Something’s not kosher

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Many eyebrows were raised when it was learned that a goodly portion of our Nigerian/Cameroonian brothers and sisters were not on board the Nigerian Airways return flight to the Motherland, this past Sunday. Say what? Not that many of us were terribly surprised. From the very beginning of this whole unhappy pappy show, something, indeed many things, did not seem kosher. The word ‘kosher’ is of Jewish extraction, and when something is said to be ‘kosher,’ it means that food, or other aspects of Jewish life are in accordance with Jewish law. If something contravenes Jewish law, it is said to be ‘not kosher.’ More informally, if something is said to be ‘not kosher,’ it means that it is not genuine, it is illegitimate. We submit that something is not kosher about this l’affaire Nigeria.

For one thing, it has been shrouded in a great deal of secrecy – transparency has taken flight. Who are these people? Investors? Tourists? Students? Speculators? Undesirables in their homeland? What did they do, and what are they doing now that they are here? Who paid their airfare? And why? Did they simply board the Nigeria Airways charter on the strength of the promise of a free flight across the Atlantic, with free food and board? Were these people being used as pawns in a bigger chess game? As with so many things having to do with this Administration – an Administration that thrives on obfuscation and subterfuge, intrigue abounds.

Of course, Antigua is a small place, and sooner rather than later, that which is hidden will inevitably come to light. Many good citizens in our fair State are reporting that some of the Nigerians are living right next to them. The Nigerians are quite talkative and friendly, and when questioned by the locals, they are saying that they will be looking for jobs, that they will be setting up small businesses, and that they have no immediate plans to return to the land from whence they came. Hmmmm! Their personal belongings are supposed to be arriving soon. Was this a part of the original plan with this charter flight? And why on earth have we not be appraised as to what is going on? Do we not deserve an explanation? What are we, chopped liver? Is this a country run by those who do whatever they feel like without ascertaining the will and pleasure of the people?

It is the height of disrespect to the good citizens of this fair State that we are left to speculate as to the reason why over one hundred Nigerians / Cameroonians are still lurking in the shadows amongst us, even after their flight home has already departed. Oh, the blatant disregard and rudeness! Clearly, those in high places do not believe that they owe us a modicum of courtesy, consideration and forthrightness. Not that we would swallow their tale. These folks have had a very sketchy relationship with the truth. We believe them at our own peril. Perhaps this African proverb is appropriate, “Seeing is different than being told.” Hmmmmm!

Again, we call on the administration to provide an explanation as to why so many of the Nigerians are still here, and under whose auspices. They owe it to us – we, the people who elected them as our servants. And the people to whom they will be looking for reelection to their high places. Actually, with an election just around the corner, we suspect that those in high places will be concocting a story, several stories, for our consumption.  Let us beware that we do not swallow them, hook, line and sinker. And let us not forget this important African/Nigerian proverb: “Don’t think that there are no crocodiles, just because the water is calm.”

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