Not so home-sweet-home for Nigerians abroad who go back home

If you don’t currently live in your home country, how likely is it that you would be kidnapped if you went for a visit or to settle down? Even so, if you currently live in your home country, what are the chances of you being snatched away as you’re walking home from the supermarket?

Well, in Nigeria that’s something that happens often enough—and sometimes violently and in broad daylight. Shockingly, someone the victim knows sets up some, if not most, of those kidnappings.

I’ve been living abroad for some time now and I’m considering vising home and even moving back to settle down one day. I’m not implying Nigeria is the worst, most unsafe place to live but the security situation and the increased rate of kidnapping in the country makes me sick to my stomach. And it definitely doesn’t help when I read articles like this about a Nigerian who was kidnapped when she went home to visit.

I have strong ties to the land and there’s an insatiable urge to return there one day. Some friends who know my intention to visit or eventually move back home have warned me to:

  • Keep it quiet. I should not tell many people because the more people that know, the more likely someone will plot something.
  • Keep it low key. I should also take it easy when I go home and not draw any kind of attention to myself—from the way I dress to the type of activities I do.
  • Keep the English accent to a minimum. I should blend in with the daily, regular folks in the way that I speak and carry myself.

Whether people are exaggerating about the intensity of the issue, it’s still a sad reality. It’s truly unfortunate that I can’t completely be myself in a country where I was born and raised.

What does this say about the state of the economy? How does this impact decisions by Nigerians abroad to visit or settle down back home?



~ by omonaij on February 17, 2013.

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