Iniobong Umoh: 10 Things You Identify With as a Nigerian

As a Nigerian, there are several things and experiences that you identify with. If you can’t identify with at least five of these items, then your ‘Nigerianness’ is in doubt and you should move to Cameroun before we throw you out.

Police brutality/harassment
“The police is your friend” is a popular saying that looks good only on paper. From extortion at road checkpoints to arbitrary arrest for carrying laptops and electronic devices without receipts, to false accusation of involvement in yahoo-yahoo, to trump up charges and forced statements, to being thrown into jail on trumped-up charges, to collecting bail, to accidental discharge etc, the police showcases its version of friendship every day. If you have never had an encounter with the men in black, you are one of the few lucky Nigerians alive. And you should pray never to ever cross their path.

Shouting ‘Up Nepa!’
You can’t be a Nigerian and claim not to have shouted “Up Nepa” before. Have you ever taken a look at your electric bulbs and wished that Nepa would give light and Nepa suddenly gives light? The feeling is orgasmic! Have you ever called home to inquire if there is light? If you are experiencing 24 hours electricity all year round, then you are not in our Nigeria. You should tell us which part of the country you are in so that we relocate and join you there.

ATM wahala
Every one has been stranded at one time or the other at a bank because of inability to withdraw cash from the Atm. Mainly caused by poor bank network and empty ATM cash bins.

Hustling for food and souvenirs at events and ceremonies
There comes a time when you drop all appearance of decorum, gentlemanliness/ladyness and fight with your fellow guests to secure a plate of oily jollof rice and fried meat. There are times when you must trade blows with fellow mourners to collect the obituary program at a funeral service.

Using Soda soap
Soda is bae. If you have never used soda soap to wash your plates, clothes, and even bath with it, you are not a Nigerian, period! Even liquid soap bows to Soda.

Going around with phone chargers
The Nigerian is always on the lookout for where to charge his/her phone. So we carry all types of chargers everywhere we go to. As soon as the Nigerian enters a building, the first thing he or she looks for is an electrical socket to plug in his/her phone to charge. Even in Aso Rock.

Patronising the chemist shop
The local chemist shop is the place that cures all ailments. And the wonder drug prescribed by the “doctor” is Paracetamol. It is only when you have tried everything in the chemist shop and there’s no improvement, and you are half-dead and on your way to meeting your ancestors in the great beyond, that they carry you to the hospital.

Using Ghana must go and polyethene bags
Every Nigerian uses black polythene bags, and ‘Ghana must go’ bags where clothes, books and other items are warehoused.

A love for titles, positions and awards
Want to make the Nigerian happy? Give him a position and an award, and he will appreciate you even if the award is meaningless. The only way of showing superiority over others is the length of titles that precedes your name; Hon, Rt Hon, Barr, Chief, Dr, Prof, Bishop, Jp, MNI, FSS, 419, SSCE, HIV+ etc.

A strong belief in evil supernatural forces
Evil forces from the village are following you and so you must destroy them in whatever way you can. By combining the practice of Christianity, Islam, prayer house assignments, occultism and voodoo.

Do you agree with this list?

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