My husband met up with a friend he hadn’t seen in a while. As they were catching up, the man asked if my husband’s family was still in Nigeria.
That is, he means me and the kids.
My husband said we were. The man then exclaimed,
“Ah! Why are they still in Nigeria?!”
He then talked about everything in this country that is bad and how he had relocated his family to Canada. I guess the conversation made my husband feel funny. Like he wasn’t doing everything to protect his family and secure our future.
But he knows.
We talked about migrating to Canada when the whole furore started. Textbook speaking, it seemed like the thing to do. Insecurity in this country is worsening. Inflation keeps getting higher and healthcare is in nothing to speak about. The public schools are a sorry sight. The private schools give minimal at a very expensive price. Leaving Nigeria looked attractive.
We talked about it but we were not convinced that it was the best for us. I personally have never longed for life out of this country. Visiting is good but relocating has no appeal for me. I had even talked about it with my husband before we married. He had a lot of family members who were no longer living in Nigeria. I didn’t want to move.
But you know how it is for any responsible man. Someone berates you for not doing what they think would be best for you. Then suddenly, you have a moment of questioning your choices.
I was angry.
I am not one of those that look for what is ‘bad’ abroad to suggest that life is easier here. But I won’t speak about how expensive life abroad can be and compare it to Nigeria. I know that a person who earns 14 dollars an hour cannot be compared to the person that earns marginally less than that in one day.
Also, I know a lot of these countries have working systems. I know if you work hard, you will have a roof over your head and good amenities that are luxuries here in Nigeria.
I won’t even berate anyone’s choices to live abroad. However, I only ask of one thing.
Do not berate my choices for living here in Nigeria.
Yes, NEPA is still a problem. Yes, from time to time, we have fuel scarcity. Also, our health insurance is the tithe we pay and the prayers we pray. I know that ASUU exists and that the system doesn’t work. I know that travelling by road is now a risky venture. I know all the problems.
But the choice to live in Nigeria is as sacrosanct as your choice to live in another country. I am not being irresponsible by being here.
So, when my husband narrated the encounter, I got furious. Why did he relocate his family but he is still here? My husband said that he had business concerns. I laughed. So he knows that viable businesses are still running here, abi? That people are still making money here. Why did he not go and sit in heaven… sorry I mean Canada?
There are success stories of people relocating.
There are many failures as well that they struggle to hide.
I once knew of a guy who was in management level in Zenith Bank. He relocated and struggled. He was a mall cop. I mean, a security man at a mall. This was until a relative got an appointment and was able to secure this man an Executive Director position in one of the government parastatals.
Cashing out o kpor kpor kpor….
This man came back and lived a life people dream about. A life with personal and official drivers. A luxury that Canada would not have given him. He was travelling all around the world on official trips; while his wife was doing madam with a house full of domestic staff.
This is the Nigeria that he left for saner climes.
If you have something going for you here, don’t dump it for some utopia that does not exist. The ‘abroad’ life is not for everyone. Some will thrive, some will not. The kinds of challenges they face are very different from ours but they are still challenges all the same. Nobody is waiting out there to hand out dollars and pounds to you. You earn it and it isn’t easy to come by and the bills swallow it up as they come.
Here you fit see urgent 2k.
Abroad no be so.
I am doing what I said I wouldn’t do, right? That is, write as if life abroad is tougher than life here.
It isn’t true though. It has what is easier and it has what is more difficult.
But that is not the point of me writing all of this.
I am begging you. Stop the nonsense of berating people that are still here in Nigeria or have no plans of leaving. You are not more responsible than they are. Not everyone will leave and that is okay.
If you want to leave, it is good. Do you. Don’t just come to me with stupid stories as though you have moved to heaven. You have not and we know it. I am also not in hell because I choose to live here.
I am happy for you. But I am also happy where I am, believe it or not.