By Paul Adujie
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Comparing Diasporas: Asians, Jews, Irish etc & Nigerians
By Paul I. Adujie
Why Do Diasporas Exist?
How Are Diasporas Beneficial to Homelands?
How Fare Nigeria, Compared with/to other Homelands?
What Can Diaspora Nigerians Learn from other "matured" Diasporas?
As you read the article below, I recommend that you ponder these questions above.
Asserting that there are similarities in existential Diasporas is beyond dispute.
Asian Diasporas, as in Chinese, Indians and Vietnamese etc, are a very vibrant lot! they have positively impacted China, India and Vietnam for several years, and in particular, in the preceding ten years. Their European equivalent is, the positive impact that the Irish Diaspora has brought to bear on Ireland. There is an economic renaissance, economic revival and rebirth in Ireland, that is being spearheaded by Diaspora Irish. How about that!
The positive impact that Diaspora Jews have bestowed on Israel, is spectacularly unique and exquisite in quality, quantity and most outstanding, by every measure or parameters. Israel's creation, support, funding, aid and vigorous lobby attest to all these. There is an American joke, which says that every America politician is “Jewish” and this is because, any American politician worth his salt, and who knows what is good for her or him, identifies with the hopes and aspirations of Israel, as articulated by American Jews! I want to live to see the day, when that same joke will apply to Diaspora Nigerians! I just love it!
As to my first question above, I believe that Diasporas exist due to multiple variables in the home countries or homelands of those, who form the Diaspora of various countries and societies. There are refugees who are either political or economic. These sorts of Diasporas are usually those who flee political upheaval and instabilities, economic depression and political crises or an admixture of both.
There are, those who left their homelands in search of greener pastures or the golden fleeces and advance skills and education, with an eye to return, but, some eventually staying put, and becoming a Diaspora community of the old country/homeland.
The early Irish immigrants in America are known to have famously fled Ireland, to escape the potato famine of more than 100 years ago.
Some immigrants, such as the Vietnamese, Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Kosovars are known to have fled their country/homelands because of wars, and in the particular case of Kosovars, Afghans and now Iraqis, they fled war and religious persecution or religious/cultural discriminations or racial segregations etc. No person depart his homeland, because he or she is too happy and content with the live there in the homeland. The push to emigrate may vary, but, frequently, it is the absence of satisfaction of some sorts.
1. How Are Diasporas Beneficial to Homelands?
Asian Diasporas have been largely credited with the economic successes of China, India and Vietnam. These successes have been made possible because of economic repatriation, transfer of capital from the Diaspora to the homelands of China, India and Vietnam etc, through a deliberate policy by Diaspora Asians. Money transfers, is the only area, where Diaspora Nigerians are close to Diaspora Asians and Mexicans in Diaspora achievements
India's Bangalore is the creation of Diaspora Indians and returnee Indians, and its technological marvels are often compared with its cousin or sister technology center in America known as Silicon Valley in California
2. How Fare Nigeria, Compared with/to other Homelands?
Diaspora Nigerians are mostly made up of economic refugees, new immigrants in America, Europe and Asia who are for the most parts, struggling with initial efforts to mix-in and integrate themselves into newly adopted countries and foreign lands of permanent or temporary residencies. New immigrants, as most Nigerians are worldwide, usually focus first and primarily, on self-preservation and daily survivals. Obtaining legal residency, paying bills such as rents, food and taking care to tackle the other basics of life abroad. The lackluster attainments for Nigeria as a collective resource for our homeland, is perhaps attributable to this novelty and newness of the very idea of corralling ideation abroad by Diaspora Nigerians for the benefit our Nigeria, our homeland and country.
3. What Can Diaspora Nigerians learn from other "matured" Diasporas?
There is so much that Nigerians can garner and gather from experienced and "matured" Diasporas. I wrote an article sometime ago, about how the American Jewish Committee provided seminars and workshops for Nigeria in Diaspora Organization in North and South America, to introduce us the rudiments, the challenges and pitfalls and rewards of public spirited selfless service on behalf of homeland/country. The AJC informed NIDO members why Jews never have felt the necessity to choose between their new country and their homeland, Israel. AJC for example does not see the need to choose between being a good Jew and a good American, similarly, Nigerians resident in America or Canada should never seek to create a distinction between being a good American and a good Nigerian, and being a good Canadian and Nigerians respectively. Nigerians can similarly, learn from the Chinese, the Indians, the Vietnamese and the Irish Diasporas, as they have coalesce in formidable efforts to rebuild their homelands for the common good of those who live in those countries and as well for those Diasporas and their offspring that may desire return or become bi-continental in a globalize macro economy.
Recently, I wrote an article titled 100 CONCERNED NIGERIANS ABROAD? , and in it, I mentioned my wish-list of what I would have wished as the impact of Diaspora Nigerians on Nigeria. Somehow, those wish-list comments, were drowned out, because of the politically emotive nature of the bulk of that article. Hence the need now, to reopen discussing this wish-list of possible positive impacts Diaspora Nigerians can have on Nigerian homeland.
What exactly do we Diaspora Nigerians owe Nigeria?
African Scholarship Students Must go Home By Hakeem Babalola
What can Diaspora Nigerians do by way of lobbying American, European and Asian governments? Or lobbying and interfacing businesses and institutions on behalf of Nigeria? What must do now to benefit Nigeria? I strongly believe that there is a great deal that Diaspora Nigerians can do! We can for instance, establish Think Tanks, Investment Clubs, engage in clandestine activities, including, espionage and more!
I am relatively young and in excellent state of health, but, I want my true feelings about Nigeria to be known, to be recorded, while I still have my life, while I still have the time!
Nigerians cannot be reminded of these issues enough! We should always bear it in our minds, that it is our responsibility to create the developed, the advanced and great nation from the present day Nigeria. And I do know for a fact, that this is quite possible in our life time, as in right now!
Some Nigerians always seem to be waiting for the perfect time to act for Nigeria’s benefit.
I strongly believe that there is no better time than now to think, say/articulate and do, everything that we all should, actively, for Nigeria’s development, advancement and greatness. Nigerians must not keep passions for Nigeria on the shelf. We must act now!