Diversity visas and Nigeria
How wise is it to allow Nigerian youths to leave the country for safe havens abroad?
What is a diversity visa? Some persons may ask. It is an immigration programme with which America uses to attract non-American citizens of other countries to the United State of America. It is popularly known as an Immigrant Visa. It is not impossible that other North American, Asian, and European countries have similar programmes with which they attract Nigerian and other African citizens to their countries. Questions that patriotic Nigerians may ask would be: Does Nigeria need to participate in this type of a programme? Is it wise for young people of Nigeria to take “advantage” of such programmes, and is the programme advantageous to Nigeria and its citizens? The simple and an honest answer to the questions is No. One is aware that there are some held short sighted opinions that, because of some social-economic issues which they labeled “factors” Nigerians can migrate to wherever they please since we are in a democracy. Some of the factors, according to the opiniators, are lack of an enabling environment, lack of adequate infrastructure, health services and other basic amenities.
Nigerians abroad are doing great in contributing to the economic and general advancement in all aspects in their respective host countries while Nigeria remains in the hands of their politically unwise rulers. The Diversity Visa programme is not for everyone to win a green card; it is only the intelligent ones that are usually selected as winners of the Green Card, thereby taking away the best brains of a country which needs those best brain most, for national development. As a result, the Diversity Visa programme is exploitative therefore unholy for a country like Nigeria and its citizens. Nigerians that have toiled and have been trained by some of the best in their home country, that were certified and even practised in their professions are the Nigerian that are encourage to come over to the Promised Land. On getting to the new land they are often made to start all over in their new country pushed down or off the ladder they’ve already climbed in Nigeria.
As far as this author is concerned, Nigeria does not need diversity visas. Nigerians do not have to leave their country for other peoples’ countries. Nigerians should make it a first priority to remain in Nigeria and work hard to make the country viable to accommodate its able-bodied youths. Diversity Visa programmes and the likes are deceptive brain drain instruments of the imperialist countries to allow owners of Diversity Visas to meet their own internal needs; at the regret of the so called benefactors’ home country, down the road. Let Nigerians think through this matter. Ipemha ne Etsako, e nor ogbor; usomhi okhor o kie emana tso la rthe duor nor ogomo? The meaning is this; if the head of a chicken is such a good part of the meet would it be given to a child? It is the practice that when a fowl is slaughtered either for sacrifice or eating, it is the head that is tossed out or give it to a child that is available.
From experience, the Green Card of today no longer worth for what a Nigerian winner of it will leave Nigeria. Un-like before now, winners of diversity visas today are only going to suffer in their new environment compared to the educational standard already attained, the level of understanding and standard of life they were already living in their home country. Of recent, it is the type and kinds of jobs including undeserved insolences that diversity visas winners will not accept in their original countries that they get in their economically advanced new abode. Jobs that citizens of the new abode will not do due to the status and pay of such jobs are what diversity visas winners would be given. Worse still, winners of diversity visas are going to start from the beginning for a new life. They will join the queue for no one jumps the queue in such countries that operate diversity visas programs.
The other issue that many Nigerians need to work on is that of a mentality that trivialises or rejects the best advice that some other true Nigerians give to their fellow citizens from the point of knowledge, empathy, and or experience. Many Nigerians tend to accept the inferior, deceptive and incompetent advice given by foreigners who, many a time are adversaries of our peoples, country, and continent. We need to trust ourselves and love us as we ought to others. This writer knows and believes that we are good people because originally, humanity is good because we are the Good Image of the Divine who is the Author of all that Is.
For obvious reasons Nigeria should not become a needle that sew clothes to cover the behinds of others while its own, remains opened. Let Nigerians create the enabling environment for themselves; the environment that the rouge politicians in Nigeria have no knowledge of. Nigerians generally, and the youths particularly are intelligent, industrious and aggressive; above all, the country is rich in almost everything. Therefore, the people can have the needed infrastructure by making such for themselves if they are not looking for an easy way out.
Competent citizens like Nigerians do not run away from problems created by their unwise political rulers; they find ways to solve such problems instead of abdicating. Let Nigerians everywhere think and reflect on the second interpretation given recently by President Trump to his “America First.” On the mundane political level, every country ought to look at its self first with a view to protect and safeguard its self and its citizens. Nigerians cannot continue to look for where they can run to for protection and means of livelihood. One can become altruistic by thinking of the well being of others to achieve mutual respect. Consideration for others first is a spiritual order which many Nigerians are yet to graduate. Right now, Nigeria does not appear to attract any respect to itself. Nigeria needs to reorganise itself. The people have a lot to do in the reorganisation because the political class has failed the people. The politicians have formed into a clique against the people they were supposed to serve. The people therefore, cannot afford any wasting of time to call the political class to order. As the pay master, it is the peoples’ duty in a political democracy to ensure that their representatives, whether elected, selected, appointed or through rigging, who the rulers are should be the peoples’ bidding by “people power”.
With the chain of thoughts, Nigerians should stop the practice of wanting their unborn children to be Americans going far as to delivering their babies in America; it used to be Britain. In essence those women are producing children that tomorrow would be America’s children and not Nigeria’s children. While some would claim that the freedom to move about in a democracy cannot be restricted, one needs to remember that freedom is not free because freedom is not without responsibility hence humans need a measure of control without which there could not have been some involuntary actions of nature. In other words, citizens need a measure of control because no man or woman is perfect. Leaving the country with the sole purpose of going to America to born their children is sabotage and depopulation of Nigeria by design. Nigeria is the only country and place that we can truly and are able to call our home, and we should do all in our power to protect its population because there is strength and power in numbers. There is no reason why our children or babies should not be born on our soil today. Before the advent of colonial medicines, dispensary and hospital, we have native birth attendants that were safer to have babies born than the present day modern hospitals on our land and overseas.
Corrupt politicians are the ones that deprive the country the funds to build infrastructures, good roads, enabling environment, good health facilities and services etc., etc. By un-attentive mistake we mistakenly call some of these Nigerians, the well-to-do in our society. Strangely enough, some of the so called “well to do” class of enemies of the Nigeria nation and people, they see the idea of having their babies born in America as one of the ways to maintain their grip on the state power. They want their American born children to be in a position to come home to replace them alive or dead. This is the only reason we keep hearing the names of dead Nigerians public officials whom we know of in the 1960s and 70s in our political arenas today. It goes to show how ignorant and selfish some of our so-called well-to-do political and business leaders have been in our country. Nigeria is a prosperous country and I am confident that the masses have learnt enough to know that they need to team up against the exploiters of the nation’s wealth. Let the young Nigerians look inward and not outward to be successful in Nigeria. Let the youths of Nigeria learn to know how to transplant the wealth from looking inward, in Nigeria. Many young Nigerians born abroad are not very enthusiastic about Nigeria due to the educational system in their foreign land. What they hear daily in their various classes about the country of their parents are unpleasant to motivate them to want to come to Nigeria especially. Consequently, the Diversity Visa Program is not helpful as it is exploitative; therefore unwise for Nigeria to allow it youths to participate in the program.
Dr. Ojior is professor of Political Science.
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