Much ado is being made about British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s comments about Nigerians, stemming from an old article he wrote in his column while he was editor of the Spectator. I have read those comments, and I must say that this is not even a storm in a tea cup. It is less than that. It is an attempt to build something out of nothing, and as Lord Denning famously said in his obiter in UAC V MC Foy “You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there.”
I am Nigerian. I am not just a Nigerian, but I am a former spokesman to a former Nigerian President, as well as a number one bestselling author. Those making the allegations of racism against the Prime Minister are not Nigerians. They cannot hold grudges on my behalf or on the behalf of 200 million Nigerians.
This is precisely what US Conservative personality, Candace Owens, meant when she tweeted this year as follows:
“Nigerian-Americans are the most successful ethnic group in the U.S!
If you want to know how it’s possible that blacks who come from under-developed Africa, keep outperforming blacks from overprivileged America— it’s bc they weren’t exposed to the Democrat parasite of victimhood!”
Nigerians are not victims. We are victors. And we will not stand by and allow others vicariously make us what we are not. We reject this victim mentality. It is not in our character.
What the Prime Minister said in the column in question is as follows:
“All the young people I know — i.e. those under 30 — are just as avaricious as we flinty Thatcherite yuppies of the 1980s… In fact, they have an almost Nigerian interest in money and gadgets of all kinds.”
I am a Nigerian and I do not feel insulted by those comments. I do not consider them racist, because they are not. I actually consider them a compliment because they are true.
In 2010, I was the first person to go on record as saying that a Nigerian, Aliko Dangote, had overtaken Oprah Winfrey and other African American billionaires as the richest Black person in the world. I did this via my short film, Facts V Fiction, which is still on YouTube.
Nine years later, I am glad to report that a Nigerian is not just the richest Black person in the world, but that we dominate in the list of the world’s top 10 richest Black people. The number one and two slots are held by Nigerians. We also have the richest Black woman in the world.
The reason we are so successful is because we are not just ‘interested’ in money, as the PM rightly said, even beyond that, we are COMMITTED to money and education.
We study money religiously. We earn money regularly. We are careful about how we lend money, and we invest it wisely. Nigerians withdraw money sparingly and spend it prudently.
That is why we always have money in abundance.
It is not for nothing that the second busiest airport in the UK, Gatwick Airport, is owned by a Nigerian, Adebayo Ogunlesi, the same Nigerian that was invited by US President Trump to advise him on business.
It is again not for nothing that Nigerians are the most educated ethnic nationality in the US (not one of the most educated, but the most educated, bar none). 77.7% of Black doctors in America are Nigerians. Nigerians know that the more you learn, the more you earn.
Amy Chua, in her bestselling book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, cited Nigerians as an example of how to raise successful children.
All these are possible because we are interested in money to the point of commitment. We are not a drain on any society that we emigrate to. We add value. In terms of diaspora remittances, the World Bank rates us amongst the top 7 nations in the world.
Nigerians are interested in money and that is why we want Prime Minister Johnson and the Conservatives in power, because Brexit is good for Nigeria and Africa.
The fair trade potentials of Brexit will help us retain more of the revenue that Africa is currently losing to the European Union.
In 2014, sub-Saharan Africa took in $2.4 billion from African coffee, whereas Germany made $3.8 billion re-exporting Africa’s coffee in that same year. This pattern continues till date. Nigerians are too interested in money to watch it fly away from Africa to the European Union. Anyone who can help us retain more of those monies in Africa is our friend.
And right now, the best friend Nigeria and Africa has in Britain is the Conservative Party!
Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Table Shaker. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.
By Reno Omokri