A Follow Up

In attempt to address some of the reoccuring themes in the comments to my previous post, I’ve decided to write a follow-up.

Firstly, I did not write that post for the benefit of only Nigerians.  I don’t write for a particular audience, I write primarily for myself.  Insofar as I have a readership, I have an idea that it consists mainly of people who have known me in the past and a smattering of people who are interested in the oil and gas industry.  Other than that I have no idea who reads this blog, or how many of them there are.  I’ve been blogging for over 10 years, and I’ve never tried to slant a post in order to appease or anger a particular set of people.  I just write what I think, based on what I’ve seen, and present it as my personal opinion, nothing more.

With that in mind, let’s put to bed the idea that I am lecturing Nigerians on the state of affairs in their own country.  I put the article on my blog, and a whole load of Nigerian websites republished it without my permission.  This doesn’t bother me as they did credit me as the source (swiping my photo too on some occasions), but this article was not written with the intention of informing – or misleading – a Nigerian audience.  Some commenters claim I am saying nothing new, and they’d be correct.  I wouldn’t expect any expat to spend a mere 3 years in Lagos and be able to tell a Nigerian anything they didn’t already know about Nigeria.  Like I said, I didn’t write it for Nigerians, I wrote it for myself and anyone else who happens to be reading.  And for those who aren’t Nigerian, there was an awful lot of new stuff in there.

I note that some people have complained that I have not offered any solutions, just a list of problems.  There are two reasons for this.  For a start, I have no idea whatsoever what the solutions would be.  And also, it is hardly the place of an expat assigned for 3 years in Nigeria to start offering solutions to the country’s problems.  That would be arrogance in the extreme.

Secondly, I do appreciate that I only spent time in a very small part of Lagos and barely saw anywhere else in the country.  I cited security reasons to explain why this was the case, and a few commenters seem to think these were exaggerated.  Now I’ll admit, I could have explored more of Lagos than I did.  Our company security protocols were far more strict than those of other organisations, and objectively there were opportunities for me to have got out more.  But let’s be honest here: there is no chance a foreigner can go off exploring Nigeria on his own.  A foreigner driving himself about in mainland Lagos would be putting himself at serious risk of being car-jacked or robbed.  This is no mere paranoia, the statistics support this.  All the Nigerians I knew advised strongly against any expat going to the regional cities on a private trip.  I was invited to a wedding in Owerri and briefly looked at the possibility of going, before quickly abandoning the idea.  For a start, the guy getting married – who was from Owerri – was nervous about making the trip himself!  Returning from Lagos to a regional town is a signal for the local criminals that a “rich” guy is coming.  I know a guy from Warri who never goes back for much the same reasons.  If Nigerians are abandoning their regional cities due to the levels of lawlessness, what chances does a foreign tourist have of showing up and enjoying a weekend away?  Even foreigners travelling in groups would be a target for any number of dodgy officials, corrupt traffic police, area boys, and other criminals.  During my time in Nigeria one of my compatriots, a telecoms engineer, was kidnapped and murdered in the north of Nigeria by Boko Haram or one of its offshoots.  I’m sorry, but anyone who suggests I could have just taken off and explored Nigeria either doesn’t know the place very well or is being disingenuous.

On that note, I am quite prepared to believe what I experienced in Lagos was not representative of the whole country.  Contrary to what some people think, I am not a professor submitting a thesis to accurately describe every aspect of life in Nigeria.  I’m just a bloke who lived there giving my opinion based on what I saw.  However, I don’t believe that anything I’ve written is specific to Lagos and cannot be found across most if not all of Nigeria.  If there is a city, region, or state where everything I have described does not exist, then please feel free to point this out in the comments.  But I’m going to remain pretty skeptical of comments which claim my remarks are not representative but avoid citing any examples.

Thirdly, I am a Brit and British English is my first language, and the language in which this blog is written.  As I said, I don’t write for Nigerians, I write for myself.  The term “lad” in British English is not derogatory, and nor was it used with such an intent in my post.  The term “lads” in this context is a term of endearment used to convey friendship and warmth, and is a common term of reference in the UK.  There are few terms of praise in the British oil and gas business greater than being described as part of “a good bunch of lads”.  I suspect most people know this, but unfortunately one of the traits of a minority of Nigerians – and again, they are far from alone in this – is to seek offence at every opportunity, especially if this allows them to embark on a rant against “racist” British, colonial overlords, etc.  It is pretty tiresome.  The term “lads” is not racist nor derogatory, and those who think otherwise might want to consider that three of my lads were Scotsmen.

Finally, I do appreciate the comments, especially the many positive ones.  I am always glad when my articles reach out to somebody, and I value and greatly appreciate both your readership and the feedback.  Many thanks to all of you who read and commented on my piece.


42 thoughts on “A Follow Up

  1. Pingback: The End of an Assignment in Nigeria | White Sun of the Desert

  2. Hi Tim. Loved your post. Not in the least bothered by some of the harsh criticism. It is well deserved for the poor governance in Nigeria. Hopefully, we will meet up someday and I can tap your brain for some solutions……..over some good smokes of course 🙂

  3. Read your post about Nigeria and Melbourne. I happen to have grown up in Nigeria till I was 17, right now I have lived in Melbourne for the past 7 years. From your writing style there is no doubt that you are quite the cynic, Melbourne is not as bad as you make it out to be ‘arse end of no where’ really?
    And Nigeria, well that’s a whole other story. I happened to stumble on your post via another Nigerian posting the link on facebook, while you are entitled to your opinion and in some cases I am probably with you on the criticisms it’s hard not to take offense when you paint every person in the whole country by the same brush.

    “I came to the conclusion about 2 years into my assignment that Nigeria is probably the only genuinely classless society I have seen. Class is very different from wealth. Upper class people can be dirt poor (bankrupt dukes) and lower class people can be fabulously rich (Russian oligarchs). Class is about behaviour and attitudes, not wealth (a point made very well in Kate Fox’s excellent book Watching the English)”

    Right there in that paragraph you have labelled everybody you came across, that you worked with you, that might have tried to make your time in Nigeria comfortable as classless, while you then refer back to the English (your people) as the moral standard of ‘Class’……(the irony, remember colonialism?) Can you not see why that is extremely arrogant, given the colonial history of Nigeria. You my well manner, cultured, English friend are telling a single story of Nigeria based on a very limited experience and myopic view.
    While you have every right to your opinions, I ask you to think about the message you are sending to other people who might have thought of going there to help or invest but came across your post. There are a lot of bad things to be said about Nigeria but then you didn’t look for or refused to see the industriousness of some Nigerians, that in spite of the shitty situations some of us grew up in, we have managed to pull ourselves out of that negative spiral and have tried to make a positive effect the world. And there in lies the danger of your cynicism because it informs and encourages the ignorance and negative views of people who happened to have been born in Nigeria without painting a full picture.

    There is a whole lot I would like to say about that post but for the sake of brevity I’ll leave it with the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a Nigerian Author (btw did you read our literature?)
    “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

    You should watch this http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html

  4. Well written and objective. The military has to take the bulk of the blame for what has happened. Fortunately we are not beyond redemption. We need a strong law abiding leader who will ban the practice of religion for a few years just to get us back to senses.

  5. Tim, please don’t be put off. There aren’t that many informative and entertaining blogs in circulation.

  6. Dear Tim
    I am a Brit of Nigerian descent and you couldn’t have put the whole Nigerian situation in a better light. For an Engineer you write very well, with fluidity and grace.
    Your blog is bookmarked on my browser.

    Keep it Up.

    PS : You dont happen to be a LFC supporter ?
    Your analysis is applicably to a majority of LFC supporters who know more about footie than the average punter in a replica shirt.

    Bami Sonubi

  7. Hi Tim,

    Keep writing- do not let any yokel individual or people with short sighted, silly blindfolded , brain sealed comments stop your writing. I love your analysis. I was born in Nigeria, live in Germany and as a matter of fact find it horrifying to travel back home due to such people that do not own up to the present state of Nigeria. I remembered i had to pay 50 euros to the customs officials at the Lagos Airport in Nigeria (my first time of travelling overseas to study)- which if i did not pay would have stopped me from taking my flight to Germany. Imagine a citizen robbed by his fellow citizen, corruption, blind sided mentality or backward thinking mentality has robbed many of seeing the truth alongside over religious zeal and hope of God bringing change. I laugh a lot about the drama unfolding in Nigeria.

    Nigeria’s problem is multidimensional. But i think the huge part of it is the mentality problem- seeing the abnormal as normal. I fight with a lot of Nigerians in diaspora who whistle or argue about the country changing, while they keep working and living here and don’t want to return home. It is logical, if things were better ,safe back home , wont they have relocated-but they still protect the image of the country(which i see as lacking any credible image). I visited the Nigerian embassy in Berlin, and i was ashamed to be a Nigerian- other oil producing /supplying countries had attractive buildings but that of Nigeria looked just like the present Nigeria( non-challant state of affairs). Entering the embassy was a total disgrace, the administrative competence was 17th century, the offices, even the seats meant for visitors reflected all about Nigeria. I know many would start writing bla bla as soon as they read this. But the hard truth remains , Nigeria is performing below its capacity, resources available to it and the post colonial mentality of stealing ,embezzling and doing little is much in place. I hope other Nigerian dreamers or those who seem to be ignoring candid analysis would wake up and see where the country is headed ( from military coups to ethnic crisis, fraud, instability , underdevelopment, human degradation, material society to terrorism).

    A food for thought for those still hailing Nigeria or covering the filth which comes out of Nigeria.

  8. Hi Tim,

    Loved ur article, u hit the nail on the head. The issue we Nigerians have is we are not objective. The whole security situation is the same everywhere in NIgeria. Went to c my father somewhere in the east and had a hard time sleeping at night cos I was scared of kidnapping. Ironically , Lagos USED to be the safest town to leave in until thanks to the current governor, thousands were and are still being kicked into the unemployed sector.

  9. Hello Tim,
    I don’t know you but i wish i can meet with you someday. Never be bothered a bit about any of the critics comments, know this, you cannot please everybody and be aware that, most of these people are either benefiting from the lawlessness of Nigeria or one way or the other have a link to them.

    If some claimed that “Nigerians are the most happiest people on earth” lies! Is that true? Capital No! Nigerians have been brainwashed by what our so called leaders, have planted in the society, a country blessed with milk and honey in all ramifications but, host of over 100 million suffering daily.

    Come to think of it, it is absurd and disgusting that what bothers the so called leaders most , is debating marrying minors when we have problems ranging from ; erratic power supply, high unemployment for teaming Nigerian youths, closure of our Nigerian universities due to ASUU strike, poor infrastructure and host of others manifesting daily within the Nigeria system.

    A lot of these haters of truth live in the past and failed to recognize the fact that, your blog has been existing for long before now. They are shortsighted and never bother to look beyond themselves.
    I saw a lot of your blogs, which these so called critics will never see because of their limitations instilled by the mentality of being patriotic.

    By the way, as you have mentioned, this blog was a reflection of your stay in Nigeria and not to hit any particular group. Its
    funny and stupid to see one of the critics criticizing your use of word “Lads” i ask these fellow to produce something to proof his education credentials, i can bet it, it will be catastrophic.

    Tim, never bother yourself with all their criticism, you have your blog, they too should put up something for people to see. Move on with great ideas.

    Be at peace.

  10. If you don’t mind, i would like to contact you on more discussions on this matter. People don’t quite understand the importance of this awareness to our general public.

  11. Tim, I have bad news for you. Even though many of the things you wrote in your two posts are true, I believe you generalized.

    Just like you, I was surprised when I moved to Lagos 3 years ago. I grew up in Enugu and even though I know how corrupt Nigerians can be, I was surprised by how corrupt the majority of people in Lagos are.

    The point I am trying to make is that the most corrupt city in Nigeria is Lagos. The cost of living is high in Lagos, rent, food, transportation, school fees, etc. Lagos is also overpopulated, so people they have a “survival of the fittest” mentality.

    The level of corruption in Lagos is very much higher compared to many other parts of Nigeria.
    It will take a million words to explain this to you, however, I hope you learn from my comment.

  12. Tim, most your first post is TRUE. There’s no denying it.

    You ALMOST captured the single most important thing bedeviling Nigeria when you mentioned religion. Then you wrote about the true meaning of class. Read closely.
    1. Colonialism destroyed the natural classes of the precolonial societies of Nigeria.
    2. Colonialism destroyed the religious structures of the precolonial societies of Nigeria.
    3. Colonialism seized all the wealth in Nigeria and LEGALLY structured the new nation so that the wealth flows to Western institutions, including the oil company you work for….look up for example the meaning of an OIL BLOCK and how it’s allocated in Nigeria.
    The above – access to wealth, religion and class – play important roles in REGULATING how a people relate to each other in society. They are RESTRAINING influences that hold people back when they decide to do evil to OTHER members of society. British colonialism destroyed all that and continues to destroy it today via neo colonialism.
    Solutions – There are NO solutions. Nigeria is screwed. I was born in Nigeria. I lived in the USA for 15yrs, went back to Nigeria to live for 5yrs and I can tell you for sure the country is NEVER going to be a healthy society ever again. The damage that’s been wrought on Nigeria is debilitating in the extreme. I’m so happy I have the option of leaving. I’m NEVER going there again except I get an opportunity to loot the national treasury or kill lots and lots of people and I will do it happily just to help the whole place implode. Negroes are an inferior race – that’s why colonialism had such devastating effects – and should never be allowed to live in countries where they’re not supervised and dominated at close quarters by Caucasians.

  13. dear Nasrim, what race are you of? your closing sentence is quite appalling. oh, did I ask your race? sorry, forget I asked! there are only two races and classes of people: good and evil. I am not of any doubt as to which you belong to. do not belittle Tim’s post with your hateful venom. I feel so sorry for you as you obviously have deep seated hate issues. get the help you need while there’s still time for you, ok?

  14. I was hoping for another post bucketing Melbourne. The more abuse you can heap on those blasted Mexicans, the better.

  15. Nasrim, you do this post a disservice! Your ideas belong to the middle ages. You may have been hurt so bad that you feel such a closing statement is justified. Yet, you should be allowed limited contact with other humans for fear that this sort of thinking spreads. Go and seek healing wherever you can find it.

  16. Tim, I guess you’re an Englishman. A cynic would say the 3 Scotsmen may not be super pleased you’ve referred to them as such, in this particular context. The whole history between England and Scotland…

  17. Speaking as a Jock, being referred to as “one of the lads” even from a nancy southern, is hardly offensive.

    But, as is ever the way, people looking for something to take offense to are quite likely to find it.

  18. Nasrim,
    You sound pretty confused. Colonialism caused our problem ?. Negroes are inferior ?. Which is it ?.
    Just because you have a computer and can use the internet doesn’t make you qualified to join in discussions with adults.
    Besides, you know that you just legally identified yourself as a terrorist when you admitted you would like to be a mass murderer. You’re on the watchlist now. If you think you’re anonymous, then you’re even dumber than I thought.
    @Tim, Your clarifications are unnecessary. Don’t get bogged down trying to explain what you wrote, those that refuse to get it would never get it. By the time they read this clarification blog, they’ll find something else here to get upset at and then make you write another blog to clarify this one as well. Ad infinitum. Enjoy your time in Australia, I lived there for four years in the 80’s.
    I also visited Moscow in the 2000 an 2001, and I worked in Angola for 3 years. I get the distinction you made between the Nigerian “eat-all-you-can buffet” style of corruption and the functional kind of corruption where services suffer only slightly, growth still happens at a slower pace and bad guys sometimes get caught.
    Cheers Tim. I enjoyed reading your original blog as well as this one. It was a far more productive and relaxing way to spend my sunday morning than going to church to hear the preacher tell me how God would make me stupendously rich if I give the church enough of my hard earned money so he could buy another private jet.

  19. One of the most informative blog posts I have read for ages – thanks. I even gave it a plug over at my place, so that might increase your readership by one!

  20. I just write what I think, based on what I’ve seen, and present it as my personal opinion, nothing more.

    And that’s why your readers read your blog: because you’re intelligent and observant and what you tell us we are unable to hear anywhere else. Keep blogging.

  21. Tim, great post….i just finished a 3 year gig in Nigeria (telecoms) and agree with most of your thoughts. Will quibble a bit on getting out and about. It’s dodgy but the gods were smiling upon me, and never got in trouble. Secret: keep very good locals around you and treat them as family.

    As for corruption. Yes, indeed. I don’t have a solution, but suggest that Nigerian cannot stop it by focusing their angst on it. Rather, they should focus on the things they deserve – schools, health care, roads, safety, electricity, etc….demand these things from their leaders or bring on serious civil unrest (a la fuel subsidy wahala). Corruption will diminish as a factor. It will never go away. It exists everywhere, in some format, in every culture.

  22. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for taking your time to address the comments from your original post. Although I didn’t think it necessary, you did a commendable job with that post. Again, I will say, well done and thank you.

  23. This is the kind of write-up I do not enjoying reading. The comments will start flowing hard and fast from every possible corner and a few thousand skirmishes later, it adds to the huge pile of its contemporaries. Yet, I read. And the most striking word in this write up is DEGREE. Are we corrupt? Yes. Are we poor? Yes. Are our Senators earning higher than a US president? Yes. Are we made up of largely self seeking interests and groups? Yes. And so it goes on and on. Are all Nigerians corrupt? No. But do we unconciously turn a blind eye to corruption in whatever form? About 90% do but I do not think it is from a lack of laws and morals as much as from the failure of the state and the systems therein. In its finest form, you ARE corrupt if you do not fight corruption,if you look away or if you refuse to acknowledge it. Like Tim said, we are desperate in Nigeria. Everybody really is. It is important to understand why Russia and Nigeria were placed in the same context: huge population, huge resources, huge land mass etc. However in Russia, there are things you can take for granted. In Nigeria, there is none. Nada. Zilch. So the difference truly is in degrees of desperation. And very few places have the amount of desperation in everyday life as Nigeria. Apart from war ravaged or disaster areas, no country can exist at this alarmed peak. There is no sphere of life that is not a turmoil. So you have a humming throbbing mass of at least 100 million adults (18 and above) that are desperate. I have seen poverty,corruption, nepotism etc or read about them in almost every country in the world. That is not the issue. The issue is DEGREE. Nobody can manage 100 million desperate people. That has been the challenge of Nigerian Leaders and instead they grandstand, they threaten and rant but they cannot convince us because we outnumber them. And they were just one of us yesterday so we await our turn at the till.

  24. I am a Nigerian. I was born in Nigeria. I have lived in different states in Nigeria all my life.
    I will speak the truth, because to cover the truth with a lie is the greatest form of corruption.

    Corruption is as normal as air in Nigeria. It reigns everywhere. From the employment scams, to the admission bribes, to fake churches milking money from poor members with the promise of future blessings.

    My dad was forcefully removed from an oil company (NAOC) where he had worked for 26 years as a civil engineer. His crime was that he had refused to partake in shady deals to defraud the company. Therefore his colleagues considered him to be a show-spoiler. They conspired against him and succeeded in getting him out of their way so they could continue their corrupt practices of defrauding the company. It is a pity that honesty is despised, while dishonesty is celebrated.

    I was raised with firmness to always be honest no matter what. When I was ready for admission, the school authorities demanded for bribe of almost N100,000 before I could be given admission to study the course of my choice. My family didn’t agree, so I had no option than to study a different course in a different school.
    I have been asked to pay money before I can get a job in some oil companies here in Nigeria. Even a person I considered a friend had demanded for some thousands of Naira before he can help submit my CV to his company.

    When I got a job some time ago, the old staff I was to work with, began by telling me the shady ways they had been using to defraud the company. I was shocked and surprised.

    Anyone who claims Nigeria is not corrupt, is either lying, or has never been to Nigeria.

    I speak not out of hatred, but of a desire that Nigerians will change.
    Though I am currently unemployed, I am not willing to offer any form of bribe to enable me secure a job.

    I believe in honesty. I will live as an honest man, and be remembered as one.
    A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things that he possesses.

  25. I agree with most of your original post. However, I was quite disappointed with that paragraph where you did a piss poor job of defining class. It shows that you have not bothered to understand the history of the Nigerian peoples. Before you write another thoughtless epistle on the next unfortunate country that graciously opens its borders to you, please do your homework. Ok?

    So you think any given crop of senators/governors represents the true upper class of Nigeria? If yes, then you are sadly mistaken. Nigeria’s traditional institutions and traditional class structures are in tatters. Most of the people in power these days are mere usurpers, largely poorly educated and mostly from desperately poor backgrounds. Some of them gained wealth from prior military dictatorships, others from drug trafficking to the West or 419. The true upper class/upper-middle class is scattered across the Diaspora. They send their kids abroad as soon as they are old enough. I am more likely to run into a secondary school classmate in London or at the Atlanta Hartsfield airport than in Lagos or Abuja. Many of us have great, fulfilling careers abroad. We are not corrupt. We are not thieves. We won’t steal your stupid little pen off your desk or risk infection by eating your half-finished sandwich in some fungus-infested office fridge. You’re an arrogant prick and I hope that some of the harsh comments you’ve received has caused you to do some reflection.

    It generally isn’t your fault. If we had all stayed back to fight against the usurpers, then some half-baked British engineer that was stupid (or desperate) enough to join the oil & gas industry, and then signed-up to be shipped to a cesspool called Lagos, would not write arrogant epistles that in one stroke labelled the majority of a country with 100 million citizens as petty thieves and classless. I hope your writings get back to your bosses and that they teach you a nice lesson by sending you back to the UK (where you can enjoy all the class that a commoner is allowed to enjoy).

  26. Thanks Tim, this is the best assessment by an outsider I have read about my dear country. EVERY point you made was spot on. Ignore all those people with their head in the sand who don’t understand what a blog is.
    Having grown up in Nigeria, I have now travelled to many other countries in Europe, Asia & S. America and every new country I have visited just highlighted the shameful state of affairs in Nigeria. Even the poorest countries I’ve been to have the basics as standard (Electricity, water, roads etc)

    The problem is we don’t even see these practices as corrupt any more.
    I’ve been away now for 15 years and although I visit regularly, I’m not in a hurry to go back permanently and frankly it scares the shit out of me!

  27. Most of the people in power these days are mere usurpers, largely poorly educated and mostly from desperately poor backgrounds.

    Why, it’s almost as if:

    …insofar as behaviour goes, I didn’t see a shred of difference between the top politicians, down through the officials in the national authorities, through the middle class professionals, through the service providers, right down to the area boys.

    What’s your beef, exactly?

    The true upper class/upper-middle class is scattered across the Diaspora. They send their kids abroad as soon as they are old enough. I am more likely to run into a secondary school classmate in London or at the Atlanta Hartsfield airport than in Lagos or Abuja.

    Right, so all the upper and middle classes have fled Nigeria. Yeah, that totally nullifies my argument that Nigeria is classless. Hint: my post was about Nigeria, not about Nigerians in London or Atlanta – or Kentucky.

  28. @David: Davidooooooooooooooooooooooo! U too much my brother. I hail U WELLA WELLA! Abeg leave confirmed madman Tim Oldman, let him continue his epistles of doom and gloom. From the abundance of what is inside of him (gloom and more gloom) his mouth has been speaking. He has no light to offer to anyone besides his raving condemnations born out of his condescending personae. I really do hope he takes your advice and does some personal reflections before he ends up been confined in some mental institution for the darkness in his soul.

    Once Again, Davidooooo, U TOO MUCH! I HAIL! Na people like U still dey make me proud say I be Naija! MUCH LOVE MY BRO!

  29. Na people like U still dey make me proud say I be Naija!

    So proud, that you’re posting from Australia. Let’s remind ourselves what you said earlier:

    Please do not come back to Nigeria again for any reason you arrogant and self conceited fellow. Leave us alone to sort out our issues.

    Become citizens of the countries where U are and if possible do skin grafting too to change your skin and whatever else needs to be changed so U become completely non-Nigerians. Don’t come back againooooooooo spies. You all and your new found love and mate Tim Oldman should leave us alone.

    Don’t come back! Become non-Nigerian overseas! Leave us alone!

    Written by a Nigerian…posting from Australia.


  30. Tim I really appreciate your being able to encapsulate the Nigerian experience so accurately.

    Most of us who live in the mush find it difficult to get a bird’s eye view. You have told your story the way you see it and anybody mouthing off at you probably belongs to the corrupt class or is embarrassed that a foreigner captured it with ease and searing penetration.

    We’ll get there. I don’t how but we will by God’s grace

  31. Hey Tim, I see U are trailing me. U want to take me on huh! Cant U and your mates get the drift. What exactly is your purpose for this mischievous write up. Good U know where I am and I have no apologies for it. Even if Nigeria was all Ok, I could still consider been just about anywhere else in the world. Where I live presently isn’t a perfect haven but I’m not up and about parroting every negative thing about the place. U and your cohorts accuse everyone who has criticised your write up as Nigerians in denial and possibly part of the corrupt system. Think what U want. You keep rehearsing all your negativity until someone eventually makes a sickening comment like this:

    “Solutions – There are NO solutions. Nigeria is screwed. I was born in Nigeria. I lived in the USA for 15yrs, went back to Nigeria to live for 5yrs and I can tell you for sure the country is NEVER going to be a healthy society ever again. The damage that’s been wrought on Nigeria is debilitating in the extreme. I’m so happy I have the option of leaving. I’m NEVER going there again except I get an opportunity to loot the national treasury or kill lots and lots of people and I will do it happily just to help the whole place implode. Negroes are an inferior race – that’s why colonialism had such devastating effects – and should never be allowed to live in countries where they’re not supervised and dominated at close quarters by Caucasians.”

    Is this what U were aiming at cos that’s where all your despondency is headed to. A serious mental case.

    If U read the write up of your critics, you’d know that none of them is in denial of any sort. It’s your insolence that is annoying. It doesn’t matter whether a million folks give you kudos for a job well done, but deep inside of U where I believe some sense of good still exists, U must know that U blew it this time.

    All that so called “righteous indignation” of some of your fans thinking they are the only sanctimonious ones remaining is only a cover up for the bitterness they carry which U’ve given them an opportunity to spill on your TATAFO blog.

    The situation is very bad only tells a healthy person that opportunities are rife for anyone to make a change. If U and your idle panelist had any figment of positiveness in U, U’d have come up with things to do to help better the situation even if it seemed like a drop in the ocean. At least, even if it was efforts geared towards disabusing the mind of young Nigerians from the cut corner mindset. All U did was keep a journal of your miseries so U and your mates can make a laughing stock of a Nation.

    U truly insult true Nigerians and these are Nigerians who are not in denial of the country’s present state or are themselves corrupt. They have experienced far worse things (than some of the laments of your fans) without compromise and are not in any way a part of the corrupt system. They are just Nigerians who love their Nation, appreciate the good in it and have chosen to stand with it and do whatever it takes to make that great Nation come back to its place. It’s a choice rather than join the bandwagon of all of U who think your mission is to enlighten the world of the hell called Nigeria.

    Tell all those your people wey dey interpret my pidgin english for U say make all of una go find better work do, Ok! Leave your sanctimonious selves and get busy with positive stuff.

    U self Tim Oldman (whether U be person or spirit, na U sabi), U no dey tire! When dem fire U one, U go write another sequel! They send U! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  32. Hey Tim, I see U are trailing me.

    Erm, not exactly. You’re commenting on my blog. Hardly trailing, is it?

    Good U know where I am and I have no apologies for it.

    Right, but you might have mentioned it instead of implying you were living in Nigeria (leave us alone).

    Where I live presently isn’t a perfect haven but I’m not up and about parroting every negative thing about the place.

    Because that would involve having the ability to make a coherent argument?

    It’s your insolence that is annoying.

    My insolence. I should have been more polite to you? Bless.

    If U and your idle panelist had any figment of positiveness in U, U’d have come up with things to do to help better the situation even if it seemed like a drop in the ocean.

    So now you want me – an expat – to help fix Nigeria? Like you’re doing. From Australia.

    All U did was keep a journal of your miseries so U and your mates can make a laughing stock of a Nation.

    Your words fella, not mine.

    They are just Nigerians who love their Nation, appreciate the good in it and have chosen to stand with it…

    …instead of fucking off to Australia.

    U self Tim Oldman


    Let’s go back to a post of mine from September last year:

    Luck kicked in at the check-in to the Lufthansa flight in Lagos airport, where the halfwit manning the desk was too busy making jokes about my name (Oh, Newman! But where is Oldman? HA HA HA HA HA!)…

    Did Nigeria manage to produce two such halfwits, or are you the same person?

  33. Timooooo, Timoooooo aka fullwit! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Paranoia don dey set in oh. Go make dem check your head oh before something go happen!

    Hey Mr Lad, be civil! Wetin be your own. Leave Naija alone now, haba!

  34. I totally agree with this writer that Nigeria is a corrupt country even more corrupt than he witnessed. But let me point out to him that Nigeria’s corruption started after the British occupation and colonisation of this geographical area they put together and called Nigeria. The British knew that the nationalities that they were grouping into a country were and still are incompatible yet they did it to serve their purpose – that’s corruption.
    The British divided Nigeria into 3 regions and decided to allocate more people to the northern region based on land area ignoring population, again to serve their purpose – that’s corruption.
    When the southerners especially the easterners demanded independence from Britain, which the British detested but yielded to, they used those census figures, which they knew were fraudulent to rig the first election held in Nigeria in favour of northern Nigeria to deprive the easterners – that’s corruption.
    The British helped the northerners to annihilate the easterners during the Nigeria/Biafra war to maintain the status quo; the flowing of oil and other natural resources – that’s corruption.
    I am from IGBOLAND and from records we were and still are very hard working people and would have developed far better than today if the British didn’t occupy us and introduce corruption in our midst. My take is that the British who created this corruption in the first place should look for a way and take back their product (corruption) from our society. manchedo@hotmail.com

  35. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for taking time to share your experience. A friend sent me this link and what i found was milder than the impression people have of the article. Most of what you said is true although bitter.

    I hope we learn from it.

  36. I advise you also try not to bite the hand that is still feeding you. It could be risky if you know what I mean. Afterall in your essay you mentioned you will still be involved with Nigeria. Therefore be carefull.

  37. This is a mirror held over Nigeria!! Sorry to say this, the reflection is photogenic and on point.

  38. David….Ugo….thank you!!!

    Yes Tim you made a blog to express yourself and blah blah blah…next time keep a diary where only you have access to- how dare you talk?? I for one will not take it lightly…you paint all of Nigeria with one brush and you dont see anything wrong with that- shame on you- don’t come back to Nigeria then- but you will because you need the Nigerian system to be what it is so that you can feed off it- why travel all the way to Nigeria and leave lofty England if not that you gain tremendously from it…you contribute to the problem as well…why dont you be non-hypocritical and stay away from our country- then maybe i will respect whatever further drivel you can conjure about Nigeria–oh sorry, you were only in Abuja and Lagos….

    Now to you shucking and jiving Nigerians- I can not understand how Nigerians can come out on a public blog and hail this idiot. Whether what he is saying is true or not, so what???!!!! Do you think you are less Nigerian? Continue selling your birthrite to outsiders…..Nigerians lack of pride is the reason fools like this come into our country and operate the way they do, turn around insullt you and you will be there “thank you sah” mentality and attitude…Idiots….Thats why you dumb Nigerians play last in your own country…Idiots

    As for the fool called Nasrim, go and hug transformer for that comment of yours…

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