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Why Not Take Your Wife To Nigeria, Instead Of Polluting Our Country?

Why Not Take Your Wife To Nigeria, Instead Of Polluting Our Country?

By Segun Akinyode Published 05/28/2007 Life Abroad Rating: Unrated

Segun Akinyode

Segun, a three-pronged oscillator, moves from his bedsitter to the office, then a cool spot. He lives near Mr Obasanjo's Abeokuta home.

View all articles by Segun Akinyode What are you doing in Kenya?

I got to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the morning of December, 30, 2006 having left Murtala Mohammed International Airport the previous night. I was on a leave of absence from my teaching appointment at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. I got a pleasant thrill from the cold Nairobi weather, something I had experienced on my previous visit and prepared for.

My wife was at the airport to take me home. Meanwhile, I was issued a three month visiting visa at the Kenyan Embassy in Lagos which made it impossible for me to purchase a returning ticket commensurable to the one year leave of absence I was granted by the polytechnic authorities. What the personnel at the travel agency I was unfortunate to buy my flight ticket from assured me was that I could extend my visa at the immigration office in Nairobi, and my flight ticket at Kenya Airways office in Nairobi. In consonance with their assurance, I went to the immigration department three days to the expiration of my three-month visa to request for an extension.

Thus early in the morning of March 25, 2007, I arrived the department of alien immigration in Nairobi (the building is called Nyayo House) and queued with other immigrants with similar request. I can recollect vividly that I stood behind four other immigrants—two Asians, one Canadian and one American. The clerk behind the counter swiftly dealt with the three aliens—she examined their passports and asked them to fill forms and pay certain amount of money, their fingerprints taken, after which their passports were returned to them, they were instructed to come back in three weeks for their alien cards. The whole process did not take more than thirty minutes.

When it was my turn, the lady collected my passport, took one bewildered look at it and asked me to report to one Mr. Wanda on the seventh floor. I stood on the spot for seconds frowning. After a while, I shrugged and went to the lift. Mr. Wanda was not in the office; I waited at his door. About an hour later, an immigration officer asked for my mission I told him I was waiting for Mr. Wanda. He advised me to come back the following day as he was not sure Mr. Wanda would be coming to the office that day.

I was there the following day. Mr. Wanda was yet to arrive. I was chatting with one of the junior officers at the counter when a woman who later turned out to be a senior immigration officer arrived and asked my mission. I told her I was waiting for Mr Wanda. She informed me pointedly that Mr. Wanda would not be reporting for work that day. She demanded my specific mission. I told her that I wanted my visa extended and the lady behind the counter at the ground floor asked me to see Mr. Wanda. She frowned, thrust his palm forward, ‘Let me see your passport.’ I gave it to her. A mild exclamation. The following conversation ensued:

‘What are you doing in Kenya?’

‘I am on a leave of absence which I am spending with my wife.’

‘You are married to a Kenyan?’

I nodded.

She looked at me pointedly and said there was no way I could be allowed to stay more than the three months I had spent. She advised me to go and buy my flight ticket; she would allow me to spend one more week in Nairobi.

‘But I am here with my wife.’ I shouted.

‘It does not matter. Why not take your wife to Nigeria instead of polluting our country.’

I was flummoxed. ‘Polluting your country?’ I retorted.

She ignored me and said, ‘The best you can expect apart from what I suggested is to wait for Mr. Wanda; he will be in the office tomorrow morning.’

‘Okay.’ I said, collected my passport and sauntered out of her cubicle of an office, reflecting.

By nine the following morning, I was at Mr. Wanda’s office. He was available. I met him writing a memo. Curiosity, that proverbial instinct that killed the cat took control of me. I stretched my long neck and peeped at what Mr. Wanda was writing and caught a hazy picture of his designation: he was a principal assistant controller of immigration or something similar to that. My curiosity heightened: why am I referred to such a top-notch for a simple immigration matter, something a common clerk handles for other nationals?

‘Can I be of any assistance?’ The question cut through my thoughts. I managed a smile to camouflage my bafflement. I stammered a response, ‘I was asked to come and see you. I need to extend my visa.’

‘Let me see your passport.’

I handed the document over. He collected it, looked at the cover and sighed, ‘Nigerian.’

After he had read the visa pages he asked me what I have been doing in Kenya in the last three months. I told him that I had been visiting my wife.

‘Just that?’ he frowned.

‘Visiting my wife who I had left in the last two years is not enough reason?’

‘If you were a Kenyan and your wife, a Nigerian, it would have been okay but the way it is, now…Kenyan immigration laws do not recognize your kind of union.’

Thoroughly perplexed, I appraised Mr. Wanda curiously. ‘I am also researching a story I am writing about Nigeria and Kenya.’

He looked at me sharply. His countenance relaxing into a pleasant grin, ‘What do the two countries have in common?’

I brightened up and regaled him with a bit of my findings. He looked at me nonplussed and nodded. ‘I agree with some of your comparisons’ he said as he extracted a piece of paper and scribbled on it. He tucked the paper in the pages of my passport and handed it over to me with instructions to take the passport back to the immigration office on the ground floor where I would be attended to. I did as Mr. Wanda said but instead of my visa extension signed at the ground floor, I was asked to take it back to the seventh floor, to Mr. Wanda for his signature! What is so special about extending a Nigerian visa?

I knocked the door and entered. He collected my passport and countersigned the visa page. He then plucked a giant iron stamp from a rack and stomped my passport with it. ‘Why is Nigeria this special?’ I asked under my breath.

Mr. Wanda smiled, ‘very special,’ he corroborated ignoring my question. I collected my passport and, as I was leaving, he said, ‘Your extended visa expires on June 29, by June 28 you should disappear from Kenya.’

I paused at the door, turned my head and looked at him pensively for a long moment. He met my gaze with an unflinching intent. I nodded and left.

http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/1800/1/Why-Not-Take-Your-Wife-To-Nigeria-Instead-Of-Polluting-Our-Country/Page1.html

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38 answers

@ Poster,

I don't get your story. Finally, why were you (as a Nigerian) being treated differently?

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@Bankole01

In as much as i agree with all you said here, i beg to disagree with your opinion on giving tips.

I dont think giving tips should be mandatory as one is being paid for the work done in the first place. In some countries its a crime.

That American find it okay to give tips doesnt mean it could work in other places. Afterall, there is no difference between tips and bribery if objectively viewed.

The major problem of Nigeria today is giving tips in large sum. Find out from EFCC on Iyabo and the rest.

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A lot of our people do not know how to tip workers. Hence a person making minimum wage, will service someone they know will appreciate their service.

This is the flip side of servitude and colonial mindset. people from the West know they should tip well to get good service.

A long time ago, while I was still in school and working as ataxi driver, I happened to pick up a Nigerian here for a seminar. When I got him to his hotel, he paid me for the cab fare to almost the exact amount, leaving a change of about 15cents. I got back in my taxi after unloading and helping this dude carry his luggage to the hotel doors.

I was about to drive off, when I noticed this Nigerian bushman run after me, yelling, "my shange, my shange". (as opposed to my change). I stopped bewildered, and gave this man the 15cents change. You should see his beeming smile after palming the migre change.

A white man or other Westerner would have paid generously for the service received.

On the other hand, I was at the airport (Murtala) on day, on one of my visits to Nigeria. There was this stone drunk whiteman, walking and stumbling around and also bad mouthing Nigeria. He was telling all who cared to listen, how much he hated the country and the people. He almost stumbled into me. (That was the biggest mistake he made in Nigeria) I told him to shot the ****up. Noone invited him to Nigeria and if he didn't like it, he should get the ****out of the country.

Before long, their was a crowd of people interested in my lambasting this slowpoke, and hooping it up with support for me.

A policeman happened along, and I instructed him to arrest the man for public indecency. The policeman looked at me in amzement, probably contemplating my audacity.

I told this whiteman, that in his own country, I could make him pay for disrespect and public nuisance. (being a law-enforcement officer, this is no empty threat.

The man looked at me uttered a few words like "you obviously live in America" I affirmed his observation and them told him that "I eat people like you for breakfat everyday" He quickly sobered up and walked away quitely, to the delight and jeers of the onlookers.

Our people act too meek when it comes to the whiteman or other foreigners in Nigeria. This people only come to Nigeria to exploit and further pollute and enable corruption. Give them no quarters!

As for other African countries, we gave them the impression that we are corrupt and decadent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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a terrible disease indeed. we simply dont love ourselves.

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The colonial mentality is rampant everywhere in Africa-including our beloved naija! Just last summer, I was waiting for the porter at Transcorp to take my luggage outside, what did he do? sidetracked me and attended to a white man that came after me. And there were many instances where this happened- locals will give better treatment to foreigners than their own country-folk. The best cure for this colonization is to ship them abroad for 3months!!! When they see how the West really think about blacks, their colonized mindset will revert to normal

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Nigerians have a bad reputation around the world. Hopefully, it gets better..

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Simple explanation, actually.

Black people already are blessed with a negative bad stereotype. Even the great MJ sang about it 'I'm Bad'! (just kidding, y'all!)

One in five blacks are Nigerian. Therefore it would be simple logic to assume that Nigerians are the worst of black people, by numbers. Imagine if you met five different bad blacks (sic) everyday, and one of them was Nigerian. What would be your conclusion?

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very funny - this happens alot at the airport - i remember one oyinbo that tried to jump in front of me in the queue and I looked at him and said excuse me there is a queue wait ur turn, i boldly told him and the silly immigration officer that wanted to serve him b4 me that i too have a red passport so mr white should wait his turn - london is a leveller and that is where we are both going - colo mentality indeed.

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This is utterly disgusting. and to think some folks here actually supports the kenyans!!! But again, where d hell is kenya?? is it not that backward country where they were actually butchering each other over election? That poo hole with shanty houses? pleaseeee. Its a wonder Nigerians dignify that accursed rat hole with a visit. I wouldn't near the jungle if they want to decorate with a million dollars. divorce the woman and get a life

NB. Please make sure we deport any kenyas venturing near our shores. They need us, we dont need them. Trust me on this.

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There needs to be balance, were there is an African community doing exploits abroad, its also Nigerians.

They have to admit that too, its all very well siting our over representation in negative things, but we also stand out in positive contribution abroad.

Where is the South African/Ghanaian/Kenyan/Ethiopian equivalents of Buchi Emecheta, Phillip Emegweali, Ngozi Okonjo-Eweala, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Adichie,  John Fashanu to name but a very few? These countries would have to pool their great achievers together to come up with the same  number of Nigerian individuals doing exploits abroad and reaching such heights at that level. So they really need to be more balanced, some would say they need to pull their weight.

If Africans abroad are honest with themselves, they will see that we are also outdoing them in positive exploits as a country. Many of who's citizens fade into insignificance once they decide to live abroad. It may sound harsh, but its the truth as I see it.

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We don't deserve to be treated badly but we sef we NO dey try. We disgrace ourselves everywhere.

There is NO respect for us , infact Africans don't see us as equals they see us as people with wahala following it about.

We are actually a bunch of disgrace, abi how can you explain the situation we find ourselves right now.

Even Nigerian run away from themselves especially if you travel abroad.

Very Bad really

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@MOST REPLIERS

I am utterly disgusted at some of the replies in here. I am a Nigerian, I do not deserve to be treated badly. Some of you here are actually demanding to be treated like animals or less. If you continue to receive and accept subhuman treatment,it will not go away.

What kind of psyche have we here? I am well respected at my work and school place in the US and they know I am a Nigerian and I am not the only one. Every society has its ills but please it is sickening when we begin to generalize. A lot of Nigerians are making wonderful contributions both at home and abroad. It is an insult when a Nigerian generalizes. For those who have been fortunate too see how good human/customer service works, education is the key. Demand good service, it may take time but the sacrifice is well worth it!

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Nigeria has its bad sides , but some the atrocities commited in places like Rwanda, Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe over the past years make some of what goes on in Nigeria look like childs play. If Africa really wants to take an honest look at herself, then the ethnic cleansing, civil war, dictatorships, Aids epidemics of our fellow nations needs to be mentioned. Its all to easy to point the finger at Nigeria, but for a country of our size with all the religious and ethnic differences, our present situation is not even considered in the same breath as some of the places I mentioned above.

Sure we can do much better, but take a look at the whole continent, is Nigeria really the worst?

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It is not. If not for the Nigerian movies I would not have even known such things exist.

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Well said Wany, Down to the Nigerian Home Video industry. they potray Nigeria as some obscured world where witchcraft, rituals and fraud are the order of the day. but wait,  is it not ?

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we deserve worst,we always think we are smart at everything,see what it has cost,every nigerian is seen as a dupe.from top to bottom.all thanks to the big politicians and our dearest yahoo boys down to nigerian home movies.which really projects nigerians as ritualist and 419ers.then our gbogbotigbo brothers trying to survive out side by all means.where any thing goes to make it happen.my dear you dont expect less.

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Well said. In addition to that the foreign movies shown to the masses in Nigeria should be changed. They should show them the kind of movies I see here in Europe. Movies that tend to show the white man degrading the black man then maybe like you said "their colonized mindset will revert to normal"

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i must admit, all your coments are great and accepted. keep it up great nigerians, i have been in the uk now for a little morethan 6years and cry everyday why should NIGERIA be in such condition. we have a very bad reputation and its likely to go worse. ca someone tell me who is responsible? confused

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Don't worry people! There is going 2 be a renaissance. Nigeria is coming back.

Many people can't see the tell tale signs, but we are definitely on a track to glory.

Not even Yar Adua can stop Nigeria, We will be a great nation and all these Kenyans and the like would be standin g at Seme Border trying to get in.

We all just have to contribute ouir own positive quota.

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it doesn't mean we who have done nothing wrong should take it lying down.

really a sad story.

we want equality when we migrate to europe and america but are unable to treat our black brothers with the basic courtesy and respect, and treat each person on an individual basis. this story reeks of childish, and uneducated logic that u r a nigerian, and therefore undesirable.

@poster

u r so right. the government does not take the respect of nigeria as a nation to the nigerians themselves who make up the country.

but what can we do till we get good leaders?

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no need to be too bitter.

no need to hate the kenyans.

the truth is. . . . . . our country stinks . . . . .dont matter if you agree or not.

the stench has got to a point where even countries like uganda and rwanda wont want to associate freely with us.

we have a very bad image to be polite.

our people aint making it any easier with their determination to survive outside nigeria.

i've been in the Uk for a yr, i do not know of any country that is treated with disdain more than nigeria.

the steady damage done to our country is begining to bite hard.

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The colonial mentality is rampant everywhere in Africa-including our beloved naija! Just last summer, I was waiting for the porter at Transcorp to take my luggage outside, what did he do? sidetracked me and attended to a white man that came after me. And there were many instances where this happened- locals will give better treatment to foreigners than their own country-folk. The best cure for this colonization is to ship them abroad for 3months!!! When they see how the West really think about blacks, their colonized mindset will revert to normal

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Sad story. Very sad indeed.

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We have ourselves to blame for our fate. People didn't treat us this bad in the past. It's just not the fault of the few bad eggs. Our fat, corrupt leadership doesn't care about its citizens, until the president's family or friends are assaulted. We need to change the focus of foreign policies. We can't go on sacrificing our human capital and natural resources to prop up these yeye African brothers, only to be treated like fools over and over again. This story would be good for the newapapers. We may even initiate an online petition to be presented to the new minister of foreign affairs. The least we can do for our so-called brothers and other nationals is to subject them to the same standard they hold us to.

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The west for centuries has found many ways to dehumanise black race. Now, within the black race, Kenyans for instance have found and or copying from the west to lower our self-esteem, what a caword move by the Kenya immigration officer(s) toyed around with Mr. Segun Akinyode for visiting so called-Kenya? Mr. Wanda was very lucky, if I was Mr. Akinyade, I would have slap his face for questioning with dehumanity. Poor leadership in Nigeria is really promoting other nations and of all nations-kenyans looking down on Nigerian(s). A good lesson for all of us-Nigerians to stay home and make it work!

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@ Etin, you are right, that is definately  a Ghanaian accent. To me the man looks Naija.

What makes me angry is that the White man  also had a criminal mind. He was willing to enter into a criminal activity which was not masqueraded as anything other than criminal. He has the same mentality as the Naija/Ghanaian 419er, then they have the cheek to display him as an innocent victim. He is a surgeon, he already has money, but he also wanted a share of stolen money, he wanted to get rich quick from money he knew was being obtained illegally.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for any of them. Its funny how white people can paint whatever they are doing as clean and upright, no matter how criminal and dishonest it is.

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@ londoner

Spot on. This reminds me of the so called Nigerian 419 exposed on ABC network who looks like a Ghanian and spoke with their accent. It caused me to think have we now become a blanket description for all fraud committed by a dark skinned person?

what do you think?

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Oyibo, I'm glad you like Nigeria and Nigerians. However, I have been to places in America where I felt unsafe and places in Nigeria where I felt unsafe. There are killings and robberies all over the world, in the west people dont just kill for gain, but for fun, I've heard more senseless crimes in the West than in Nigeria. This is not to say that Nigeria doesn't have a crime problem its quite obvious that we do, but lets be under no illusion about criminal elements in the so called West.

I've grown up hearing of conmen and women in Europe/America, they dont call it 419, but its essentially the same thing isn't it?

As far as Whites being charged higher rates, its the same for Nigerians who come from abroad, they associate us with wealth, a stereotype which we must admit, we have perpetuated whether we like it or not. When White people came to Nigeria, they didn't come as equals, and they are not treated as equals. while you may be charged a higher price, you are probably also afforded an air of superiority and respect, which the rest of us dont recieve in our own country, you are "Oga" by virtue of your skin colour, its sad and wrong, but you cant enjoy the fruits of being seen as different, then compain when it makes less positive things come your way.

I'm in no way accusing you or placing blame on you as an individual, but the "whites are different/better/wealthier/more educated" mantra already preceeded your arrival on African soil, sadly, put their by your own people.

I hope you continue to enjoy Nigeria and Nigerians, you are very welcome.

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I get unsolicited e-mails all the time, but rarely ones from Nigerian scammers. I've never heard of an e-mail which, on its own has the ability to scam you.  If someone goes in for a scam which looks to involve a process which they believe to be illegal, they are willing to be an accomplice, and share a criminal propensity.

I think we have to accept the fact that bad news travels fast and far. I remember one Ghanaian lady also who told me how she felt about Nigerians, this was before she told me that her brother who was "missing" in London, was actually serving a prison sentence, the owner of the Ghanaian restaurant that we visited was closed down because it was actually a cover for drug trafficking (using children as couriers), oh and also before she told me, that almost all her friends from school went to Togo for prostitution.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

We know we have a criminal element, no Nigerian would deny that,but don't think that all our neighbours are squeaky clean as they would have you believe. Having said that, the few who spoil our name should be severly dealt with, rather than celebrated just because they have money and a flshy lifestyle.

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Siena

I thought they were few because I don't come across scammers very often. I stand corrected.

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You're bang on target sister.

The only discrepancy I can see is where you say "a few Nigerians". I'd say, a lot of Nigerians! I get a lot of unsolicited emails / yahoo! contacts from here, a lot of them asking me to do all manner of illegal deeds! Bear in mind, Nairaland does not even make up a fraction of the smallest village in Nigeria!

As for the Ghanian lady, she was just saying what she felt, it's not nice to hear, but in most cases, very true. Nigerians not welcome in Kenya! It would be funny, if it wasn't so tragic.

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And, why are Nigerians not always made welcome in most countries?

The answers are staring you in the face.

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The bad deeds of a few Nigerians have been used to judge us all.

Once another African (non-Nigerian) knows that I'm Nigerian, I end up hearing stories of all the bad things Nigerians have done in their countries from chalk being sold as paracetamol to the usual 419 scams. Where I used to work, one Ghanaian lady told me how she really felt about Nigerians, and it was bad. I had to tell her to shut up. If our fellow Africans feel this way about us, just imagine how the rest of the world feels.

Until some Nigerians stop trying to acquire riches 'by any means' necessary, we won't be welcome in most countries.

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We are not really welcome in most countries. Try going to Europe with a Nigerian passport and see what I mean. The fact that you're black is bad enough, let alone that you have a Nigerian passport.

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I want to know what a 'three-pronged oscillator' man is!

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A bit long, didn't get the real point . . . . . .

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I always find it funny when people want to point out that other people commit crime etc - it's like a child blaming a sibling or an invisible friend for doing something. 

Even if other nationalities do these things what do I care?  Is their country's reputation anything like Nigeria's reputation abroad?

Siena said it best:

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