Saturday, 6 December 2008

Embassy Angers Nigerians

By Hakeem Babalola
A Report

Quite number of Nigerians in Hungary are not happy that the 48th National Day celebration of their country was marked strictly by invitation in Budapest. This group of Nigerians has questioned the rationale behind such closed door initiative which they simply called discriminatory gesture. The former Nigerian Union President Hungary, Peter Ihaza, was asked for his opinion even though he was in Canada during the celebration. Although he said that it was hard to comment since he was not there, Ihaza believed the Nigerian Union should have advised the Embassy on how to go about the celebration to avoid a situation whereby people became angry...read more

16 comments:

chanchaga said...

The invitation to mark the 48th birthday of Nigeria is not an issue. It should not take precedence over the primary functions for the Embassy.

What is the function of the diplomatic mission abroad? I look into wikipedia for a brief quote

“The role of such a mission is to protect in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law; negotiating with the Government of the receiving State as directed by the sending State; ascertaining by lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State; promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embassy

There are numerous other functions but I cannot seem to pin point what they are doing to help the image of Nigeria abroad. They have been used as entertainment centres for receiving visitors from home. We have not seen any physical development attributed to them.

Nigerians in diasporas like me and millions of others view the missions as a money making agency via visa/passport applications, entertainment centres, and guest houses for government officials, Chancery staff and their families and an extension of Nigeria’s chaotic environment.

We have no choice because we have seen nothing favourable in terms of bilateral trade, improving relations and protecting its citizens abroad. I might be naïve to think in this manner but I cannot be blamed because what you see is what you get in this case.

Diplomatic mission officials are invited for award nights, lunchings parties and other felicitations. Who is who affairs.

Hundreds of Nigerians are put in jails abroad and in some cases, they might not be properly represented legally. In many cases, the authorities know that the Nigerian missions are not too willing to intervene. It took one year and six months for Osamuyia’s body to be flown back home after he was killed by the immigration authorities in Spain.

As a Nigerian travelling abroad, one fact remains. You are on your own if anything happens to you. Do not expect help from the mission. You must have family and friends in any country you are travelling to so that you can receive help in case of difficulties. We all seem to look the other way when we hear horror stories of people in transit abroad.

If you are reading this mail, you are either abroad, about to travel or will travel in the near future. Just close your eyes and imagine it is you in trouble.

chrisog300@yahoo.com said...

You are absolutely more than right! the nigerian embassies abroad especially the one in china, is worst place you can ask a nigerian to go and get help! its just an extension of ministry of commerce, no money no help!and God have mercy on you if dont have anyone at the top who speak the same language or from the same tribe like u!The only business that they know better is visa
racketting, As many nigerians are languishing in jail over immigration problem, the look the other way! the little state secret nigeria have the sell it for a poridge! sometimes, it baffles you how they arrange some incoseqential chinese to meet any of our president when they are here without due process, once they are given $200 they are ready to go any length to sell nigeria out! could you imagine a chinese telling you to your face that nigeria is now afrcicas weakest country? and when i ask him to explain futher, he said that its only nigeria that dont care for its citizen when they are in problem , and when i asked futher i found out the man talking to me was a police man!Sorry my fellow nigerians! Infact, oyo is name of nigeria embassies abroad!

britroyal1 said...

You know Nigerians especially the illiterates are unpredictable on occasions like that," he asserted. "So it's better to protect the image of our country in the presence of ambassadors and other important personalities."

As snobbish as this statement is, I have tears in my eyes from uncontrollable laughter; but honestly speaking, I don't see the need for much hullabaloo over this. Invitation to an embassy event is at the discretion of embassy officials. I'm not sure if the American Embassy throws wide open their embassy to ALL Americans in foreign countries on the 4th of July now. People can host their own private celebrations. So people cannot enjoy Independence day without government sanction? Is government the answer to everything? Abeg...

lateesha said...

A Nigerian student who attended the party offered to explain why many Nigerians may have been disregarded. He said the embassy might have feared the repercussion of inviting many Nigerians to such occasion where ambassadors, foreign ministry officials and other dignitaries were present.

"You know Nigerians especially the illiterates are unpredictable on occasions like that," he asserted. "So it's better to protect the image of our country in the presence of ambassadors and other important personalities.


Look at this ignorant statement from a party attendant.What a shame.

Majek Adega said...

Dear Mr. Babalola:

Good day to you. I have just finished reading your article with respect to the above caption. I am not shocked at all. Nigerian officials only exist for themselves. They do not have any sense that they should be representing Nigerians. Having said that, there is really nothing to celebrate about Nigeria's supposed independence. In Toronto here the story was different. Some of us demonstrated at the party because there was nothing to celebrate and this eventaully prevented the ambassador from attending. He was very angry and tried to get us arrested, but his naivety was exposed by the police who told him there was nothing illegal about demonstrations in Canada - I guess he thought he was in Nigeria.

Next time, maybe you guys should go there and demonstrate, they will hear you then. Trust me. You guys should let them know that next time they try to hold a "by invitation only" independence day dance, your group will demonstrate at the site of such party. You mark it, you will hear from the embassy very quickly - they are chickens who cannot stand demonstrations.

I wish you good luck in your struggle with these irredeemably corrupt officials. Have a wonderful day.

Regards,
Majek Adega
ChangeNigeria Group
Toronto, Canada

lateesha said...

=chrisog300@yahoo.com;296672>You are absolutely more than right! the nigerian embassies abroad especially the one in china, is worst place you can ask a nigerian to go and get help! its just an extension of ministry of commerce, no money no help!and God have mercy on you if dont have anyone at the top who speak the same language or from the same tribe like u!The only business that they know better is visa
racketting, As many nigerians are languishing in jail over immigration problem, the look the other way! the little state secret nigeria have the sell it for a poridge! sometimes, it baffles you how they arrange some incoseqential chinese to meet any of our president when they are here without due process, once they are given $200 they are ready to go any length to sell nigeria out! could you imagine a chinese telling you to your face that nigeria is now afrcicas weakest country? and when i ask him to explain futher, he said that its only nigeria that dont care for its citizen when they are in problem , and when i asked futher i found out the man talking to me was a police man!Sorry my fellow nigerians! Infact, oyo is name of nigeria embassies abroad!


My experiences with Nigerian embassies can fill a book.
Blatant tribalism .
Sometime ago we went to New York embassy to renew our NIgerian passports,the high commissioner was from a particular tribe in Nigeria and so was everybody else that worked under him,at least from what I saw.
Come and see "man know man".some clients just went up to the window and spoke their language,you're attended to while the rest of us patiently waited and waited.2 stupid men were almost about to slug it out like 2 motor park agboros,Tufia.

Then some other time,I visited a different embassy.Everyone spoke Igbo,the same "man know man" The attendant at the window named Ngozi was so rude and unprofessional.
Some people were taken right upstairs when they arrived,they were too big to take a number and stand in line like us little people.
At some point while we all waited,they went on a "staff meeting" for a whole 2 1/2 hours :eek::eek::eek:we waited for them to return from a meeting that could have been any other time afterall they stopped receiving clients at about 2 PM daily.
They don't take personal checks
They don't take credit or debit cards
They don't take cash
You have to go out and fish out a place to buy money order and then "stand" in line again waiting.
Nigeria is almost hopeless.
Only God can help us.

bakoso2000 said...

I am not you brother or sister if you cannot be a good ambassador of Nigeria abroad. Don’t call me when you get into trouble. A lot of recent immigrants from Nigeria will do anything for money in their host countries and when they get into trouble that it when they remember that they are Nigerians and they want the embassy or other law-abiding Nigerians to bail them out. If you are a drug curriers and identity stealing Nigerians or other get-rich-quick scam artists, when you get caught, you are sure on your own. A lot of innocent Nigerians get tarred with the same brush and are made to suffer for your sins. Certainly, the ambassador is under no obligation inviting a Nigerian whose source of living is unknown or immigration status, questionable to an embassy event. Rather if you commit felony, the ambassador should only be keen to help the host country speed up your repatriation home before you cause further embarrassment

auspicious said...

I don't know any people who take the particular joy of being cruel to themselves like the unenlightened amongst us. Rather than work to strenghting us as Nigerians - as black people - they ignorantly allow their inferiority complex to consume them and weaken us collectively while they remain local champions.

Who wins at the end of the day? Those who once kept us as slaves, of course.

For them, as far as they are concerned, we are all the same "sub-pars" - including the local champions in power too: at the bank, at the post-office, at the embassies, at the Governor's Mansion, at Aso Rock...etc.

It is a painful reality to confront.

I wonder if my generation will ever witness the rise of the black people beyond individual progress like the Obamas et al...

Right now, the only semblance of success in the fight against corruption is being humiliated around town in Nigeria while the so-called educated amongst us are celebrating his travails..

Sigh..

Auspicious.

Anonymous said...

=bakoso2000;296752>I am not you brother or sister if you cannot be a good ambassador of Nigeria abroad. Don’t call me when you get into trouble. A lot of recent immigrants from Nigeria will do anything for money in their host countries and when they get into trouble that it when they remember that they are Nigerians and they want the embassy or other law-abiding Nigerians to bail them out. If you are a drug curriers and identity stealing Nigerians or other get-rich-quick scam artists, when you get caught, you are sure on your own. A lot of innocent Nigerians get tarred with the same brush and are made to suffer for your sins. Certainly, the ambassador is under no obligation inviting a Nigerian whose source of living is unknown or immigration status, questionable to an embassy event. Rather if you commit felony, the ambassador should only be keen to help the host country speed up your repatriation home before you cause further embarrassment.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From your response sir,I take it that you work at one if the embassies/High commission.
No one is calling you to come bail them out of jail.All we are asking is that you folks don't take the same tribalistic and unprofessional attitude that has ruined your country and mine and transport it to your offices here in the west.
It's quite a rude shock to some of us who have lived here a while and worked in a civilized soceity to arrive at our embassies for a visa to Nigeria and be reminded of the same ills we witnessed back home.

In America everyone is treated equally.You folks have no right to tell me to go home and wait for my passport with visa to be mailed while I hear someone else told in Igbo to wait and his passport would be given to him in a few hours.That is not right.It is the Nigerian way but it is wrong.

Secondly,you cannot shut down your ears to your country men because some of them commit crimes.Are you folks incapable of handling the cases on a case by case basis such that every person arrested is a criminal ?
Have you never heard of such thing as wrongful arrests?

The Nigerian high commision may be located in North West DC,Atlanta and NY but the only difference between those offices and Nigeria is that we don't see hungry policemen collecting twenty twenty naira but I saw everything else.:sad::sad::sad:

mr. one naija said...

WHOSE DIPLOMATS?

How does anybody expect the petty traders and political thugs calling themselves Nigerian diplomats to exude finesse and decorum in their dealings with fellow citizens abroad? A great number of these so-called Nigerian representatives in alien lands are grotesque, coarse and lacking in basic manners. Impudent, foul-mouthed and anti-social, they are a reflection of the state of anomie obtainable in our dear Naija today. Our "diplomats" view their compatriots first and foremost in adversarial terms, hence the morbidly schizophrenic mindset that permeates these missions.

AISAGBON OMOGIADE said...

"Sometime ago we went to New York embassy to renew our NIgerian passports,the high commissioner was from a particular tribe in Nigeria and so was everybody else that worked under him,at least from what I saw".

Is the USA now a member of the commonwealth of Nations?Does the Nigerian Diplomatic Mission in the USA have a High Commissioner?Na Waoooo.

Rhemaman said...

I was at the Nigerian High commission in London last month to renew my passport. It was like Oshodi. You could see the few white ppl that we brave enough to come there for one reason or the other were looking as if they were in a movie scene. It was a thoroughly embarrassing situation.

Also, the High commission staff i saw seemed to be mostly from a part of Nigeria. I don't know if it was by design or accident.

Funny enough, i got my passport renewed within 2 hours. One thing i also noticed was that a lot (Not all) of fellow Nigerians that came to the High commission seemed to transform to the typical Naija attitude; loud, aggressive etc. I dont know who to blame now, is it the High commission staff or just our Naija attitude?

miliki way said...

Originally Posted by Rhemaman
"One thing i also noticed was that a lot (Not all) of fellow Nigerians that came to the High commission seemed to transform to the typical Naija attitude; loud, aggressive etc. I dont know who to blame now, is it the High commission staff or just our Naija attitude?"

Thank you. my broda. That was exactly my point earlier on. The apple never falls too far from the tree, they say. Those embassy officials are not from Mars. They are Nigerians, and are simply exhibiting the same brashness, intolerance, disrespect, and ineptitude that you'll commonly find among us.

auspicious said...

Why...WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Why do I have to be a Nigerian?

YES, I SAID IT!

AuspY.

dapxin said...

Its such a flawed country....

out.

Mr.Hart. said...

tanks u very much for di article. Awa people dey talk say "charity begings at home" The nigerian goverment represetatives wey dey for Budapest no get any regards for Naija people at all. Na for dis same embassy wey Hungarians and other foriegners dey first hear say: Nigerians are not discipline,Nigerians not responsible,Nigerians are criminals,Nigerians are dis and dat. Dem forget say dem too bi Nigerians and all di names also come back to dem. These people no get Naija interest at heart. Dem dey here for only their mata.
So I no dey suprised say dem no invite the Naija people were dey Hungary.

Mek di Naija people in Budapest demonstrate against such discrimination and hatred against dem by the PDP goverment representative are doing in budapest.

Make una dey well and may God help Naija.

Mr.Hart.
Paris,France.