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Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! - Politics - Nairaland

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Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by shakazuldadon: 12:22am On May 27, 2015
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Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal!
Tope Fasua.


You have to be more patient than Jesus Christ himself, to travel through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and not be extremely angry. Well, if you’re a foreigner, the emotion may not be anger, but shock, consternation, pity, bewilderment. It has always been this way, it will perhaps forever be like this. Except President-Elect Buhari takes a flame-thrower through that Godforsaken place. Very little is worthy of remaining there, especially the staff.

Or how do i say this? You get to MM2 Domestic Airport in Lagos and hustlers fill the place – like everywhere else in Nigeria anyway. This time, they come into the arrival area and start to drag you to enter their overpriced taxis. You wonder why they cannot wait outside. Is it true that we must hustle like the worst of wild animals in order to get by in this country?

A taxi driver friend of yours sees you and cuts off the other people. He says he’s known you for years, and what more, he is the ‘chairman’ of their association. Then he proceeds to slam you with a ‘discounted’ bill of N3,500 (almost $20) for one of his boys to ferry you between the local and international airport. You did a hard bargain back to $10. But that too is a lot of money to transit the same airport!

You arrive at the international airport and a machine gun-toting ‘mobile’ policeman is hailing you and asking what you brought for him. As in, seriously? Just-now, just-now? WTF will i bring anything for you? As what? Because i was expecting to see you there? The chaos at the entrance door is second to none.

In 1999 it was the same. After the ‘transformation’, which is probably a transmogrification, it is the same, if not worse. Dozens of people want to get in at once, like a Rugby Scrum, head down, shoulders hunched. The FAAN personnel there screams at the top of his lungs. This is meant to be an International Airport right? The face of Nigeria? Oh, i forgot, it had since been transformed.

You manage to get in for a touch-down after the scrum, and what hits you first is the poor quality of the now unravelled renovation. Look up, the air-conditioning vents have dark stains around them. The ceiling looked like it could have been there since 50 years. Whoever the contractor was is an idiot, plain and simple. I can imagine the billions that went down here, in this country of enemies, where many actively, for selfish and primordial reasons, love to destroy the country.

They had me fooled for a while. I can’t believe i supported Stella. I said at least she tried. But this? No chance! But maybe its not only about Stella. There is something defective about the Nigerian. If you love your children, make sure you point out to them what constitutes normalcy and what does not. If they have to role-play, and act mad because that is what this country demands, let them know that it’s role-play. Many Nigerians no longer know this.

They have taken their madness abroad. As mad people, they do not know just how ridiculous they look, and sound, to people of other countries, who often, it must be said, already put up a guard, and have prejudged you, simply because they know you’re a Nigerian. The jury is still out, to determine who is wrong or who is right.

The guy that checks your name against the manifest acts funny and tries to create problems, amidst reminding you that ‘your boy is loyal sir’. He asks for your ‘Yellow Fever Card’. And in the event you have none, you either go one kilometer down the road, to the underpass (and expend another N4,000 – $20 with another taxi driver), to get the genuine one, or you can go with that Patovilki cleaner there (pointing), and he can sort something out for you in the male toilet.

Patovilki. Is that not where that Auntie that returned N12million works? Where they pay them N7,800 monthly? Everybody is running deals at Nigeria’s premier airport. It’s worse than shameless. Cleaners have ‘clean’ copies of fake Yellow Fever Cards they can insert your name on. For a fee.

The girls who actually check you in tell you they can’t see your name in their system, though it’s in the manifest. You have to lumber your luggage upstairs to talk to their royal majesties in the airline office. A-SKY this time around. You ask them why the A-SKY people are not downstairs to sort this out, after all they collected their fare for the ticket. “Instructions sir”. Upstairs the lousy staff argues on about why you, the poor customer, must come and meet them to sort out their own silly computer glitch.

You give her a lecture about customer service. It all goes in our ear, and comes out the other. Her fat boss saunters out of his office, and a conversation ensues between the two of them that reveals they don’t know what they are talking about. You shake your head in a combination of disgust and pity. Why is it that Nigerians have no respect or regard, or even feelings for one another?

And is this poverty we are seeing at Nigeria’s airports? It’s not this way in our neighboring countries. It seems more than physical. Perhaps a poverty mentality, a spiritual and mental sense of inadequacy, powered by expired cultures, that leaves a huge gaping hole no matter what you put in it.


It is more like a brutal prison. You get an idea that Nigerians step out of their houses each morning, with a mission to gyp, swindle, beg, cheat, hustle, con, other Nigerians – and the occasional hapless foreigner who made it his/her business to traverse this blessed wasteland of human scavengers. Scavengers, with all the religion they profess. Maybe that is even part of the problem.

I listened to one of the prosperity preachers recently, and in the combination of vainglory, huge sense of entitlement, and copious selections from the Bible to justify his importance, and right to dominate others, I realized the guy is insane. I mean totally wacko! But millions follow him, and worship the ground he walks on.

But I digress. The team of Customs, NDLEA and SSS who rifle through your luggage wants something for the weekend. The FAAN guy who checks your boarding pass wants something. The team of FAAN personnel around the scanning machine are all over you like flies. One woman says “this is Good friday sir.

Your people are loyal” and you wonder whether Easter is next monday. It is just so disgusting. These people are well-paid, and they aren’t owed salaries. But apparently there is a competition for who comes off everyday with the biggest heist. Luckily, the queuing area is one of the lasting innovations of Stella Oduah. But not the people.

After the scanner is another set of NDLEA and Customs. I even get to see Abba Moro for the first time. Chai, the man is tiny o. TV can be deceptive. But the powerful come in different shapes and sizes. I hear Idoma people have really benefited in his regime.

You get herded to a hot zone in what the airline calls “pre-boarding”. After 15 minutes people start to revolt and leave the steaming zone. One white man says the place is ‘cooking’. The air-conditioning in the entire airport has since gone kaput. In the aircraft, the cabin crew apologize to all that their water and Fanta is warm… for obvious reasons. Even though they are an international airline, Nigeria is the leg where the ball is dropped.

No diesel to power the generator to ensure the fridge is working. Sorry. My last Emirate trip to Dubai, the airline had to stop at Jeddah to refuel, lest it drops off the sky before getting to Dubai. They didn’t have enough Jet Fuel in Obodo Nigeria. So, call me Alhaji henceforth. I don pass Saudi – even though i no reach Makkah. Jeddah is a lot like Dubai. Everybody has powered on to the future.

You arrive Togo, the home of A-SKY, and you begin to see some order, in a rustic, not-so-rich African country. A-SKY we hear is doing so well as a regional carrier now, where others failed. Togo seems to maintain what it has. There is a new EYADEMA AIRPORT yet to be unveiled by the side though. Everyone is waking up. Nigeria alone, remains in a slumber, a laggard, big-for-nothing bully country of greedy, dysfunctional people who cannot wait to tell you how important they are!

What is this music playing inside A-SKY? Have i not heard it before? Oh! The airline is run by Ethiopian Airlines under some arrangements? The MD is Ethiopian. Wow.. No wonder the plane was so new and clean. The Ethiopians have taken over aviation in Africa. The Nigerians have no clue what has hit them. The Togolese. Those ones they have some principles. Is it that French comes out gentler in people’s mouths?

Even angry customers seem to speak softly. No one was trying to bring down the entire airport. And on the tarmac, they only allowed five passengers at a time, to come down and climb the stairs to the plane. Nothing like emptying the entire bus load like we do here.


I don’t like to hastily judge a city, because they may have seedy areas that will shock you. I hated Sodom and Gomorrah in Accra when i visited. But i think for all these cities, they ensure they present their best faces first. I think i can fairly conclude, after moving round a bit, that Ivoriens are a lot neater than Nigerians. I saw a few people ‘pissing’ by the roadside, but not a lot of filth. Unlike the pigsty Abuja became in the last four years, there are no nasty posters to give you a headache and make your heart bleed. No one at the airport was trying to shake you down.

My hotel – which i chose randomly online from the list given by ADB – is in a not-so-upscale part of town. Yet this area – just like Addis when i slept there – was serenely quiet through the night. Taxis and other cars queue almost noiselessly in the streets below. No one leans on their horns. The electricity never blinked. Was out on the town last night and every streetlight worked.

The city was neat, there was a buzz. Like Nairobi, Kigali and Kampala, there is an attempt to have a real 24 hours economy – and that is an additional 20% added to GDP. I also notice that food, hotel, drinks, are all cheap. In Nigeria, everyone selling anything seems to wait for you by the corner to stick you up with a knife and collect your money.

No, Nigeria, you’re not normal. You need help. But first, learn to shut up and listen.

Surgeon Dr. Buhari, over to you sir.

1 Like

Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by redsconsult(m): 12:46am On May 27, 2015
cant imagine reading and going thru all this but op thats why we are naigerians and those countries you mentioned envy us alot and cant do without us... we are dirty, but rich, we dominate africa.
Dr Buhari is not a miracle doctor but atleast will give us great sanity to the system.
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Nobody: 12:56am On May 27, 2015
Biafra pls come, land, show Nigeria what a proper nation with right thinking people should be.

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Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Ymodulus: 1:06am On May 27, 2015
cant imagine reading and going thru all this but op thats why we are naigerians and those countries you mentioned envy us alot and cant do without us... we are dirty, but rich, we dominate africa.
Dr Buhari is not a miracle doctor but atleast will give us great sanity to the system.
Are you a representative of RedMedia? Owned by DebolaLagos?
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Nobody: 1:10am On May 27, 2015
We are Nigerians we can't be normal if you doubt me watch the comments. Am posting on nairaland by this time hoping to hit fb tell me is that normal.

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Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Vikkie14: 1:29am On May 27, 2015

it was POEM at first sight.

Until i notice you were actually relaying an experience. You must be a skilled Poet(you sounds as one and i like that).
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Sibrah: 2:17am On May 27, 2015
I look at Nigeria at times and conclude we aren't ripe to have freedom and rule over ourselves.
We appear irredeemable in corrupt practices.
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by vedd: 3:02am On May 27, 2015
Nigeria is not a normal country. No doubt about that.
Our country is over-supplied with overpaid incompetent, negligent and self-serving officials and personnels littering key organizations and institutions with huge burdens of insensitivity and inadequacy. Everywhere you go, you find a smolthering manifestation of values disorientation and misrepresentation.
Some religious, political and traditional leaders are not left out in this teeming mass of scammers, swindlers and unethical actors.


Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Holluwatarhyor(m): 3:10am On May 27, 2015
What an epistle
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by OrlandoOwoh(m): 3:13am On May 27, 2015
It's frustrating finding yourself in the Murtala Muhammed Int'l Airport, Ikeja. At first, when you drive in from Ikeja Along on Agege Motor Road or accros it on the overhead bridge from Mobolaji Bank Anthony, down to the airport, you may likely not encounter traffic. But when coming out, especially when your flight arrived late in the night, you go smell your yansh for hold up. You could spend up to four hours there before you get to Ikeja Along or Mobolaji Bank.
At the international wing, I won't say anything. Just go see how air travellers are frustrated. Those FAAN guys at the scanners are just frustrating. They go to the extent of pushing people.
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by Pangea: 3:34am On May 27, 2015
I pass through that airport at least eight times in a year!
No one encounters that airport and will not conclude that Nigeria is a failed state.
It's always my first reality check that I am back in the zoo after encountering jaw dropping beauty of other saner lands.
Buhari should just sack everyone in that shiit hole and get a new crop of disciplined and trained workers with cctv monitoring them every minute.
That place is a absolute disgrace.
The facilities are non existent , from the non working Ac, escalator and the dilapidated baggage carousel.
I hate those beggars the most and the useless customs that want you to open your bags on arrival and you must pay them before you are allowed to go!
Can't they install scanners for that?
Do they have to make you open your luggage especially when you are not carrying any contraband?
It's just crazy!
Buhari has his work cut out for him!
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by EdCure: 3:58am On May 27, 2015
Worse still, by stumbling on the little criticism directed at Stella (the former Aviation minister), some readers will take offence, sesort to tribal sentiment and be at the defensive. They will go as far as "proving" how the writer is a hater, and what not. And the vicious circle of irresponsibily, mediocrity, rot and downward spiral continues.

Unfortunately Nigeria has become a practical reference point for Richard Sandbrook's "optimism of the will, pessimism of the intellect".


Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by vedd: 8:10pm On Jun 05, 2015
Biafra pls come, land, show Nigeria what a proper nation with right thinking people should be.
We should all make Nigeria work for us all and future generations.

1 Like

Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by yang(m): 8:28pm On Jun 05, 2015
Just divide this zoo
Re: Sorry Nigeria, You Are NOT Normal! by mars123(m): 8:37pm On Jun 05, 2015
Just divide this zoo
when you divide a Zoo,do u get a Haven?

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