By Jules Uhuru
Nigeria, despite its longstanding battle with reputational issues related to corruption and criminality, has consistently been a crucible for some of the world’s most brilliant minds. Yet, it now finds itself plunging deeper into a crisis of international dimensions.
A self-appointed President, concealed in origins and qualifications, is ensnared in a web of grave allegations, from forgery to drug smuggling, catapulting Nigerians from their recognised accomplishments into a tumultuous sea of global controversy and skepticism. Although Nigeria’s courts dismiss these incidents as unintentional, the country’s fragile legitimacy teeters on the brink amidst a contested election, breeding universal doubt and apprehension.
Consider a personal narrative within this maelstrom: last year, a friend from Nigeria, despite presenting comprehensive documentation, was unjustly denied a Swedish visa. Her credentials were dismissed, not for lack of merit, but ostensibly due to sweeping assumptions about Nigeria’s socio-economic situation and the supposed ‘pervasive’ poverty in Nigeria and unrelated forgery cases in Benin City. ( I will get into the ignorance and implicit bias of Swedish immigration another time, today is about Nigeria).
As the reputation of the Nigerian green passport deteriorates, a pivotal question surfaces: How much more arduous will international negotiations become for Nigerians, especially following their presidential scandal? Navigating an obscured path ahead, Nigerians are compelled to engage in collective soul-searching as they traverse an international stage, now heavily shrouded with skepticism and a blemished national image.
In these moments of challenge and uncertainty, a clarion call echoes to all Nigerians: to rise, with unity and purpose, and steer their nation away from the precipice of further disrepute. The task of salvaging the pride and esteem of the green passport rests not in the corridors of global diplomacy, but in the collective actions and integrity of the Nigerian populace, both at home and abroad. Together, through mutual respect, accountability, and an unwavering commitment to national restoration, Nigerians can navigate through these tumultuous waters toward a future that once again shines brightly with promise and respect on the world stage.
Ms. Jules Uhuru is a Swedish-based Zambian activist