Dwelling on my recent concluded trip to Nigeria I sometimes wonder if Nigeria as a country will ever come close to some sort of “improvement ” on its outlook . This feeling of resignation and hopelessness tends to overwhelm my sense of objectivity in thinking about Nigerian affairs.

First,the abject poverty in the country is sometimes unbelievable and bothers on man s inhumanity against man albeit “corruption ” to outright suffering and starvation.

What prompted me to write this piece is not the infrastructural decay in the country or the hard times citizens are going through but the humiliation that being associated with the word Nigeria brings about sometimes.

I had just confirmed my KLM flight from Lagos to Amsterdam enroute to London when I got a text message from KLM that our Lagos/Amsterdam flight has been delayed and would be re routed through ACCRA Ghana.

I presumed that KLM wanted to pick up more passengers from Accra to fill up a perhaps half empty flight.

After Checking in through the barrage of continuous and repeat “Welcome Sir” from various airport agency staff looking at you to show “appreciation ” for the “hardwork” they are doing for you by checking your luggage for “contraband ” or the “herculean task” of stamping or checking your passport then we boarded the flight just as we all sat down listening to safety instructions then came a voice from the loud speakers announcing the reasons for the delay and diversion of our flight to Accra Ghana.

It went on ” ladies and Gentleman we apologise for the delay and diversion through Accra Ghana. This diversion is to enable us refuel the aeroplane in Accra as there are no AVIATION fuels in Nigeria at the moment due to fuel scarcty ” .

The gasp and sense of embarrassment displayed by the passengers said it all. There were mutterings and whispers of Shame on Nigeria from the passengers. This, now begs the question How can a country as big as Nigeria not afford aviation fuel for its international aviation customers?.

The embarrassment was all too evident for all to see. This is truly an indictment of what the country Nigeria has become, an ex country and a failed state in my opinion? Just my thoughts

Ike Oligbo

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