by Justice Okamgba
The people of Nigeria can easily be included amongst the most intelligent people in the world. Contrary to the misconception that all Nigerians are criminals.
I had previously been contacted by a woman who claimed to be from California in the United States. Her intent was to somehow convince me to become a part of the Bitcoin mining operation that she was involved with. She gave a very detailed presentation.
When I explained that I had no interest in becoming a part of it. She responded by saying “So you are from Nigeria ” My answer was yes and I was immediately blocked. Please keep in mind that she is the one who was desperately trying to get me to invest in her operation.
This stems from an appalling situation that affects many Nigerians either directly or indirectly. Many believe that they would be better off if they were not Nigerian. This is wrong in so many ways and they should never think this way. They should be proud of who they are and of their heritage. The image of the Nigerians has been tarnished by the media of Nigeria and many other countries.
Please do not rely on this misinformation to set your beliefs about our heritage. It is information that is swayed by imbalanced opinions. It doesn’t represent the real truth about who we really are and the abilities and knowledge that we have to offer the world. Do not let the opinions of those who really do not know our truth sway your opinion of who you are and what you are capable of.
How could you label all Nigerians as criminals when it’s only a fraction of the population that have been involved in fraud? Nigerians have been stereotyped and that rattles me. Even, a few times, I have seen fraudulent social media advertisement posted by non-Nigerians.
Besides, Nigerian security operatives have apprehended foreigners for criminal offenses before. The Nigerian media do not amplify these reports. Once they break the news, that ends it because there are no follow up reports.
If you do diligent research you will learn that Nigeria is no different from most other countries in the world. There are both good and bad people in every country, race, and religion.
Recently, the media reported that 77 Nigerians were recently involved in online fraud, the biggest in US history. I completely agree that they deserved to be apprehended because no man in his right senses should support fraud.
However, I see that ugly incident from a different angle. As far as I know, those Nigerian cybercriminals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation List are some of the smartest guys in the world. Their talent could have had a social impact on the people but they chose to utilize their talent wrongly. They are not different from other cybercriminals in other part of the world.
The most important thing is for us as Nigerians m to realize that the world admires our high level of intelligence. Just a few days ago, Uzoma Asagwara was elected into Canada’s legislature, Manitoba Province. She is just one of those Nigerians who hold important positions both in the UK and US government. And we have had a lot of them to achieve this kind of feat in the past.
Academically, Nigerians do wonder. In 2016, 43 of the 96 graduating Doctor of Pharmacy candidates at Howard University were Nigerians, and 16 of the 27 awards that were given went to Nigerians.
Nigerians are the most educated immigrants in the United States, and they have the highest education attainment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and Census.
Further, did you know that the world’s fastest supercomputer was designed by a Nigerian? He is Philip Emeagwali and the patent was awarded in 2015. It simply means that Nigeria has the patent to the world’s fastest computer: a Nigerian!
It’s just disheartening that people are horrendously misinformed about Nigeria and they do not truly understand how influential, exceptional, and powerful Nigerians are. These are some of the qualities are known for, hence, the reason we must start developing our country.
Nigeria knows what to do to solve its problems. If we are able to completely eliminate bad leadership and have the right people in critical positions, then, our hope would be restored. Nigerians in the diaspora will begin to return home. Eventually, those people who see us as criminals will start begging to come to Nigeria.
Justice Okamgba writes from Lagos. He is a journalist, SEO specialist, and a web designer. firstname.lastname@example.org