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Detained and deported pilgrims... Big deal?

03 October 2012, 11:44

It is no longer news that over 750 female pilgrims to the yearly Hajj were initially detained in Jeddah and Madinah by the Saudi authorities as they were adjudged to be without male companion. What is news however is the fact that despite the Nigerian Government inviting the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Khalid Abdrabuh and issuing a 24hour ultimatum, about 908 pilgrims who were refused entry into the holy land were deported back to Nigeria as soon as the 24hour ultimatum elapsed.

The Vice President Namadi Sambo who expressed the country’s shock over the treatment of Nigerian pilgrims performing this pilgrimage said according to some reports only Nigerian pilgrims were being treated that way.

My response to such statement by Mr Vice President is how dare complain of being dehumanised by another country when we are worse off in treating our own citizens. How many billions has he and Mr President embezzled at the expense of the common man whom they have subjected to abject poverty? What fair treatment have they meted out to their very own citizens which should warrant a better expectation from another country? Can your own citizens afford to eke a decent life using the #18,000 minimum wage yardstick? Can your citizens beat their chest proudly about justice, fairness and equity in the judicial system right in their own land? Does the common man have access to portable water, good road network, electricity and security just to mention a few? You treat your own like a piece of rag and expect some other country to treat them like prince and princesses? Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!!!

He fascinated me by saying no reasonable and responsible government would sit and fold its arms while its citizens are manhandled and I find this amusing. We have forgotten that the world was watching each time police bullets killed innocent citizens and no one is ever prosecuted; that they are privy to the way our own government policies are killing and no one  seem to care, the way public officials steal from and oppress the same people they had sworn on oath to defend. We have forgotten that each time the less privilege is deprived of justice, the world was watching. Not to even talk about the official endorsement of corruption by retaining indicted public officials with some of them getting conferred with the National honours.

You know it is really bad to be a Nigerian in Nigeria as even expatriate gets a better treatment on our own soil than we the citizens. You can then imagine how worse off it will be for Nigerians in the Diaspora.

A country where citizens get cheated every now and then by the government not to talk about how badly employers treat employees and the same government expects us to be accorded a warm reception in a foreign land? We must be jokers!

The country who has seen that the life of an average citizen in this country is worth nothing will definitely take undue advantage of the same citizen whenever the need arises.

It is indeed laughable that a 24hour ultimatum was issued to the Saudi government. If only Mr President and Vice alike knew any better or had better advisers, they should be issuing 24hour ultimatum to corruption, injustice, poor budget implementation, exploitation of citizens, extra judicial killings, police brutality, election rigging, violation of fundamental human rights just to mention a few. When these and many more have been dealt with, then they can expect citizens of this great country to be treated with utmost dignity and respect.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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