A Walking Contradiction…


As frustrating as it is sometimes adjusting to the “Nigerian way of life”, I like the sense of community that exist in Nigeria and in many other African countries. Cities and town are often chaotic centers of commerce. People are out in markets, men purchasing livestock and women enjoying outdoor beauty salons. In the US, markets have become oversized shopping centers that are designed for individuals rather than the community. Some days I enjoy the haggling that takes place for fruit and vegetables. It’s an experience shared between me – the customer and the seller. But then there are the days when I want to be quick and just want to see a fixed price! I do miss the American supermarket. In the shops in Nigeria if you find something you like, it may not be in stock the next week and you may never find it again. You just have to write it off. On Saturdays, everyone is out engaging in some form of commerce. Young Nigerians are enjoying each other’s company at the local ice box and children are selling items along the road way. Life is vibrant and inclusive of all.


However, there are the aspects of Nigerian life that I just don’t understand.  Case and point – On the night of August 30, 2014, our IT consultant was at home when he was robbed by armed men. They came into his house, demanded he and his family lay on the floor and began to take items from their house. When he thought the armed men were gone, he began to yell out of the window to alert his neighbors. In an attempt to quiet him, one of the men fired the gun into the window striking our IT consultant in the neck. His family and friends rushed him off to a hospital but in Nigeria, you have to have a note/permit from the police to be treated for a gunshot wound.  So, initially they were turned away from several hospitals before they were able to find a hospital that would permit him. By then, he had lost too much blood and after two hours, he was dead. He left a grieving wife and two small children who will now grow up without a father. It’s a horrific situation. He was young, talented and a hard worker. He was making a professional career of consulting and helping organizations with its IT concerns. His short career is over and a life cut short.

Why would a hospital not treat an individual in need of medical attention? I am unable to fathom how someone could die because a hospital would not treat him…Sometimes I feel as though this place is a walking contradiction, taking one step forward while at the same time taking two steps back…


One Comment on “A Walking Contradiction…

  1. Such a tragic event. Having to have a note to be treated for a gunshot wound . . . I just can’t wrap my head around that. Thanks for sharing the story.

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