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Nigeria: I went to the war zone and instead of racism I saw love


I was moved by the plight of Nigerians who were affected by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The human suffering involved moved me. Knowing our government, we could not expect a quick resolution to their problem (although I must commend General Buhari for approving $8.5 million for their evacuation).

However, what disturbed me most was the continent-wide outrage at the alleged racism that was rampant in Ukraine against black Africans. I couldn’t just watch helplessly.

I have personally been to Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. I am a civilian. I am not in government. Nobody gave me a penny to do it. But I did. Do you know why? Because it’s not enough to use your mouth to complain, if you can’t use your hand to help!

Nigerians are trapped in Ukraine and neighboring countries because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Without understanding that in times of war you put your own citizens first, you sat in your living room complaining about racism. I went there myself. In all these places, so-called racists have helped Nigerians. The Ukrainians had a wartime evacuation policy in place. First Ukrainian women and children, then Ukrainian civilian men, then foreigners. It’s not racism. It’s pragmatism.

If I were Nigerian President and Nigeria was waging a war, I would do the same for my citizens. I will not prioritize foreigners over my own countrymen.

Complaining will never help Nigerians abroad or in Nigeria. What will help us and change our country for the better is if we take individual action to create the Nigeria we want to see. Talking is cheap. Stocks are not!

Not only was I in Eastern Europe, by the grace of God my team and I were able to fundraise to get stranded Nigerians out of the war zone.

Let me say here quickly that because I know my compatriots, it is important that I establish that no one gave me money to go to Eastern Europe. I went there to help. While I was there, I made a video call and asked my followers to donate directly to Pastor Edward in Ukraine. I stole here with my money. I used my money to help. And I came back with my money. If someone on Earth gave me a penny directly, I allow them to unmask me.

I’m just proactively transparent, because like I said, I know my people!

With that said, let me now explain to my fellow black Africans what our cries of unwarranted racism are going to do to us. Yes, the BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and MSNBC will happily broadcast such stories, not because they are true, but because they are sensational and will drive traffic to their sites, which they need to generate huge ad revenue.

But those stories were wrong and Eastern Europeans are now more likely to be unwelcoming of black Africans after this crisis hit because at a time when they faced calamity we didn’t shows understanding. Rather, we stoked false feelings that had the ability to turn the world against them at a time when they needed all the help they could get.

I ask my black brothers how many black Africans have been killed in Ukraine by Ukrainians since this incident began? How many have seen their property looted? How many were attacked by mobs?

Not a single black African.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, we have seen repeated waves of black-on-black xenophobia and racism, by black South Africans against black Africans from other African nations, which they call “Makwerekwere”.

In several waves of xenophobic attacks, hundreds of black Africans have been either killed, mutilated, their property looted, or expelled from South Africa by their own fellow black Africans, who are now crying out against beleaguered Ukrainians and their neighbors.

In Nigeria, various northern groups gave departure notices to people of southern origin to leave their area, which was immediately reciprocated by some southern groups. And it is we who shout that Ukraine is a racist country.

Meanwhile, back home, we are more intolerant of each other than each other.

I give a good example. The largest church in Ukraine is the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God to All Nations (also known as the Embassy of God). It was founded by a Nigerian-Mr. Adelaja Sunday.

So Ukrainians are so racist that they gathered and worshiped in large numbers in a church with Nigerian roots? What is more precious to a man than his connection with God? Where are human beings most open and sincere? Of course, it’s in a house of worship.

Now imagine if the Embassy of God’s Blessed Kingdom to all nations wanted to help the poor, who would it help first? Members or non-members? Remember, the scripture says “Therefore, according to our opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the house of faith” – Galatians 6:10.

So even scripture and common sense dictate that the church should prioritize its own members over others. If they do, is that discrimination? Of course not.

So why as black Africans would we accuse Ukraine of racism at its weakest hour and when it needs it most, when it needs good media the most, just because she prioritized the evacuation of her own citizens before foreigners? It would have been wrong for their government to prioritize foreigners over their own citizens.

No serious country would ever do that. But it’s us. We must be emotional rather than rational. We need to annoy rather than empathize. We must react rather than pro-act. And we wonder why we are where and how we are!

What we have done to Ukraine and Eastern Europe is not yet clear to us. But the war will be over. The dust will settle. It’s just a matter of time. And when that time comes, they will remember how we fueled the media against them in their darkest hour.

Unfortunately, we black Africans have a victim mentality. We need to change this mindset. We must acquire the mindset of a winner. Yes, racism exists. But when we cry wolf even where there is obviously no wolf, the time will come when no one will listen to us, even when the real wolf comes.

The nuggets of Reno

Dear woman,

Your husband is not irresponsible because he refuses to put the welfare of your siblings and parents on his head. Rather, it is your father and mother who are HIGHLY irresponsible in collecting the bride price and still want your husband to collect the bills! The ideal situation is that your husband uses his money to take care of you and your children. However, if he has a supplement, he should be investing for the future, not for your parents and siblings. Get married and leave your father’s house. Do not extend your father’s house to your husband’s house!

#RenosNuggets #FreeLeahSharibu