For many diasporans, the decision to leave Nigeria is not taken lightly.
The rich cultural tapestry, familial ties, and the warmth of the Nigerian spirit are hard to leave behind.
Yet, a growing number of Nigerians are making the difficult choice to seek a life beyond their nation’s borders.
The reasons for this exodus are multifaceted, and for many, deeply personal.
Join us as we delve into reasons that have propelled Nigerian diasporans to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Police Brutality and Harassment
For many diasporans encounters with Nigerian police have been far from protective.
Stories of harassment, extortion, and even violence at the hands of the police are not uncommon.
One diasporan recounted a harrowing experience where he was kidnapped, and despite presenting evidence of the crime to the police, he was asked to pay a bribe.
Another shared a chilling account of being labelled a fraudster by the police, leading to physical assault. Such experiences erode trust in the very institutions meant to safeguard citizens.
Beyond police brutality, the general state of insecurity in Nigeria has been a significant push factor.
From kidnappings to terrorist attacks, many diasporans have personal stories that highlight the volatile security situation in Nigeria.
A diasporan narrated how he was robbed at gunpoint by three individuals around Odo Eran @Ikotun. He wrote,” My phone had crookcatcher app so the faces of the criminals were taken and sent 2 my email by the app. Arrived NPF with evidence they asked for 200k, phone’s worth 80k. criminals’ faces.”
Another diasporan from Nigeria wrote, “My wife and son narrowly missed the train attack in Kaduna by bandits. They were supposed to be on the train. I was in Lagos at the time and hearing about the attack, I almost had a heart attack. I made up my mind that day and 3 months later we were out of 9ja.”
The leadership vacuum and the perceived apathy of those in power towards the plight of ordinary citizens have been a sore point.
The October 2020 incident, where security operatives reportedly opened fire on peaceful protesters in Lagos, was a turning point for many.
The event underscored for many Nigerian diasporans the lengths to which the leadership would go to suppress dissenting voices.
Economic Challenges and Unemployment
The economic landscape in Nigeria has been challenging, with many facing unemployment and underemployment.
The country’s youth, despite being one of its most significant assets, find themselves grappling with a lack of opportunities.
For those who seek to establish businesses, challenges such as police harassment can stifle entrepreneurial spirit, pushing them to seek more conducive environments abroad.
A diasporan revealed that Buhari’s draconian economic policies put his small company out of business. He wrote, “… only then did I remember after 36 years that I had a blue passport rotting away somewhere. The trip was only meant to explore other business opportunities,7 years later bought me a house, had my family with me and leaving my best life. Can’t complain.”
Lack of Public Trust in Institutions
The erosion of public trust in institutions is a pervasive issue. From the police and health facilities to educational institutions like the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has been known to embark on prolonged strikes, the lack of reliability pushes many to seek systems where there’s a semblance of order and predictability.
Another diasporan wrote, “There was no trustworthy hospital in Nigeria – not in Akwa Ibom where Victor Attah, @Senator_Akpabio & @MrUdomEmmanuel had governed for 23 years, not even in Lagos where @officialABAT@tundefashola @AkinwunmiAmbode & @jidesanwoolu had held sway for the same period – where this medical condition (https://nuvasive.com/conditions/limb-lengthening/limb-length-discrepancy/) could be treated & possibly fixed.”
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