing) At the end of the day, it is not until we get our ish together and stop channeling anger to the West can we get our own internationally recognized media. Then we can then tell a story that others will care about and will be a true reflection of who we in fact are. Nollywood won’t get the job done.

    PS: There are some serious Nigerian criminals operating in South Africa and people know of them. I don’t find it surprising that we were depicted the way we were. If people come into my backyard and act a fool, I will not be portraying them in a good light rather a bad one. South Africa still deals with a lot of racism and I think District 9 attempted to display this, it is just sad they decided to kick us by including us as savages.

    Nigerians how I wish there were a reset button!

  61. femi dahunsi says:

    ‘Just because there are so many fake dollars in the market doesn’t stop everyone from getting a hold of a few thousand of those’I’m just saying we forget the good when a small ray of bad shows up.We forget to quick the Emegwalis,Wole Soyinka,Chiwetele Ejiofor,Sophie Okonedo,Kevin Pam,Oluchi,Jay Jay Okocha,jibunoh,Wale and list so long I can’t begin to compile for lack of space.The world hides behind loads of other people’s rubbish in the hope that the attention and spotlight shifts from them.Leave us alone!

  62. somebody says:

    gr8 write up simi. i must say this was intelligently analysed with a great sense of positivity and patriotism thanks for bringing light to certain issues. @ jennifer i think u should be a little more positive @ annabel no one is pretending we r just being hopeful our global image matters a lot and the negativities are exaggerated and over emphasized by these people, how old is Nigeria by the way to compare us with the u.s and u.k? do u know wot their economy was like wen they were 49years old? do u know wot they went thru to build the economy to the stage it is? i still believe there is a light outside the tunnel for Nigeria and it takes our generation to lead us there.
    I think we should shed some light on ETHNICITY as well, the earlier we cub it the better for us. We are all Nigerians and should treat each other alike i think that will help us a great deal especially politically.

  63. NaijaCandy says:

    great entry, thanks for sharing it.

  64. somebody says:

    jennifer i hope u read this i think u r the shallowest nigerian alive u have no intelligent contribution towards this beautiful article to exonerate urself from the list of shallow minded ones look at ur mates comments are u even a graduate.ur view is far besides the bone of contention to show u dont even know wot d article is about i doubt u r even nigerian maybe a nigerian hater.

  65. naijagirl says:

    @ Jennifer, i am very alarmed dat as a Nigerian u wuld have the effrontery to call us lazy knowing how hard Nigerian’s work to make ends meet and survive. it seems like ur one of those Nigerian that spread false news about Nigeria and I’m sure u also pretend to be Nigerian. Despite this tragic incident, i am very hopeful for Nigeria and i am proud to be Nigerian. this should serve as a wake up call to all Nigerians. GO BACK HOME AND MAKE CHANGES AND STOP WAITING FOR THE GOVERNMENT.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Jay and God bless you for writing such a wonderful article.

    It is about time we Nigerians have it in our brains that there is no where like home and We are Nigerians and home would always be home…….

    I felt ashamed when i heard that the assummed plane bomber is a Nigerian from a so called elite family that probably contibuted to ruining our economy by misusing first bank money to train a terrorist. I dont care if his father reported him or not. Afterall charity begins at home.
    When ever i put on the TV or the internet its Nigeria! Imagine the shame and harrasment we would be going through now just because of an untrained child.

    He has succeded in upgrading us from being called fraudsters and corrupt to terrorist.The worst name to call a country or an induvidual.

    Concerning the West portraying us as this and that which they are worst off,Its about time we all stand up and defend our self becuase if we dont then no one would.We are responsible for our selves.

    Lets stand up to this challenge and defend our self without no fear. I for one is becoming tired of been branded bad when i see more bad people in
    Britain,America,Germany,Italy,just name it.

    When you push a Goat to the wall it bites and we will start biting soon. The fact that some few individuals commited some crime does not make all Nigerians criminals.
    Come to think of it, South Africa has the highest criminal activities in Africa and that is nothing to worry about because there are Whites living there and the West have to protect them.

    I am tired of not wanting to introduce my self as a Nigerian abroad for fear of reproach, So let us take up the mantle of responsibilty to defend our self and our dear Nation even if its bad now. But i still believe it would come to be a the great nation it is suppose to be.

    I AM A NIGERIAN AND AM PROUD TO BE A NIGERIAN.

    L.S (Miss)

  67. Tony says:

    @ Lizzy : you sound like an illeterate, ignorant and seem to enjoy typing without any organization. Do you think the british, americans, south africans, south americans, gen europeans arent curropt. IF you want facts and names of curropt british government officails i will give you many names during MArgretth thachers time.
    Even el fayad publicly blasted the bristish pack as being money hungry(if you dont know who dat is, he owns harords)… Think b4 you speak the key point in this message is dat we are tired of the negativities, there is alot positive about us Nigerians…
    Leave me ur mail address if you want a long list of curroupt foriegn officaials that were swept under the rug. and clips of how the media highlighted the key message inherent.
    Moro

    • Segun says:

      For someone accusing another of being “illiterate” (i had to spell that right for you), “ignorant” and “typing without organisation”, your post is, to put it nicely, laughable. Please spell-check your typing before posting so that you don’t ridicule yourself next time. Especially as the person you were attempting to insult made some very valid points.

    • Lizzie says:

      Thank you Segun for pointing out the obvious! I will not bring myself to the level of someone who cannot offer constructive criticism without insulting. But more importantly, this is a blog and not a formal forum for response. No one is getting graded!!!

      So in response to your comments (which have nothing to do with what I wrote because I never claimed any one country was not corrupt): I don’t need you to send me any examples of corrupt British, American and otherwise officials. I’m very aware of world affairs. The subject at hand is your beloved country. Everyone knows everyone in the West is corrupt, but everyone in the West at least makes it seem like their people are taken care of and have opportunities. Africans do not!

      When I said Nigeria should ‘pick on a country its own size,’ I was referring to the commenter who pointed out that 18 million students are in school in Nigeria. That’s still quite small for a country of 150 million. And it makes no sense to compare yourself to a country of approximately 40 million! You dam well better have more students in school, that’s just common sense.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Thank u for writing this..you will live long

  69. Chudi says:

    I am a very proud AFRICAN, I have studied in the U.S. and i have returned home to add value to my continent. Despite the hard challenges, tough business environment, poor electricity; i have been successful in owning a business that employs Nigerians and Ghanaians. It’s not easy!

    I must say that I am touched at the brave attempt by the young author in pointing out the positive attributes of Nigeria. I often wonder why Nigeria is perceived to have a bad image. However, with reference to the article, my only conclusion rests on “PERCEPTION”.

    I believe that the writer is trying to explain that “PERCEPTION” can be created and altered to suit whatever purpose with the aid of a MEDIUM. Hence the MEDIA!!

    The biggest “MEDIA” company in the world is “TIME WARNER” (An American company). They own Warner brothers (Movie production), Time Warner Cable (distribution company), Time (News magazine), Cable News Network (CNN) and several other “MEDIUMS”.

    The above named companies rely on increased customer patronage via “ADVERTISEMENTS”. Huge profits are occasionally re-invested back into the same companies and used to feed the ever quenching appetite for market dominance.

    The big “MEDIA” companies are able to alter perception by “CONTROLLING” information to their own advantage, which in most cases equates to “DOLLARS & CENTS”. Basically increased patronage is fueled by anything that will create a buzz!

    Does Hollywood really care about the depiction of “Indian Poverty” in the movie slumdog millionaire? After all it did win over 6 grammy awards! The answer is an emphatic NO!

    With due respect Lizzie and Anable, we are all guilty of buying into western media and thus creating a false sense of living. Until we can “CONTROL” our “PERCEPTIONS” by owning or buying into “MEDIA” that can sell “OUR AFRICAN STORY”, we will always continue to have our “PERCEPTIONS BRAINWASHED by outside forces”.

    I am happy that no matter what, NOLLYWOOD is our story and we need more authors and Jay is one of them. Let’s not forget the great work of Nduka Obaigbena, Fred Amata, Obi Asika and several others, that are eager to “CONTROL OUR AFRICAN PERCEPTION”.

    Therefore Lizzie, do not be ashamed of knowing NIGERIA. Remember the story in the bible of the prodigal son. One day, nations will bow at our feet.

  70. AfX says:

    In all sincerity, let all nigerians look at the big picture and tell themselves the truth. Let’s all stop displaying our stupidity and ignorance. We can question the bad press all day and all year long and tell the world how things r not so bad even when nothing is right, deep in our hearts, we all know that if we join hands and work hard with all sincerity of purpose and choose to do the right things, we can become the greatest nation on this planet.

    We have all the resources we need, from countless and I mean “countless” natural and mineral resources, intelligent and smart people (who choose to do all the wrong stuff) located on the part of the world with little or no natural disasters (earth quakes, tornados etc) we have everything it takes to become a world leader. We have only chosen to be lazy and engage the west in this media frenzy which, in my opinion is foolhardy as we do not have any bragging rights rather we are being misled by staying busy comparing our “non-achievements” to the greatness of focused countries and think we have come of age. We do not even have enuf energy to power one industrial county in America, and we think we have come of age.

    I will not be caught up in the ignorance of my peers (youths) who are in a foreign land and still have the effrontery to make commennts for a failed state like ours. No foreigner will come and build your land. They are only interested in what they can take out.

    Every country has its own crime and negative vices but a country that has everything and by the foolishness of the people who allow the kind of rulers that impoverish them to continue to rule, is a crime against humanity and a crime against our generations to come which is what is being played out in Abdukmutallab the terrorist.

    Take a cue from China, a country known in the 80’s / 90’s for everything substandard, has all of a sudden turned everything around through hard work, dedication and focus to become an economic threat to the U.S, the U.K and the rest of the world. Sit back and reflect and think how did they get there? The only functional companies in the real sector in Nigeria are controlled by the Chinese, Indian etc. I’m sure u’all know the importance of the real sector to the development of any nation. How can these people work so hard and acheive so much in this country where the average nigerian has given up hope and all they think about is fraud, kidnapping, stealing, a way to leave the country etc. It is mind boggling that even our own president has to leave the country to get adequate medical attention.

    It is sad that someone would come out to mention that we are just 50 years old. I hope he remembers what they say about a fool @ forty???

    If we are only 50 then I wonder at Dubai!!!

    I could go on and on about everything wrong with our one and only 9ja but when I ask myself, what have I contributed in my own little way? The answer is nothing and I challenge each and every one to do a soul search and answer the same question genuinely and if your answer is like mine, the let’s all shut the f**k up and bend our sinews to the task. That is the only forward for this country, quit the d**k (excuse my french) measuring contest and start to work. No one is goin to fixit it if we don’t. Take a cue from China, they just do what they have to do and don’t even talk about it. You don’t see or hear them brag about what they even have, when my dear friend is talking about high calibre automobiles that we don’t even know how they work. Stuff we buy to show off at the expense of people’s lives.

    We can go on and on about the 0.00001% fraction of Nigerians who can manage to steal and pay for these show off vehicles and end up years later broke cos they managed to lay their hands on a bank loan or a “mugu” as greedy as they are.

    Please, let nigerians show the world how smart they are by just shutting up and building their country from the rut and decay which stinks so hard even planet mars cannot stand it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, u took the word outta my mouth. “What have I done 4 Nigeria?” nothing. Sad sad sad.

    • OAT says:

      Afx, you just took the words out of my mouth and spoke my thoughts. We nigerians need to sit down, dig in, work hard and the world will come to respect us when we have built a reputation from hardwork, diligence, honesty and dedication.
      Dubai did not go on a rebranding campaign, China did not need to tell US or the UK – come see us!!.
      When we depart from the get-rich-quick mentality and decide to invest in Nigeria truthfully, then and only then will true greatness come to our country. We cannot buy such.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Jay, you mean well and I say more grace. But I think Nigerians need to be a bit more humble… our reputation is NOT that interesting. In the USA,UK and where have you, they are not given to producing millionaires overnight unlike my people.
    There, people are expected to work their way upwards.
    At 50 ignorance is very dangerous and expensive my dear people oh! But they can remain ignorant if they wish, they should just stop spread the disease as all our doctors have all ran abroad to cleans toilets. This is a call for change. That is the only way to redeem the good name 9ja and its people.
    WORD!

    God bless 9ja. Amen!

  72. Timothy says:

    Proudly naija, naija for life, let d country without corruption, vices and all other form of stupid acts casts d first stone on my dear beloved country. Anyone that know nigeria well will know that we r nt terrorist. We smile in d misdt of hardship, we dnt commit suicide cos of set backs. Watever d rubbish d media wants so say, let dem keep sayin. All I know is nigeria will survive. It was a good thing d father of that idiotic boy reported his son to the embassy when he noticed him actin funny. He could not have been in nigeria and developed that attitude. For all I care, the western world can go to hell and leave my beloved country alone

  73. Nnenna says:

    Finally a good, non biased dissection of our strengths and truimphs as a country.
    nice one

  74. Question says:

    If Nigeria is all that you guys say it is… then why come to America? Why not just live your life in Nigeria. Being a black American, I always feel that Nigerians have a very “uppity” attitude towards black Americans… why? If you guys are so much better… GO BACK TO AFRICA!

    • Jay says:

      African American is no identity. Didn’t Malcolm X teach you anything?

    • Bo says:

      Question… the mind boggles really. I just don’t understand it! Oh but I guess they won’t “GO BACK TO AFRICA” for the same reason you appear to dislike the general spirit of this blog post yet have somehow decided not only to make one comment (because that wasnt a real question you asked but a rhetorical one), but to continuously return to make more comments to your replies.

      I guess if you could answer the question why you keep returning to comment since you “appear” to dislike the post and subsequent comments you will have the answer to your “question”.

      I don’t expect the average American to appreciate the joys of traveling and enjoying different cultures whilst still loving your own… since most choose not to enjoy this experience (either out of ignorance, arrogance or just plain poverty) as after all your ex-president didn’t really leave the Americas until he in fact became president despite a clear ability and resources to. Hence his general lack of understanding and ignorance of basic world information.

      By the way if in fact you do feel Nigerians behave “uppity’ (curious choice of word by a Black American which I shall address later) towards Black Americans (I put a capital on the “B” as well as I find race equally as important as nationality) why should that mean they should leave America and return to Africa? That is tantamount to saying all non-aryan races should leave America because the Ku Klux Klan feel uncomfortable with their presence. Or all remaining Jews in Germany should leave and return to Israel because the Neo Nazis there still feel they are “uppity”.

      Now back to your use of the word “uppity”- famously used in that great Sidney Poitier film “In the Heat of the Night” by Rod Steiger’s character when he referred to him as an “uppity n****” before or after slapping him after which Poitiers character gave him the sweetest, fastest, double-quick slap back. A term generally used back then to refer to black people post-abolition who they felt were acting above their station… as if as free men (or indeed even enslaved ones) they had a station. It highlighted Steiger’s character’s insecurity that this “less than heathen” challenged his opinions and did not act subordinate. I challenge that your use of that word “uppity” carries that same insecurity with it.

      I’m not saying Nigerians can’t be arrogant as can a lot of other nationals. However I have come across a lot of arrogant people in my lifetime and it usually rolls like water off my very duck-like back! Mainly because I don’t “feel” they are any better than me, even though in their head they might feel they are, I just don’t see why I have to let what is in their head seep like osmosis into my blessed head?

      On a different note… Nigerians do have a lot of bad press and not just from Western media. But a lot of Africans also don’t appreciate Nigerians’ apparent arrogance. Here is where I feel the average American is similar to the average Nigerian. They both speak like their country is God’s very own hometown! Americans call this national pride and confidence of which they are indeed very proud. However with Nigerians it is apparently “uppity” and extremely “arrogant” of us.

      Nigeria may not have a lot of accolades within its borders or even a good reputation beyond. However neither does the United States from where I am “sitting”, not only does it have the stain of slavery deeply embedded in its history, but also the now apparent “audacity” of blatantly selfish foreign policies that have been and still are detrimental to a lot of innocent bystanders- all beautifully masked in this fairytale of bringing freedom and democracy to the rest of the world!

      Name me any of the “bad press” tags that Nigeria is guilty of that the great United States of America is not guilty of?
      Corruption? Cheney/Halliburton Fraud? Madoff, Enron and of course our latest… Terrorism? Timothy McVeigh the Oklahoma Bomber. Getting rich quick? Cheney/Iraq war/Enron/Madoff/a few banks and their bonus practices come to mind (a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… and all that)

      And I do say that the same mistake America made my focusing on countries (Afghanistan et al) when it comes to terrorism as opposed to actual terrorist cells existing anywhere on the globe is what they continue to repeat as in the case of Nigeria based on the case of one attempt. Terrorists exist everywhere- within and without!

      So Nigeria has been put on a terrorist watch list? So we have a lot of bad press (somewhat exxagerated, but bad nonetheless)?

      SO WHAT? If I’m asked for a search in order to get into a country (even my own) I will oblige without a grudge(so long as no cavities or human rights are violated ;)). Either that or I can stay put. I’m not guilty of any of the above and have nothing to hide (but my virtue) so in the great words of Catherine Tate…. “Am I bovered?”

      p.s. I must stress that I say all this not believing at all in misplaced nationalism in all its ramifications. I count myself as a member of the human race foremost!

  75. abimbola says:

    great job! well said!
    i love my country. don’t care what anyone says or does!!!
    that’s why i’ll ALWAYS carry my green passport – no matter what. f–k all the other blue/red/burgundy/et al passports. one day, everyone will scramble for the GREEN!!!

  76. Chudi says:

    Hey Question, did you graduate? If you did then take a trip down to Nigeria or any African country of your choice. I am sure your views won’t be that biased.

  77. Mr sick of 9ja says:

    That is the problem with Nigerians, everyone wants to drive BIG cars and live in BIG houses but they don’t want to work hard for the money, if they are not yahooing, they are busy stealing peoples ATM pins.

    Na who do una? Call them to come show off and talk BIG, you will see them, I am going to tell you guys the truth, like it or not we are a lazy, self-centred, greedy and corrupt set, open your eyes and look around you, Ghana that you guys use to laugh at is far ahead… when are we ever going to met up with the rest of the world?

    Even the so called bank and telecommunication jobs, how DO “some people” get those jobs? Through connections, you must know someone or truly have God on yourself to have a good job.

    The girls sleep with men for money and the boys kill their mothers for money, abeg make una let ma pakin hear word for una matter, no be today!

    Even if they show Ikoyi and VI on CNN, BBC, Sky news, NTA, NPP, PDP, LOL, ZZO,or HELL… from now till the end of the world, this people are bent on self destruction, they need prayers. We should be happy that they even mention us in their movies… if we don’t like the so called bad names, then its time for a REVAMP.

    Some of you writing things here have not been to Nigerian for a long time, things have taken a turn for the worst and your running away isn’t helping matters, it’s the likes of you who come back with rotten characters and feed the locals with your so called “HIP” mentality and the fools think you cool…next thing they are looking for a way out too, so shut the fuck up if you have nothing to say.

    Let us like the rest of the world tell our people that hard work never kills, instead it pays.

    A good name is better than gold, jet, long cars, long legs or money, if not why are we here?

    • Anonymous says:

      About the only getting jobs with connections, trust me it’s the same everywhere. Ask about the UN system for instance.

  78. mswoo says:

    Fvcking brilliant! OK, off to share on facebook and twotter!

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  80. Anonymous says:

    @ Mr Question: YOu call urself African American, Ur a typical definition of a confused Soul. Ur not white nor black, what are you….. Better wake up and go read about ur roots (type in roots in google and watch ur forefathers Kunta kinte) dats if malcome X and Martin Luther King, are too deep for ur confused ass…. Ignoramus

    • Question says:

      Actually I never said African American, I used black American… Secondly I’m very familiar with my history. I’m just talking about what I see on a day to day basis. Most born and raised black Americans would agree with me. Majority of you guys that read this post of probably Nigerians, so of coarse you will probably be offended. That’s not my purpose I’m just asking a question. If Nigeria is so great, why live in America? I know many Nigerians who claim they are royalty in Nigeria, so why not live there? I know I would.

      • Jay says:

        Let us refrain from being stupid now. There’s too many Americans living around the world and in Nigeria to be asking these funny questions. People just live in different places and sometimes they move back. Simple as that.

      • Laniece says:

        I actually agree with Mr. Questions points. I must know some of the same people he knows.

    • Reality says:

      shame anonymous im sure u r nigerian…Question is just asking a question. He has a valid point and ur reaction to his question further proves his point. ur tone is quite abusive as though you know more or are intellectually superior, which i doubt is the case, than question. Just relax and understand where question is coming from and as a Nigerian, we do act like we are the greatest ish on earth which is easily debatable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Question, since we are dealing with generalizations and stereotypes, perhaps the reason Nigerians and indeed many Africans look down on black Americans is that they are uneducated and unaware, are responsible for most of the crime in America and are lazy and would rather depend on welfare handouts than go out and make an honest living. That doesn’t read right does it? But believe it or not, that is how black Americans are portrayed by media and I would think that you of all people would understand the dangers of stereotyping.

  81. Ola says:

    This is good!

  82. Daniel says:

    I agree with “Reality,” there’s no reason to take such offense like that. “Question” was simply stating what seems to be more of an everyday occurrence among Nigerians. I too have noticed how black Americans are being treated by Nigerians. There is a certain better-then-thou attitude towards them. Why do you think that is?

  83. Damy says:

    I loved it…Wish everyone could read this! maybe all this ignorant people i have to defend Nigeria to on a constant basis can finally backoff! So putting it up on my #fb n twitter too.

  84. fischer says:

    To Mr Question,
    I dont think there is any race like Black American, you have to be white or black, and if you are black you are def African. Go trace your roots or maybe you are Jamaican, go sell some marijuana

    • Reality says:

      @ fischcer, So Asian Americans are white? is there no distinction? You are really making a lot of sense right now…not. Your desire to appear smarter is making you seem ignorant!

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  86. Bmore! says:

    I think this guy got some info! u should develop ur website and make it a biggy.I will wake up everyday 2 see what u have for the day. U got facts…have seen all the movies and the commercials..its really sad to see how things are going.I can’t even say im Nigerian sometimes when i visit places……I just say Im African. Not my fault, but i gotta hide the dirty identity.Imagine a 23 yrs bastard tryna bomb the plane in Detroit.This fucking nigga got everything in life..Money, one of the best school in the world,n shit..yet tryna blow off heads.Nigerian is know for all kinds of stuffs..Terrorism,fraud,corruption……how da fuck on earth would i claim that nation? someone tell me…….yahoo!! yahoo !!!or whoo!! whoo1! is everywhere in da nations.. imagine a 16 yrs old boy telling me he will change all ma dollars in naira…all because of the internet fraud…….N I G E R I A GA JA GA JA

  87. Tolu says:

    This is god material…Jay

    @ Annabel not to criticize you, but this is an excerpt from your post
    “Even America and Britain we all like to point fingers and say ‘Oh but they are corrupt too’ at least they make accommodations for their people.”

    I have seen people in San Francisco California eat from trash….yes eat from trash……it is left for our generation to decide which route we want to take;continue to live with this tainted image or make Nigeria better and send a different message to the rest of the world.

    I urge everyone who has read Jay’s article to think of positive ways you as an individual can contribute to make Nigeria a better place.

    • Annabel says:

      Erm Tolu..No country in the world doesnt have homeless or people who eat from trash…I dont know if you saw that in a movie and was surprised. Point is there is a welfare system for these people.
      However no country, not even America can sort out every single homeless person.

  88. Chyke says:

    Articles like this give the impression that some people have it in for Nigeria and Nigerians, but to be quite honest just a few hundreds will care if we seized to exist tomorrow. So rather than dwell on the victim mentality shown here, why don’t we take full responsibility FOR ONCE!!!!

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  90. kemi sawyer says:

    To the author, nice piece. Very succint, really got the point across. I had some other things I wanted to express but I have done so ina reply to someone else’s comment. I just wanted to mention that in Avatar, they also mentioned Venezelua.

    But really, I’d rather these movies just not mention us instead of saying the things they do. Like Oprah mentioning our movie industry on her show and showing all those ugly Nollywood posters. I cringed.

  91. Michael Adu says:

    Very well articulated….lets keep our heads ups and continue to highlight the positives of our beautiful country

  92. Tim says:

    Really nice article. But I kinda agree wiv Annabel we shld try to clean up our acts, especially our leaders! But I cannot agree more wiv Jay that Nigerians are not terrorists!
    Abdul-fucking-Muttallab is not a terrorist ‘coz he’s Nigerian.
    He’s a terrorist ‘coz he has a messed up ideology!

  93. Segun says:

    Nice article. But a few things do need to be pointed out, and some people have tried to earlier.

    1. Political crooks may represent 0.01% of the Nigerian population, but their effects on the treasury, the economy, and the quality of life of the general populace (fuel and power problems, unattended infrastructure, poor quality education, to mention just a few points) is far-reaching. It IS a big problem in this country which needs to be addressed, whether we like it or not.

    2. Corruption is not limited to the politicos. At all. While like you rightly said, we do not condone practices like terrorism, Nigerians to very large proportions DO participate in, and condone corrupt and criminal practices in its different forms. We see it as being “smart”, “sharp” or “resourceful”, and we celebrate it as “being truly Nigerian”. All you need to do is take a look at the general mentality and behavior of most of today’s Nigerian youth, and you will get your proof. Charity begins at home abi? After all, the song with the chorus of “Maga don pay, shout halleluyah” is a hit and is played endlessly at parties to no one’s offence. Moreover, I don’t ever see anyone rally against Dele Momodu’s “Ovation” magazine, which mostly celebrates people that have looted this country blind. No. We buy it to see the richest people in the land in their needlessly extravagant d*ck-measuring endevours. And it is internationally circulated. There really is no need pleading for the rich minority of the country to be shown to the whole world. “Ovation” is doing just that. All you need to do is promote it.

    3. The rich minority in this country consist mostly of crooked politicians and their relatives, crooked businessmen and their relatives who benefited from the crooked politicians (and also collected crookedly-arranged loans to the ruin of banks), bankers living on other people’s money in the form of loans (Sanusi has exposed the true nature of most “big” banks, and they are currently increasing the unemployed population by laying off staff) and telecomms staff (whose employers make their money by charging some of the highest communication rates in the world while providing service unacceptable in most countries). Are these the people Hollywood should be showing the world, who thrive at the expense of majority of the population? If you go round the country like someone suggested, the only good-looking places are areas where these people barricade themselves. The other areas mostly contain people living in conditions that are atrocious by world standards. And before someone accuses me of being a bitter common man, I work for a bank myself, so I know what i’m talking about.

    4. I disagree with the profile of the scam artists you put up. A large number of them are older than you suggested, are not in school (for academics anyway) and are in cafes for a much longer periods than the “study time” you suggested. Most of them are jobless, lazy (sometimes circumstancially unfortunate) youths who want to go directly from the pit to the palace after admiring the cars and powers of one-too-many wealthy people. Why? Because they have been made to believe that Nigerian dream consists of making it rich after one elusive deal comes off. In America, it’s hard work.

    5. Before we compare crime rates, we should remember that a whole lot of crime committed in this country goes unreported, unrecorded, uninvestigated or uncelebrated mostly because of our inept police and poor record-keeping. There are probably very many serial killers out there; the fact that our police are either too lazy, inequipped or unintelligent to piece it together doesn’t change that.

    6. Most of all, I love the China example someone put up earlier. Over time, China has been viewed and portrayed as a restrictive communist nation of weak, stupid, cheap, counterfeiting people, who know little more than martial arts and superstitions. But they just quietly kept at their jobs to grow their nation and all of a sudden today they are recognized economic and political superpowers that all countries want to associate with. Because they knew that talk is cheap, and actions carry much more weight. It basically sums up everything I’m trying to say – there are valid reasons why the world views us the way we are, and no amount of counter-propaganda, blogs, opinions, boycotts, demands for apologies, advertisements or righteous indignation will change it until we deal with the issues. When we do, perceptions WILL change. Of course, we can choose to continue to downplay the facts, and in the words of Fela, suffer and smile until we find the means to migrate to the same countries we complain treat us with prejudice.

    • Jay says:

      @ Segun. The reason why this post has had over 3000 views in 24 hrs is NOT because it is filled with hard cold facts but because it was mildly entertaining with a decent message in it. If I wanted a document based on real facts I could have copied and pasted http://www.google.com. Everything here instead just came from my head in a short span of 20 mins and it was fun to write. Please understand.

      • Segun says:

        Of course I DO understand that; I’m just trying to balance the views a little with a few sobering nuggets of truth because some people just tend to swallow everything they read and jump on bandwagons so long as they are what they want to hear, without bothering to properly analyse the situation. What I wrote was from my head also in a matter of minutes, and I just wanted to get people thinking a little. I must admit I admire (perhaps even envy) your blogging – I have a blog myself (www.myhydeside.blogspot.com), but haven’t edited it in a while, and i give kudos to someone who can do it regularly like you. I certainly hope to devote more time to mine too in 2010.

        And I really, REALLY don’t think we would be labelled as terrorists from now on because of the actions of a brainwashed kid…but with the manner in which he concealed the explosive, omo i fear for how airport searches go be from now on o!

        Cheers, mate.

  94. nosa says:

    Am so impress by this article we need to let the world know that nigerian’s are peaceful and lovely people. that the one’s destroying the image of nigeria are not up to 10% of the population.

    This is a masterpiece jay thanks

  95. Ogodilieze says:

    Lovely write up Jay . Please tell the moochers to chew on the fraud in america !

  96. Ogoamaka says:

    Wow this is a very good write up and am proud of being a 9ijerian

  97. anne says:

    i love this, u set them straight.

  98. Dipo says:

    this is a well written article that should make a difference in the way we Nigerians are seen by the world but the fact remains that the corrupt (as few as they may be) out-shines the good people of the country. The activities and influence of the bad eggs amongst the citizens of our (should be great) country is more prominent and visible than all the good deeds of the rest of us. there is no way the westerners will not say what they want about us, as someone wrote earlier, they have CNN and BBC what do we have (really!). do you expect NTA that can barely cover a footmatch in Abuja successfully to compete? I don’t think so. Unless the government changes and put things right we will suffer these and more from the west. Osama bin Ladin is a Saudi born terrorist but no one looks at him as one or even mention his country when referring to him and even when someone is bold enough to mention his country of birth when saying his name, it is said so briefly you forget before they finish the statement. this is because the country as a working government (not a democratic one too) and that is what matters in this world. By the way, to give the age of Nigeria as an excuse for her state is not a good argument we were better than Indonesia, UAE, and infact most asian countries in the 70s but we are way behind them now. A Nigerian woman I know once said that when she first visited America in 1980 without a visa, she was given so much respect when she mentioned her country and was issued a visa at the point of entry at airport in New York and she felt the Americans were inferior to her and that the people lived a generally poor life (I don’t think she feels this way anymore in 2009). People, this was when it seem our government was working

  99. ibori says:

    Hi,
    what is NTA, Hi Tv,AIT,Silverbird,etc doing with their tv stations under their ampit.All dopesi does is birthday party…as for this day news,its how to make money from public individuals…if na so CNN and BBC even new ALjazera dem dey do dey for don close now…

    Media runs global opinion…So what is the largest black country in the world doin with their arms folded and not peddling and seizing global media rights to speak on their behalf and position their view point….WARNER CNN,BBC etc will not invest their money to speak about Nigeria…..this is global OYO…on your own..
    Bad news is selling news….and bad news about the largest and most powerful black country on earth SELLS big time….if na you nko….u no go cash in haba….so lets get our acts right and reposition ourselves against these seeming coincidences…

  100. Harry says:

    I had to comment… This is an amazing post… keep on telling them…

  101. U$€N says:

    Jay, nothing to worry about a white American who was making a living once told me that the major reason issues about Nigeria is blow out of proportion is all in an attempt to keep her down for as long as possible as she is too endowed with smart people and resources and could be a major challenge to the major powers if she only gets her bearing right by just 10%. He further added that they’re worried about a gradual loss of status to China & India and in Africa the next big thing to happen could just be Nigeria.

    Why i took this with a pinch of salt was the way and manner American TV stations would go right down into the ghetto just to paint a picture of total backwardness. I Remember CNN Lagos correspondent Christian Purefoy while analyzing the impact of global melt down in Nigeria sitting in a little canoe in the most backward of a fishing settlement just off the Lagos lagoon coast line and proclaiming to the world “This is Lagos” it made me wonder if that’s where he lived in Lagos.

    My worry as well as other young Nigerians is that our Leaders (Rulers) just are not getting it. And without a positive leadership all these inherent potentials would simply just melt away. They are still busy in petty stealing to chart a cause that will make Nigeria a future world power.

  102. ella says:

    nice one and very encouraging.

  103. J Ezeonyeasi says:

    Thanks for this article Firstly I blame Nigerians if the west said you are evil corrupt fraudsters and the others, it is our duty to prove them wrong, here in England a lot of Nigerians lost their lives as a result of racial hatred, Damilola Taylor and many others, shoe bomb classified as mental case the woman that knocked the Pope down is a mental case the man that punched Italian prime minister is also a mental case does this tell you anything? before people will like you, you must love yourself first.

  104. Ola says:

    Thanx for this, and by the way You did not mention that in Nigeria, we dont have sick men and women, who rape and kill opposite sex for nothing, but from sheer madness.
    it is rampant In Uk, Europe and US.

    Yet this so cold westernized people go about slaggin off Nigeria.

    • dona says:

      u dont have sick people doing this cos for u it is something natural. And the majority of people doing such crimes in the Uk, USA and Europe in general are still blacks. A fact!

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  106. Agaba says:

    Jay
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much
    Thank you very very much.
    You are on the money.

  107. Anonymous says:

    Some Americans are known to be confirmed Al-qaeda members ( http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,219861,00.htm), an American was recently convicted of murder in Italy, but the world is not seeing Americans as Terrorists or murderers, but they are all too eager to generalize the stupid act of one #^@!!! “<!! as the character of all Nigerians. Afterall we're blacks.

  108. Kunle-d-beloved says:

    This write-up is comforting.
    Some Americans are known to be confirmed Al-qaeda members ( http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,219861,00.htm), an American was recently convicted of murder in Italy, but the world is not seeing Americans as Terrorists or murderers, but they are all too eager to generalize the stupid act of one #^@!!! “<!! as the character of all Nigerians. Afterall we're blacks.

  109. Tunde says:

    I took my time to read the article and all the comments made about the post itself… I’m glad about all that I’ve read and I thank Jay for the post and every other persons that have contributed at least a character to it. It is noteworthy that Nigeria’s image is poor (and possibly getting poorer) but things can still be done. Everybody is as bad as they are good but let’s allow the good side to prevail. I hate to point accusing fingers to anyone or country cos our fate is in each and everyone’s hands. What Nigeria becomes is what Nigerians make it to be and that is what Nigeria and Nigerians enjoy. Little things matter; men does not stumble on mountains but on little stones, things we consider minute and insignificant may be a whole lot of trouble in real life issues. We should try and be practical other than being theoretical.

    1. Lets take note of the bad sides that everyone has talked about and correct them. we will continue to fail if we fail to learn from our failures, if we fail to look beyond it, if we continue to make the mistake… it’s not what we have lost that matters but what we have left. That counts!

    2. The good sides about Nigeria and Nigerians should be maintained and with that, we are all good to go.

    A good thing is a good thing; there is no other name and so it is for a bad thing. We need to sharpen our faculties in discernment so as to heal our country of it’s illness and stench (as expressed by a friend here).

    We will be great again, we are not all lazy though but we need to channel our focus and strength into correction and getting things done in the best way. we all know what is right and wrong, the ability to do the right thing is what we should endeavor to get and use. we don’t have to sit and wait for God to heal the land while doing nothing. it’s the good thing that we are doing that God will bless and heal the land through.

    God Bless Nigeria, Nigerians, Africa and the world…
    Happy Xmas in arrears and an uplifting new year ahead.

  110. bullseye says:

    @Jay,
    why’s it snowing on your face? lol
    just kidding mehn
    beautifully said

  111. ogechi says:

    my Goodness, u r amazing i am going make people read this whether they like it or not, we Nigeriana are hardworking people despite bad leaders and we are just tired or all these trash talks about us!!!!! God bless u and well said. i wish there was a way for CNN to get this and know how we as a people really feel!!!!!

  112. Okm says:

    Good Job ! I read every single word that you all have written and it took me nearly 3 hours! Perhaps because I tried to imagine my self in the writers mind or simply because I’m somewhat a slow reader. Please stop fighting one another and don’t try to show that you know it all….it is not important now. Name calling is also not helpful now. If we are really angry about the mis-perceptions and negative stereotypes we suffer or if we are concerned about improving our country, I think we should each answer the question of: “What can I do to make Nigeria a better place?” We all know that the problems are many…ethnocentrism, corruption, scam etc. but the good news is that we are also plenty in numbers and are differentially talented. We are equal to the task of rebuilding Nigeria!Take a problem that relates to your skill or talent and proffer practical solutions that can be broken down to small measurable steps. Lets tackle the problem from skill or professional perspectives and lets have a pool of individuals in the same profession pick up one problem and attack it. It is easy to get weighed down if you try to solve all the problems at the same time. In fact, you will likely give up thinking about Nigeria if you focus on all her problems. Some groups can approach it from positives…what is good that we can make better. In a sense money is everything,but in another sense, able and willing humans ‘s all you need. I think that we shouldn’t let this beautiful spirit that Jay has inspired to die down. Lets take it seriously and get more people involved especially now that there are many blogs that are pro change. What I will do to change Nigeria in 2010. Scenerio 1. Lets assume that a group of Nigerians on this blog who have IT and computer skills decide to solve the problem of scam emails from Nigeria. They can decide to pool ideas from different sources and ultimately figure out how to reduce or even stop it. Scenerio 2. Because I am a Psychologist, I can use this medium to invite fellows who have backgrounds in Psychology, Counselling and related fields to brainstorm how to identify specific negative attitudes common in Nigeria and decipher how to at least stir up interest in bringing about change. Lets say we are concerned about morals and etiquette amongst secondary school students. Of course etiquette and morals are on a decline and so are good values. We can solicit volunteers who can either visit the schools. If the visits are difficult, we might ask for written articles or even recorded videos of their presentations. We might even suggest that each person apply the solutions to schools in his/her own village and town. Any idea can emanate from such a pool. Changing Nigeria does not include changing the country’s geographical location. It is more about changing the people’s attitude.Especially in ways that will induce positive leadership and follower-ship. I think that perhaps we have gone too far materialistic that nothing else really matters, including morals. My suggestion is that we begin to think of how to first change our attitudes and then pick 2 persons who will be our project for 2010. Attitude change is a good project to begin with and this refers to common sense issues such as: 1. Encouraging people to set good examples to others. An example can be simply to dispose of waste properly.Don’t throw waste on the street; or from a moving vehicle. It may be encouraging 2 Nigerians known to you to keep to time in all their engagements in 2010. Keeping in touch via email/phone and constantly reminding them of this will be helpful. If you can spare a gift item, send it as a reward for the new attitude. You can think of anything but do not make several demands at the same time. Think of one most important way you want your friend “to set a good example for others”. Many people tend to have a double personality and this obviously, is one of the reasons children of these days disobey their parents..they know their parents preach water but drink wine. 2. Greed and an unusual quest for wealth is a misleading value system in our nation. I think it has gotten to psycho-pathological level. Jokingly, I described a fellow with an irresistible avarice as having Obsessive Compulsive Greed for Money. And this is true of many who seek to have more and more money so they can show this or that person; or so people will know that they have arrived! Many of those who have “arrived” will buy expensive cars and live in a rented apartment; buy 2-6 mobile phones; have girl friends in each state of the federation; appear on ovation even if it is to show their dog’s birthday; park their cars in the middle of the road while making phone calls. To be honest, this is not a good way of life. As a change agent, one can teach youths with such tendencies that they can become respectable and famous members of society by making best results in international exams like SAT; or by being the best behaved bus conductor of the year; decent Nigerians can commit to sponsoring awards like that. When you honor hard work at any level you encourage more hard work. You can also help in discouraging greed by simply refusing to show off riches in a seductive way. Importantly, brethren in diaspora are known to give the impression that they have a lot of money. It is better to be honest and paint your true picture abroad…telling your relatives what you actually do and how that you needed to save for 12-18 months before you are able to come home. This may not be the case for most people but in a recent trip to London, I realized that the phones of my friends (that I call regularly from Naija) suddenly went off service the moment they confirmed I was in town! Apparently, some of them who gave me the impression of ‘bigger boys’ thought I was going to find them out. This is very misleading . Lets us set the example that it is better to :
    1. Be Industrious
    2.Tell the truth than to tell harmful lies. Harmful lies come from malice, envy and fear and these make people to become desperate.
    3. Fulfill your obligations and be worthy of trust
    4. Be Competent. Teach our people to aim at becoming competent in every worthwhile endeavor. As a change agent, try to notice, compliment and reward it whenever you find it.
    5. Respect and tolerate the religious beliefs of others. It is okay to express your religious beliefs, but when you seek to undermine those of others by attacking them, it causes trouble. So we also need a change of attitude here.
    6. Try to treat others as you would like to be treated.
    7. Do not crush or bring down those who have what you don’t have. Remember that you may have what they do not have. So focus on your talents and how to improve them. You cannot maximize yourself by minimizing others. The world is big enough to contain us all.

    Those in Nollywood can be advised or even pressured to do stuff around the above themes. Somehow, I know there is something you can do. Start doing it now. They used to say that a tree cannot make a forest, but I disagree because, I know it’s only a matter of time and a fruitful tree will make a forest.

    • Ore says:

      I think your comment is the most sensible I have read so far. Everybody talks about how a Nigerian as an individual should man up and take responsibilities to change the country but nobody talks about the little acts we can do to accomplish the re-branding of Nigeria as a great nation. As the saying goes, charity begins at home, and I believe the acts of one person can inspire change in a nation. We all need to discipline locally to impact globally.

  113. Dakin's says:

    This is the application of the dagger to the heart. The truth they say is bitter but I can hide but express my joy for a true Nigerian writer (Jay Lenny Levanne). I’m overwhelmed. Back here people have an ignorant mind-set that see this absurd comment as one of those things. A big thank you

    WE LOVE YOU

  114. Iko says:

    I am so blessed by this that I’m almost in tears.
    Nobody ever said it better.
    God bless u! 😥 🙂 😀

  115. Chuka Ikelionwu says:

    Your article about Nigeria was beautifully crafted and on point. Definitely put together by a sound mind, it was ALMOST flawless.
    It is true that the rest of the world has massive negativity when it comes to Nigeria. It almost seems like someone somewhere is out to bring us down any way they can.
    My country Nigeria is full of beauty in all its ramifications. It is a paradise in many ways.

    BUT, MY GUY:
    lets face it. We do have deep routed issues …….

    “ONCE you know your problems, then, you are half way to solving them”. I am afraid that this insight is lacking, and if it is present in your article it was addressed with the greatest of subtlety. WHY???

    I am very uncomfortable with your attempt to down play corruption in Nigeria. A country where truly anything goes as long as you have money in your hands. A country where known criminals escape the law in broad day light and actually go on to hold top political posts in the land. While we are definitely not terrorists and are a peaceful people (almost to the point of psychotic), it is important to remind you that corruption brought down the great Greek and roman empires of old. Pretending or lying to oneself will not help our course, we are a very CORRUPT nation, period.

    The credit system you were referring to (in your third paragraph) in your article was developed by the western civilization to try and ensure that as long as you work and are hardworking and responsible, you will enjoy a certain level of comfort for as long as you live (unlike the pathetic situation in our country where hard working geniuses rot and wallow in unprecedented poverty). What percentage of Nigerians today can afford to buy a car? What percentage of Nigerians can afford to buy a BRAND NEW car? (company vehicles don’t count). You see, as long as the average or most Nigerians survive on less than a dollar or two a day (and this is fact- google it),…..by definition, that qualifies us as poor, poverty stricken…… whether you like it or not.

    As for the “high caliber” of automobiles on our roads (and i am not exactly sure what you meant), i don’t think you are very much into cars…. but that’s okay.

    Ask many Wealthy Nigerians today what they did to earn their money, and they will stutter till judgment day.
    The figures of true wealth (see forbes 400 etc), the Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jerry Jones, Ted Turners, the Soros, Gordon Moores, the Walton family (think Walmart), essentially do not exist in our country. Therefore, their economic inputs to their nation is lacking in ours….. what we have in large measures are daft politicians and their children and their accomplices who steal and for the most part can’t even invest the loot meaningfully……and these are the people many young Nigerians look up to today…. ‘hey, if he can “hammer/ hit” and make this much, and then get a away with it, so can i’………… and by the way may i remind you that crime is crime… irrespective of motive and reasons, a thief is a thief (in response to your fact 5), no excuses and there is nothing life a make shift criminal, and while many Nigerians are hard working, many will enrich themselves illegally should the opportunity present itself especially if they are not likely to get caught.

    There are crimes everywhere in the world, in fact, Nigeria is probably no where near the crazy types and crime frequency of many more advanced civilizations. What amplifies our criminal status however, is the fact that we do not have a reliable police force……. There are men and women in the police force who have the purest intentions, but how do you pay and train someone so poorly and expect him to protect you from bullets should the need arise?

    Look at the way we live in our houses, with high fences topped with broken bottles, barbed wires (sometimes electrified), German Shepherd dogs, and usually security men….. this is security that you see only in top secret research locations, the Pentagon and penitentiaries in more advanced countries…… well, WHATS UP with that?

    Have you ever gone into a Nigerian police station to report a problem? God help you. What percentage of robberies and assassination mysteries are actually solved in our country? When armed robbers are caught it is usually by accident and they are now forced to confess to previous crimes – often under duress….

    Now, let me bring your attention to fact 14…. we the people of Nigeria are not “deeply religious”. I am not certain in what context you meant this but i hope you were being at least a little sarcastic. It sounds nice to say but it is total nonsense. Evil and good are not synergistic entities they are antagonistic and therefore one cannot truly rein with the existence of the other….. Our people are seemingly religious today because times are hard, and they are helpless, there is nowhere else to turn to.

    You are quick to point out that we are the 7th largest oil producing country in the world…..so what? How has it affected the lives of the common Nigerian. Incessant fuel queues at petrol stations, poor/ no electricity (and it is getting was as we approach 2010), lack of clean portable water, treacherous roads, constant long strikes in our educational system (and in case you do not know, this is a Nigerian phenomenon for the most part).
    Today, we have one of the worst health care systems in the world, one of the worst maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the world (these are basic national development indicators). Diseases that have been eradicated in most parts of the world are still killing and affecting people here with impunity.

    We have everything, but it only makes our case more embarrassing and sad. Why should people compare us with China and India. These nations have nothing…..except a vast population (aka manpower) and guess what, so do we. Combined, they do not have half the natural resources we have been blessed with yet look at them…… they have left us behind.

    While there is nothing wrong with trying to correct the undue negative image we have suffered and are still suffering let us remember that the world is watching….and as we can see, they are less likely or willing to sugar coat our plight………

    • uknowme says:

      spoken like a guy who’s lost faith in his country.
      its very easy for you to sit in another man’s country- one he stayed to help fix- and castigate your fatherland.
      like it or not you are a Nigerian. We do have our faults, they could be unhealthy or gruesome but we are a blessed nation. We will pull through.
      You could get your ass back home and help fix it or…….. because the people you love the most are at home, the weather loves you- even when we think its bad, you’re not scared of the women- hell the one you love is back here.
      whats it gonna be……….
      sit in another mans’ land and condone their slander or fix yours so that you can leave them alone with their woes……….?

    • Ore says:

      Your comment makes a lot of sense and I understand where you are coming from but Jay is only trying to point out the good things about Nigeria. He never wrote that Nigeria is not a corrupt country but he is only trying to dwell on the good qualities Nigeria possesses. I like that you point out Nigeria’s problems but you should not have written them as things Jay should have written in his article. You could have just pointed them out (like you did) without referring to Jay’s write up. No offense intended.

  116. anthony says:

    This is a classic thumbs up to the writer, keep the flag flying…

  117. Anonymous says:

    Ok now this story is getting rather worrisome, this story does not add up.

    who was the Asian man that was with him at Amsterdam airport?

    why didnt he have a passport?

    why did he pose as a Sudanese refugee instead of a wealthy Nigerian son?

    who was the video/movie director that fought with him on the plane?

    did he create an illusion?

    why was the FBI already there waiting for this young guy?

    who gave the go ahead for the plane to take off after an
    hour,only to be in trouble again a few hours later?

    was this youth under some Mk ultra mind control or Delta programming on Delta Airways ?

    what happened in Amsterdam?, what discussion went on in the room btw him (the bomber) his Asian accomplice and the supervisor b4 he was let on?

    so many unanswered questions

  118. obieobi says:

    i have read ur blog and found it to make a lot of sense. you pointed out that a lot of the accusations westerners have made against us is as a result of the image those of us that have lived among or interacted with this people have potrayed. well, there you have it, most Nigerians abroad are very unpatrotic in their lifestyles, they adopt all d bad and stupid things the west does and magnify it ten-fold.
    the west is out to destroy us(blacks and Nigerians) because they see us growing at a geometric rate in terms of population and wealth and very soon they know that they would no longer be able to influence us once we discover who we are as a race and a people.
    our efforts should be directed at sensitizing our people,home and abroad about the power of their identity and embracing it.
    i’m afraid i can say no more 4 now or i’m afraid i would not stop.

  119. Airee says:

    The important thing here is that Nigerians are having a national discussion about her present state and the future. As a Nigerian I honestly believe that is our biggest problem, we are constantly in denial and use ethnic differences to excuse certain actions and inactions when at the end of the day we are all painted with the same broad stroke. It is time we wake up and call out the western media for the scandalous impression people have of Nigerians, it is hardly brandished in the news that Osama bin Laden is a citizen of Saudi Arabia but there is no news outlet that didn’t headline this as another Nigerian problem.

  120. lola samuel says:

    Very well said JAY’You took it right out of my mouth. Imagine these pple saying we live on under 1 dollar per day..Gosh! I jus wanted to cry;I know we’re not a “VERY” rich nation but we’ve got d best brains and pple wit full potentials dt can make d world Tick. We do not in anyway condone wat FAROUK has done coz we’re a nation of peace loving people.Lastly,For d records,move ur bloody cameras elsewhere and stop showin the shanties nd ghettos that obviously nd realistically exists in every nation.
    GOooOOODD JOB Sim!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Hey jay, nice write up.. Annabel, I wish I could add ur comment to jay’s; twud give the whole write up a more objective look (though both stats r not quite factual). Twas a good read, I only hope all youths of 9ja can join different positive groups at diff locations to re-orientate our minds constructively, these curroption thing is a serious virus which is creeping to all generation of 9ja. It is worse than HIV or even d stupid terrorist wanna-be (cos I believe that’s not a 9ja problem, any muslim can fall into such brainwashing predecament if exposed to such doctrine). Let’s all move 9ja foward.. Light up 9ja!!!

    Ps: sade adu has 9ja blood (I don’t think she’ll call herself nigerian)

    • ayo says:

      We should not be mentioning religion on the matter on ground as it may leads to another worse. When we are talking about human being, its everybody and when we are talking about Nigeria, it is we. The guy we are talking about is a Nigerian but he has been residing outside the country for a long time. On my own perspective, I think we should re-brand our image from our country. Many people claimed they really love this nation.
      If Nigerian is that good, why do people queue in embassy? People have made abroad a promise land and we love Nigeria? Those that have a say are those that have achieved but no matter what, Nigeria is still the same. we supposed to say something good about our country and ensure we act on them.
      We have forgotten the issue of Niger-Delta Militants, we have forgotten the kidnapping acts, we have forgotten how our leaders disgrace us outside the country. Remember the case of an ex governor that disguise like a woman to escape from detention. All those things have added to our rotten image.

      It is the way some of us are living our life that put us on this mess. Our leader are corrupt; they get away with public fund. Some people are above the law in Nigeria. Our Elections are full of violence. Why? I don’t think its because of the Nigerians but for the personal sake. All this signs are contributing onto the thoughts of our people. We are the products of the environment we are.
      Sade Adu is a Nigerian, If she is not, which tribe is she? We still have many Nigerians abroad like Nas, Chamillinaire etc. Those people should not be considered as a Nigerian because they are not there to represent us.
      It is not too late for us. When a country lack justice what do you expect from the citizens? These are the outcome of the games we are playing within. Nigeria is our country. We must make our impact to better the life of the next generations. The name can only be rebuild by merit.

  122. Anonymous says:

    We would survive We are survivals.Thanks for the article

  123. iphie says:

    Your article bring tears. Im glad we are thinking. Again thank you. You have done well and we Nigerians believe in NIGERIA! We are good peaple!

  124. Eezee says:

    One word.. CORRECT! Any Nigerian that does not agree with this is a FOOL. Quote Me!

  125. Meg says:

    I am so proud and blessed to be a nigerian and also ecstatic that we have someone like you to say all this, i wish we could come together as a voice and go to the movie makers and tell them what we think of what they do each time they use us a point of reference in the most terrible way, meanwhile this same people go to visit our so called corrupt country and never want to go back to their so called incorrupt countries, they make me sick, i believe we shall overcome and then we will be a force to be reckoned with. NAIJA 4 LIFE.

  126. anu says:

    Very good read- the article and the comments. At least, we’re all talking (mostly constructively) and hopefully this is a precursor to effecting real change in our beloved country

    Thanks Jay

  127. Oracle says:

    Simmie,

    Great article, excellent comments, however for Nigerians some things to think about.

    I will also restrict my comments to relevant countries in the world today (i.e. countries that nobody can tell what to do).

    There is a superiority race going on in the world today and Nigeria is not in this race yet. When Nigeria joins this race things will surely change.

    The following developing countries are in the race and you can see that nobody messes with them.

    Brazil, China, India. You know why? because they can hurt those who mess with them, China supplies the world with cheap manufactured goods, India supplies the world with cheap services, Brazil supplies the world with cheap food.

    What does Nigeria produce for the world (or even Nigerians) that it can use to bargain? crude oil? Brazil produces as much or more crude oil than nigeria and doesnt export crude, they refine all of it and sell the surplus gasoline (to Nigeria) and import gasoil. brazilian cars run mainly on ethanol produced from sugarcane.

    There is a global recession so what does china do it starts investing internally and now it has the fastest commercial train service travelling 1100km in under 3 hours. who is supplying the trains a french company, how can france tell china what to do? the french companies will suffer.

    What does nigeria produce oh, what does nigeria spend money on other than primary agricultural resources. Nigeria is not in the race so Nigeria will continue to get ridiculed in movies in adverts on the news.

    Nigerians, tell your leaders to take the country into the race, nobody will tell others not mess with you.

    P.S. when Obasanjo closed the border with Benin republic the Beninoise produced the armed robber that Obasanjo wanted repatriated, Why? they started feeling the economic pinch when business ground to a halt. (the only thing wrong with this is that it was personally motivated)

  128. Paul Mayen says:

    I love u for this article,am just short of words, I just want to tell all Nigerians to be proud of our great country Nigeria, We are the best.

  129. Chuks says:

    God bless you . its amazing how for the last few days it been all negativity about naija. Thanks for lending a voice

  130. tope says:

    Very good article! I agree with you about the way nigeria is potrayed in the media,until we are portrayed better it will always be harder for us as a nation to grow and improve. From a business point of view most people are afraid to do business with or invest in nigeria, jst from what the hear in the media. Loads of hard working nigerians miss out on great opportunities just because of the what they are made to believe about nigerians as a whole.. Nigeria is also a very large country and so ofcourse the percentage of poorer poeple will always be higher than other countries but the in terms of numbers the amount of people leaving above porverty is high, not to talk of the rich people.. And that is in comparison to a whole lot of other countries. And then yes there are slums in nigeria, but how is that any different from other countries? Look at india, china,ghana….and the list goe on and on. Here in england u go to places and u will never believe that they are there because they are hardly ever shown on tv and same goes for america too.. They have slums areas that wld remind u of the soo called “slums” in nigeria.. But u never see that part… That’s y thousands of nigerians are struggling to get american and british visa’s only to get there and live in the same or even worse conditions. And as for umar there is always one idiot.. And he shldnt even be classed as nigerian..the media shld focus less on him being nigerian and more on where he first formed his terrorist ties..

  131. Mona says:

    Impeccable writing done with so much emotions. Well done my friend! Again, the change will start when we view each other as ONE. Nigeria should remove the I -factor and think together as one. I look at Rwanda and i see love for a Nation by Paul Kigame. No African Leader and I repeat No African Leader is as passionate as He is. Rwanda is a beautiful place, Gosh! with Zero Tolerance for corruption. We need a Paul Kigame in Nigeria whom the world did not give a chance but He rose to make His people united as one. The retired raschals need to me murdered in Nigeria 1st!

    God Help Nigeria and all of us!

  132. BTTaiwo says:

    great job guy.

  133. Osi Peter Asika says:

    Very nice.
    Actually a more indepth analysis of how western big biz corrupts “developing countries” is looong overdue. Hypocrites!

    If we had leaders our media would be able to counter all the crap, but they are busy feeding us governmental garbage.
    Not to worry, “The times they are a changing”.

    Jay, keep it true, real and solid factually.

  134. anyebe says:

    Thank you so much for telling the world the truth! Nigerian Banker and yes I earn more than an average American.

  135. Uvie Ken Dafeakeh says:

    I’m going to be doing a lotta copying n pasting from this page. I do not have the full names of the people whose comments I intend to put up, but I shall also add a link here. Meanwhile, for ALL those that have proposed CHANGE, pls look up and join this group on facebook: The Master Mind Council. This is where I shall paste the comments.

  136. Osazuwa says:

    I only came across this article today and I wonder how it managed to escape me, cos I have tried to follow every single blog about this Farouk guy. I am Nigerian, am “really” Nigerian, not like Farouk. and am sure all these people commenting are also “real” Nigerians.
    I am just impressed, cos I see a lot of brainstorming here. Nigerians are really brilliant people. And we know they are afraid of our potentials. Even if they do not want to help us develop it, they necessarily do not need to stunt/kill it.
    I see the very obvious break by Annabel, and that is the best thing that has happened to this blog.
    Truthfully, I have always advised that we do not believe everything we hear or see from western media. I can tell you these guys are not actually interested in our development.
    If at all, anybody cares to answer, please I want to know why America did not respond to Farouk’s father’s report. I am not saying anything,but it beats my imagination. Or is it because he is Nigerian? Probably believing it is un-Nigerian to be a suicide bomber? Or somebody somewhere was just hoping to make a meal of us? I still believe there is more to this issue than we already know.
    I am happy we are responding very strongly, but what we really need to respond about is our corruption status. Lets respond against corruption; lets stop hailing corrupt leaders; lets improve ourselves,by ourselves and for ourselves. If our detractors do not see negative things to say about us, then nature hold that they will shut their mouth.
    Thank you all for this blog!!!

  137. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much dear fopr making my day. I just finished reading some stupid rants made by some pple who refer to themslves as Nigerians in response to a good video made by a patriotic Nigerian on FB. When I stumbled on this article on a friend’s page I decided to read it and I’m glad I did.

  138. Amara says:

    ( sorry I forgot to leave my name the first time)
    Thank you so much dear fopr making my day. I just finished reading some stupid rants made by some pple who refer to themslves as Nigerians in response to a good video made by a patriotic Nigerian on FB. When I stumbled on this article on a friend’s page I decided to read it and I’m glad I did.

  139. folake says:

    Hi, …. Amazing article! I don’t agree with it all but amazing nonetheless … I’d like to add it on my website – on the ‘external links’ page. Will this be ok?
    http://www.TheFolake.com

  140. Anonymous says:

    Well said Jay, One thing i know for sure, we Niaja are not easly discourage by the negativity of word, as a matter of fact it make us more stronger. To all niaja keep ur head up.

  141. Rabzy says:

    Nice Write-up,

    I actually saw a short video on a speech by Chimamanda Adichie about the danger of a single story. Nigeria’s story has always been that of a single story by the western press, a one-sided story and they have fed the whole world this story. We need to our bit by spreading the other side of our story, which is what Jay has done.

    While America was proclaiming itself home of the free and brave, millions of african-americans, latinos were treated as slaves, the native americans (red indians) were actually driven to extinctions, but the western films portrayed the Red Indians as Savages and till date that image stuck with them. Lets not allow this image to stick.

    In the 60s and 70s Nigeria was a place people loved to come and were well respected and this is just some 30 or 40 years ago, the same more than half of the Nigerians that were alive then are still alive today, so it can’t just be that we are inherently bad. Some terrible things happened, a civil war that spurned tribal distrust and disunity, inconsistent governance thru incessant military intervention, illiteracy of the general masses which breeds ignorance. This is where we are coming from and that is why it has been very wobbly.

    We need to have consistent governance, Nigerians have fought for good governance, we have not been complacent, a lot of people have been killed during elections while defending their votes, but the effect of these resistance takes place slowly. Some state governors at least are having a semblance of doing some things right, people are pointing fingers to some states that are doing some positive work and the some other governors are being forced at least to respond in some way.

    The national assembly is woeful by average standards, but they have done better than the previous assemblies, there are less scandals and chair throwings.

    As for the Nigerians in diaspora, you take most of the flak from over there, but there are a lot you can do also. Right now am in India for a training programme, i first heard about the terrorist attack here, but i have interacted with a lot of Indians here and their perspective about Nigeria is a little bit better, i don’t hide my identity because i have got nothing to hide.

    Millions of Nigerians all over the world are doing great things in their resident country, we don’t hear their stories. We have doctors, scientists, professors, inventors etc scattered all over the world especially in the US.

    Why don’t Nigerians in Diaspora come out of their hiding places and show themselves, why are they scared, why can’t they stand the ridicule in the hope that people would see them and know that Nigerians can be honest, smart, straight-forward.
    Why can’t they wear T-shirts proclaiming where they come from.? if you are respected in the University where you teach, or the office where you work, wearing such a T-shirt would not take away all that you have worked for, but it might help someone to change the way he sees all Nigerians.

    Yes its true we have bad eggs soiling our names, just like every other country, but they all seem to have been able to sell their other stories. We need to start making sure that our golden eggs add value to our names.

    • Bo says:

      But that is the point. These individuals do come out and indeed win accolades et al. But its just not interesting news to the foreign media… because it isnt “their” story. Its ours and we have to tell it.

      Its kind of like leaving a random person to write your “oriki” (ancestral chant). However would they write it as well as you ever could?

  142. sophia says:

    im weeping with joy …. thank u for taking d time out to say what a lot of us (me inclusive) are sometimes too lazy or indifferent to bother …it ticks me off and i’ll tell u it is hard work… i have fought soo many battles with nigerians in the diaspora cuz apart from d media i think they do the MOST damge to our country with their utterances… i feel that if u a nigerian living abroad with nothing good to say about ur country… shut d *** up! nobody cares about ur opinion anyway cuz u r not about to make a difference… dont make it harder for us who live there and have to travel out to deal with misconceptions….
    thank u soo much! u deserve a wider forum.

  143. 6th says:

    pally. . . .abeg chop nuckle. . .infact chop two. . . weldone ehhh

  144. gdubzfinest says:

    Spot on my man. Clearly you did your research where others haven’t and you have voiced a lot of our frustrations. I hope this gets out to the wider world audience. And the point about the foreigners who refuse to leave Nigeria is way too key. Are they animals that they will choose to live here if the place was so war torn? In lagos alone, the majority of restaurants are owned by lebanese and indians, heavily patronized by white people from america and europe. They left their own countries!

    Thanks a lot!

  145. nwokedi ike says:

    most of the disparaging articles and stories on nigeria are perpetuated by nigerians just for “money and recognition” .

  146. wongi says:

    Very brilliant, very objective stuff. Should be shared.

  147. Phyllis K. says:

    This is brilliant. Certainly a master piece. I can hardly contain my excitement at someone mirroring my thoughts only doing it better apparently due to better diction, vocab, research and exposure. We owe you for speaking out for us in a most apt – matter of fact – manner. I need not speak too much in defence of my country when i am poked. Just referring them to this article would most certainly do the job.
    Well done Jay. Thank you.
    Take a bow!

  148. Amechi says:

    I guess westerners will never outgrow their prejudiced ways…that’s way childish as they portray themselves as mature people. Putting others down in order to feel good about one’self isn’t my idea of maturity:more like local championism!I wonder why they forget that all these crimes that Nigerians are accused of originated from these technologically-advanced countries.

    So the next time they want to accuse us they should remember that the more they accuse us, the more they slap mud on themselves like people hurl cakes on one another’s faces in their movies/comedies! I think they just look around and see how much of a bad influence they’ve been on the world around them..tut tut tut…shame.

    It must make them feel bad, which is why they accuse us of the VERY acts that they indulge in effortlessly. I wonder who told them that lewdness is a sign of enlightenment or modernism…double yawn…!

    If Nigeria witnessed a scenario like 911 and the U.S. nipped a terrorist act in the bud, we wouldn’t have heard the last of it! they would have run off with tons of films on it! We know that we aren’t as advanced as they are, that’s why their overconfidence made them ignore warnings/ boastful threats from terrorists prior to the bombings. What’s with the ineffecient attitude of denying innocent citizens visas/ giving one to a terrorist? WOW!

    His father was courageous,considerate/ needed extra help with protecting his son from death lest he be blown off along with him in the process of trying to save him…but noo…the U.S, embassy was just too helpless..like they were scared of being bombed off so they left his father to his own fate of sorting out his ‘DOMESTIC ISSUES’, man to man i.e. father to son…hmmm…

    I wonder what they stand to gain from mudslinging our image…like they get paid for it! If they polish/ portray our true image the way it is, they’ll still get paid anyway, HELLOOO!We know where we stand/ don’t need them sounding like broken records to realise it or change! I wonder what they made of Abdul Muhtallab’s father’s warnings? Beats me…By the way Jennifer, Sade never said that she isn’t a Nigerian as we know what state her father’s from…

  149. 'The General' says:

    This goez out 2 Nigerianz slaving abroad… pleeeazze come back home!!!!.. I worked in England for 5ive yearz (wit a Masterz’ degree!) and had nothin 2 show 4 it in the end. I returned 2 Nigeria and in just 5ive months of working a RESPECTABLE JOB, I’m earning Seven tymes a month what thoze slave driverz paid me in England. Go figure.

  150. Nosa says:

    In as few words as possible this was FIRE!!!! Like you nailed it on the head! Thank You and continue to spread the word you inspire me to write homie!!

  151. Samuel Ogbonna says:

    Nigeria simply has to work harder to clean up its image.

  152. dile says:

    From getting visas,to getting laid.I liked that one.Good job jay,talk about our own image maker!

  153. oci says:

    i am with you except for #17. nobody would choose poverty over having basic needs met. that’s just foolish.

  154. Caramel says:

    i think he meant the average nigerian doesnt really have a choice when it comes to choosing poverty and would rather enjoy their happy lives than be bothered to change it. yes please understand the undelying point… the article is 100% correct. good work jay!

  155. Ivie says:

    Jay,
    Thanks so much for this blog. You have just expressed the way a lot of Nigerians have felt over d years but have been unable, too lazy or too scared to express it. The way in which Nigeria has been portrayed is totally unfair and yes of late it is on the increase. In addition to the list of movies Nigeria has been referenced in a negative manner, there was also a COX advert where Nigeria was made reference to in terms of 419 and i found it absolutely insulting. Nigeria was also made reference to in the movie Informant and also in the terms of 419. The world has failed to recognize that the likes of the US and Uk are more corrupt than any other country and the sooner we stop looking at them as being the ultimate, the sooner we will start making something of Nigeria.I really appreciate ur write up Jay. A very big hands up to u.

  156. Thank you so much, there aren’t enough posts on this… or at least i cant find them. I am turning into such a blog nut, I just cant get enough and this is such an important topic… i’ll be sure to write something about your site

  157. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  158. tosin says:

    this shld totally be on facebook…let the world know! Yes Boss! love it!

  159. Jay says:

    Thank you all for your participation. Its good to know most Nigerians still love Nigeria.

  160. African Child says:

    So now when you guys read other non fact based news on other countries you can understand that other african countries are not how they are potrayed by the media. I have many nigerian friends who talk down on other African countries based on what they have read and heard in the news and would like to believe.

    Pride comes before a fall. All in all we all know that Nigerians have no need to be terrorist. In fact the same applies to other african countries. What this can teach the rest of the nigerians is to learn humlity and not always believe what they read about other african countries. Pride in your country is good but it should never be done at the expense of others by demeaning them and believing stereotypes.

    I dont believe your country needs to be put on the terror list based on one incident. There is a definite need for us all to redifine how we are presented in the media

  161. African Child says:

    Great article overall and I will be sure to pass it on to all the people who are starting to believe this crap about nigerians..

    thanks

  162. 2bchoopla says:

    Thanks for adding that side profile picture of an Nigerian. I am not thrilled by the media’s perception of Nigeria. What a few select individuals don’t understand is that Nigeria’s young and has accomplished a lot. What about Oprah actually referencing G. Nnaji on her show as the Julia Roberts of Nollywood? What about the positive filmmakers in America actually proving that there is a positive Nigerians? Our country’s known for our natural resources, our beloved storytelling social conscious movies, our fashion sense and our pride. We love the fact that we accomplished a great deal at a young age.

  163. Nkoko says:

    I agree with the article. But having been born and bred in the USA, went to secondary school in Nigeria and lived in the UK for over 13 years, tI think I must diagree that Nigeria is a total disgrace.

    I must say Nigeria is not unique in it’s notorious behaviour! It does not make it right, but remember Nigeria is such a rich country with people and wealth and the so-called western world can not stand it!

    This Nigeria boy began his terrorist plans in the UK!!!!!!! then went to Yeman!!!!!! Never for once was recruited in Nigeria for such a radical and non-sense behaviour.

    Yes, given that he walk passed Nigerian immigration security which is very poor in it’s infrastructure, but also is Amsterdam…where he actually bordered the plane to Michigan! The UK is a breeding ground for terrorist, why can they not rid themselves of these people!

    Amsterdam’s security must be as poor as Nigeria, given they could not even catch him from there.

    Anyway, I just do not think the USA government should label Nigeria as a terrorist country, when their allies can not even stop their country from becoming training grounds for muslium terrorist…this is a game of politics and discrimination to Africa.

    I do not blame the West for their foolishness as we Nigerians as foolish enough to accept every report they have of us!

  164. Zainab Balogun says:

    Amazing article Jay. You spoke the truth and only made me feel even more proud. Everyone should make a note to go home and make it a better place but so far IT’S A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY! I’ve just come back.

    Keep up the good work.

  165. Ana says:

    I feel it…. I am from Russia, we have lots of similar problems, such as corrupt government… will be pretty long list ) But… when i see how Russia is portrayed in all the movies, what people think of Russia in USA. damn… when i see all that messy portrait, its like ive been living in some other country.

  166. Anonymous says:

    SO MUCH SAID JAY, I COMMEND THE EFFORT AND YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NOTHING BUT LOVE FOR YOUR HOME COUNTRY WHICH ISN’T QUITE THE SAME FOR ME BUT THAT’S ANOTHER TOPIC.JUST GONNA SAY THAT I BELIEVE THE WEST IS GENERALLY PISSED AT NIGERIA BECAUSE IT EXPECTS SO MUCH MORE FROM HER N HERS BUT IS NOT GETTING EVEN THE TINIEST GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS TO COME(MUCH LIKE ME) IF WE HAD A SENSIBLE GOVT. AND A SITTING PRESIDENT AT THE TIME MUTALLAB CHOSE TO DO HIS NONSENSE WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS.OUR LEADERS HAVE PERFECTED THE ART OF PLAYING THE OSTRICH SO WELL THAT ONE WONDERS WHERE THEY RULE THIS COUNTRY FROM. THE NEW CRY NOW IS FOR DEREGULATION. IS IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE SUDDENLY REALISED THEY NEED MORE MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE OR THE MONEY BEING SHARED ISN’T GOING ROUND ANYMORE.WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD CONTRACTS AWARDED:REFINERIES, ROADS, WATER PROJECTS, POWER PROJECTS. HAS ANYONE SUCCESSFULLY TRACED THOSE FUNDS? NOW SOME IDIOTS ARE PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF DERGULATION. I HONESTLY DON’T AGREE WITH THE < 10% REFERAL ATTACHED TO THE CORRUPT COS THEY R MUCH MORE THAN THAT. APART FROM BEING A CORRUPT N LAZY NATION WE TEND TO BE VERY FORGETFUL N TOO FORGIVING OTHERWISE SOME POLITICAL SERIAL KILLERS SHOULD AV RISEN UP BY NOW.
    EVERY ONE'S JUST SO MONEY CRAZY HERE THAT'S Y THE WEST ISN'T BOTHERED ABOUT THE 1ST CLASS AUTOMOBILES IN THIS COUNTRY COS THE SOURCE OF WEALTH CAN EASILY BE TRACED AND ITS USALLY VERY FILTHY.
    FINALLY, IN MY HONEST OPINION, THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS VERY DARK BECAUSE AS MANY TIMES AS WE ALL TRY TO BRAINSTORM ABOUT OUR COUNTRY HOW MANY OF US WILL REALLY STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT WHEN WE ARE SURROUNDED BY WRONG ON ALL SIDES.IS IT NOT EASIER TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY? HAVN'T WE ALL BEEN GUILTY OF THAT (JOINING THE BANDWAGON). THE ANSWER LIES WITH US AND OUR HUNGER(ALBEIT VERY ABSENT) FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE. BUT IN NIGERIA JUSTICE IS A VERY PRICY HO'. U GAT IT, SHE RIDE WITH U

  167. Tony Saville says:

    Yeah let em mf know it all

  168. freddieking says:

    this is just awesome!…nyc 1 bro…meanwhile every1 shud no that slash’s(guns n roses) mother is Nigerian.

  169. Ore says:

    I really enjoyed reading ur blog and the comments on it..although it took me more than 3 hours to read…nevertheless, i still learned a whole lot from it and I’m happy i came across it. Nice piece Jay!! 🙂

  170. Jackson Odion says:

    Now i must commend the effort of the publisher of this article for shedding light on the true nature of the Nigerian state.Few people have access to these facts that portray the true picture of Nigeria.I want to state that Nigerian is undergoing a transitional process that would take time to produce the results needed to show the world that change can come to Nigeria.

    It may take the next generation to turn things around,but in all i still have faith in Nigeria.

  171. Thaks for the articles i really like it…

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