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Libyan adventures, jobs in Nigeria and other tales


Returnees queue to be attended to by state officials after alighting from chartered aircraft that brought home 150 migrants from Libya at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

My brother, how country?
Hmm, country hard ooh, no work for man and things are very expensive. In fact, I am tired of the suffering in this country. I am going to check out soon.Haba! Please don’t go anywhere. This is our country and we must salvage it together.

I beg your pardon, salvage what? I have since lost patience to continue with the pains one goes through daily in this country. I must travel abroad at once, for a better life.

Don’t be stupid my friend! There is no free lunch in Freetown. You must work hard to earn a good life, home or abroad. Besides, the Buhari’s administration has promised to create millions of jobs and to turn around the economy to enable Nigerians live a good life.

Of course, that is one of the reasons I want to travel abroad and I don’t mind the route, land, desert or sea. It is forward ever, backward never.

What are you talking about? You seem to be recalcitrant, even with the distress tales from the Libyan returnees!
My brother, can’t you see that, that is the new way to buy government’s sympathy and subsequently earn a job in Nigeria! The Libyan returnees are a classical case of the biblical tale of the prodigal son. Not minding how they dented the country’s image abroad, government and its official believe they are not criminals, that they only travelled outside the shores of the country and their expectations turned out to be a horrible experience. Therefore, government took it as its responsibility to rehabilitate and give them jobs.

I don’t get your point. Is that why you want to embark on a suicide journey just because government has a soft spot for Libyan returnees?
Okay! Let’s look at it from another angle. You will agree with me that government is either not doing enough or doing too little too late to help the young population. Government seems to only listen or do something tangible for people who are either violent or chose to venture into doing some extra-ordinary things that will ting the ear. For instance, the Niger Delta militants blew up a couple of oil pipelines and they were given amnesty, while IPOB got some attention while it lasted before their leader crossed the red tape with his tongue. Boko Haram is being listened to after the Chibok girls abduction and it took a 14 year-old Edo boy to risk his life flying in the tyre compartment of an airplane to Lagos before government took care of his education and welfare. Also, herdsmen who are killing people across the country are not seen as criminals but are being considered in a Bill on grazing by the National Assembly. In fact, the list is endless.

Hmm! Wonders shall never end. Is that enough excuse for you to endanger your life and join the perilous desert trip?
Bros, I have crossed my mind already. Life is per-head and this is my life and nobody can direct me how to live it. I am ready to endure the desert pestilence, taste slavery and have a close shave with death. At the end, be rescued and returned home on a chartered flight with a job at hand on arrival.

Good talk! This fantasy and day-dreaming will lead you nowhere. Do you know that you may lose your life on the process?
Don’t threaten me with death because am not afraid. Life is a battle and cowards die many times before their death… Didn’t they say, nothing comes easy in life!

Hmm! It is hard to believe the way and manner the Nigerian youth chose to endanger their lives in search of greener pastures despite the ordeals recounted by those who embarked on the perilous journey. It is even more disturbing and shameful that, most people like you still consider it appropriate to embark on the trip.

Never mind, I will find light at the end of the tunnel. Take a look round the world and show me any successful man without enduring some slavery… sorry, suffering before achieving success.

It would be more honourable for the government to plan and care for the nation’s youth than allowing the country’s young population to suffer hardship both at home and abroad before coming up with a hurriedly packaged cosmetic palliative just to score cheap political points. Nigerians are particularly eager to see Buhari’s government address the economic issues squarely as well as tackle unemployment with vigour.

In this age and time, you still wait for government? Gone are the days when Nigeria’s politicians’ words are their bond. Role models in politics are still too rare to find these days.

What are you insinuating?
Haven’t you heard what “my people, my people”, has done? Governor Rochas Okorocha has brought happiness to Imo people by creating a ministry of happiness!

I beg, stop that joke. The dust from the statue he erected is yet to settle down and here he comes with a ministry of happiness.
Jokes apart! The man even expects us to applaud him for being a man of the people and largely so for his generous policy of lavish spending on frivolous things. Perhaps Okorocka needs to be reminded that Nigerians are already known as the happiest people on earth and that the ministry is a far cry from what Imo citizens need.

Indeed, the blame of poor performance may lay not with the politicians but with the people who celebrate mediocrity. There is nothing like economic recovery plan in the ministry of happiness and it will not help the people to forget their troubles. It’s a shame.

My brother! With such deviation by politicians from serving the people, how much longer do we really want to allow these visionless leaders to continue in power? Surely, our votes will speak in the 2019 election.

Indeed, time will tell and we should do so by electing the right persons. We need leaders with vision for economic and social renewal. For Nigeria to be great in Africa, we need to be great in every sense and always think big outside the box.

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Libyan returnees
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