I am tired of the arrogance and ignorance of some Nigerians who live abroad especially in developed countries and who suddenly feel they have the right to analyse and disparage Nigeria – the same country who gave them life directly or indirectly. Yes they do.. but that’s not all there is to this wonderful and happiest people on earth.

Yes we’re not perfect, and truth be told, a lot of things are wrong with Nigeria and can actually be fixed but for the leadership process which churns out the wrong people most of the time. However, many more things are good about this beautiful land of my birth.

Rather than focus on the bad from your comfort zone which you probably didn’t help achieve – you’re only enjoying this good benefits from your adopted country you celebrate by virtue of your emigration status 80% of whom are questionable. I and millions of others who choose to stay here or have no choice but to stay here choose to focus on the good.. the diverse languages and culture, strong family ties, infectious laughter and humour, warmth, undiluted energy, can do survival spirit, the blooming Nollywood and entertainment industry, the great IT ideas, business start ups and multi-million dollar conglomerates, that spring from our youth and old alike, the love and humanity, the oil and other natural resources, the calm weather, the hope and faith, and most importantly the food especially the Jollof rice!

If by chance or circumstance I happen to leave Nigeria for greener pastures – which in itself is not wrong, I’ll remember the capacity and opportunities I developed in this great country with love and affection from a low income family background by all standards. In this same land I worked as a gender advisor in the President’s office, championed poverty and women/youth inclusion projects, developed national policies and strategic implementation frameworks, sat at high level panels at the UN and World Bank with world leaders, traveled far and wide to talk about Nigeria and learn about other countries bringing those experiences home to share and implement, and became Chief Executive Officer of a national organisation before age 40. I’d probably be serving fries at KFC or Pizza at Domino’s or selling clothes at Bloomingdale’s or Debenhams in other climes or maybe I’d have done better but no one knows.. for the choices I made to stay here all these years, I remember these opportunities and I will not disdain my humble beginnings.

Yes, I have had many ups and downs and sometimes I feel like giving up. My emotions oscillate between loving this country and strangling it. But, I choose to stay positive and focus on the good.

If at anytime you decide to leave Nigeria for greener pastures, it’s absolutely ok… there’s nothing wrong with that move. Just remember where you came from with fond memories and hope and accord your nation some respect.

For this and many more, I love Nigeria and I will work with millions of others who choose to stay by choice or circumstance to make it the Nigeria is our dreams!

I’m Olufunke Motunrayo Baruwa, a proud Nigerian and I endorse this message as my original thoughts

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