The hypocrisy and irrelevance of the Nigerian outrage

By Israel Njoku

Nigerians can be compared to that lazy boy who puts up with being called lazy by his mother or sister, but can’t bear it and gets into a fight when a mate in school calls him so too. A funny manifestation of this fact was during the hilarious Nigeria versus Ghana Twitter War.

Nigerians had prior to that being their own greatest Attackers, but when those Ghanaian blokes decided to partner in a two front attack on our country, we decided the Donkey had now strayed too far into the field and should be shown to the stables. How there Ghana join us to criticize our country? Small stupid Ghana?

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So Nigerians conveniently made up with a suddenly dear country and decided there and then that patriotism isn’t at all a bad concept. The Ghanaians, despite their best efforts- really gallant efforts, I must say-  were roasted black and dry by the frankly from-the-pit-of-hell Level of Savagery that Nigerians were capable of. After that, the lesson was well and truly learnt over Africa- Don’t ever mess with Big-Brother.

But why do we joke with our bad math’s scores, but get angry when its placed on the public notice boards?

Donald Trump, amongst other things called Africa a shit-hole. As Africa’s Big Brother, Nigeria led the disgruntled delegation from Africa to protest on social media. Encouraged by opportunistic democratic politicians who know deep in their hearts that we are really a shithole but have to be bloody democrats and shout “Racism!”, we cried bitterly that Mr. Trump called us, Africa, Nigeria in particular with our libraries, good roads, top notch security and a good economy, one of the biggest in Africa, a shit-hole.

We couldn’t be savaged this time around. There was simply no ammunition to aim at the biggest country in the world. We could only just be angry and spew meaningless things like, “political correctness” which does not in any way make trump’s statement less true, or justify our anger, when we should instead be covering our faces in shame.

Chimamanda was in France the other day and didn’t fail to deliver the typical Nigerian dose of savagery to a reporter who was stupid enough to ask her whether there were libraries in Nigeria. She was angry, and let the world know that France was a kind of shit-hole too for harboring a reporter who couldn’t do basic research in this digital age.

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Trust Nigerians. They all hopped on Facebook to commend Chimamanda for “representing” the country well, as well as add their own words for the reporter too. Although it is true the reporter’s questions were lazy and ignorant, it is also true that although there are bookshops in Nigeria, even in Chad or Somalia, there are not even close to enough for the Millions of Nigerians.

The point is that we have an ultra-poor reading culture in this country and that the government is doing the barest minimum in making books available. Nigerians are also hopelessly ignorant. Go on social media, check comments on posts by sites like Goal.com or CNN and see the amount of ignorance out on display by Nigerians.

Our anger is a misplaced one, motivated by hurt pride or embarrassment. We don’t like it when our dirty linens are washed in the public.

“Our anger is a misplaced one, motivated by hurt pride or embarrassment. We don’t like it when our dirty linens are washed in the public.”

We should direct our anger at our government for not providing books, or stocking up the libraries adequately, not at some poor reporter in France. This is because our problems are not because bookshops are completely absent, but because the ones available are too inconsequential to solve the deficiency in our reading culture. We should direct our anger at ourselves for creating a shit-hole, not at the man who points out our situation for us, never mind the words he used.

“We should direct our anger at ourselves for creating a shit-hole, not at the man who points out our situation for us, never mind the words he used.”

For a long time, Africa had adopted a deflection policy when we deal with criticisms from the world. When the Western media reports famine, war, disease and coups, we cry that the world is being fed a single story. We do not realize that in bringing all our troubles to our faces, they are actually doing us a favor. If our smelly shit is not continuously being dropped underground to sucker-ways, but placed right in front of us, we would alter our diet to eat those foods that wouldn’t smell too much.  We have been so used to suffering and smiling that we get annoyed when we are reminded of our suffering.

“For a long time, Africa had adopted a deflection policy when we deal with criticisms from the world. When the Western media reports famine, war, disease and coups, we cry that the world is being fed a single story. We do not realize that in bringing all our troubles to our faces, they are actually doing us a favor. If our smelly shit is not continuously being dropped underground to sucker-ways, but placed right in front of us, we would alter our diet to eat those foods that wouldn’t smell too much.  We have been so used to suffering and smiling that we get annoyed when we are reminded of our suffering.”

Israel Njoku writes from University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in Enugu State where he is studying Mass communication.

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