Thursday, 12 January 2017 03:39

Nigerians, Come Let's Rethink The Way We Give Gifts

Written by 

When we say: "Gifts can kill you kpata kpata," we mean gifts can cause the loss of lives as events  in his essay reveal. Gifts may create enemies for you, particularly when the receivers feel they are God's gift to you and you owe him a gift of your own. Some of our people have a dreadful horrifying sense of entitlement.  An entitlement is when the person being given the gift feels he/she has a right, power, prerogative, or claim to the gift. Our Nigerian relatives need to be cured of the DOE. This DOE is not the Department of Education. It is the Disease of Entitlement.

If you don't believe it, ta!k with neighbors of Mr. and  Mrs. Romanus and Christiana Odo,  residents of Majidun Awori Area of Lagos . Christiana stabbed her husband Romanus to death on Christmas Day, 25/12/2016, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos because he did not provide the gift expected of most Nigerian husbands. He did not give Christmas money to the wife and mother of eight children for the family December entertainment.

Why are we overseas Nigerians so gullible (stupid for a better choice of word) that we feel compelled to give away our wealth to people who do not merit our bleeding hearts?  Why do we give way away our hard-earned money to please people who don't like us to gain what they don't have?  Hey, Nigerians, listen carefully. We oughtn't feel guilty for being in America and working so hard for every US dollar we send home to seemingly dependent parasites we call relatives who don't appreciate our efforts. Let's rethink. Let's make it crystal clear that, although we believe in giving gifts as acts of love, yet is cannot and should not be done haphazardly or in a stupid way. We are not on this earth solely to cater to the demands of so-called family members who may be overly demanding of our time and hard-earned material resources.

Our people can be contemptuous, meaning disapproving, disdainful, scornful, sneering, or unappreciative . They show no gratitude and often are unthankful. For example, after  A  gave a gift of 100 Naira to B, B shoved the gift back to A and said: "No, Oga. I don't want the 100 Naira, but why can't you give me 100 dollars to be changed to Naira in black market?" As of today, one US dollar is equivalent to 480 Naira in black market,  and 100 dollars equal 48,000 Naira

Hey Nigerians, look here! We cannot let folks back home dictate to us what gifts to  give as though they were divine-right monarchs. Hell!  A beggar has no choice, does he? Our begging folks back home make us feel guilty that we are enjoying overseas while they are suffering poverty. Tough luck! Whose fault is it? Nigeria is not a poor county, and our folks are not poverty-stricken. Poverty is a choice of attitude and selection of mindset. Our relatives are manipulative suckers (motherfuckers) who waste resources, competing with the Joneses and expecting us to serve as their OBFN (Overseas Bank For Nigerians).

Consider the case of Mr. And Mrs. Odo. The abominable housewife was such she had been accusing the husband of spending his money on women outside the family and neglecting her and her children. While the wife was busy bitching and picking a fighting with the husband, the man dropped N1,000 on the floor, but the woman said the man should go to the market and get ife oriri (Igbo for   things to eat) himself with the amount, which she said was tiny and would not get anything worthwhile.

A gift or the lack thereof can create havoc in any Nigerian community. Consider boko haran fighting over demand for the gift of apiece of arid land to set up a shitty enclave. They want to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and the introduction of Sharia law. Boko Haran movement has killed over 2,000 Nigerians, and uprooted 2 millions from their homes. The Delta Avengers are willing to give their lives for the gift of a few acres of polluted earth. The Christmas gift is something to be contumacious, meaning openly mendacious, false, rebellious; fretful, quarrelsome, or unreliable in matters concerning gifts.

Talking about killing a spouse for failure to give a gift,  can you fathom a Nigerian okorosimite (Idoma for Christmas) without the chicken  or the Easter family dinner without the usual osikapa egheleghe (fried rice), egusi and okra soups? Can you imagine having egusi soup without okporoko or pepper soup without ox tail or nkwobi (cow feet)?

It is easy to understand why a woman could kill  her husband because she feels entitled to a gift, though her reasons are morally bankrupt.  In her shallow, uneducated mind, the killer is saying: How do I a big  Nigerian femme, sweetie for the bedroom, a woman of timber and  substance celebrate this Christmas and do without the nama (Hausa for beef), osikapa eghelegwe (fried rice);  isi ewu ( goat head), and okuko (chicken) which I can turn into sweet mgwomgwo (pepper soup)? The reports had it that Christiana  murdered her husband  on Christmas Day, 2016, as neighborhood wives were cooking .

Nigerians are obsessed with giving and receiving gifts even when the country is going through hard times and unemployment of youth is stringent, rampant, and in two figures. Children go around asking family members and strangers to "gbaram Kristmas," meaning "do me Christmas," or "dash me some money for this Christmas." Do you ever wonder why asking or gifts is as bad  as demanding for a gift and as despicable as urinating in public against the walls of someone's million-Naira mansion?

Talking about bribery, commonsense tells you that bribery is a  forced gift. Aren't you being forced to gift unwillingly after inviting a girl from interior Nigerian village girl to America for marriage and she abandons you after you have paid her way through clenched teeth to train her for the CNA (certified nursing assistant) and then the RN (Registered Nurse certification)? You have been manipulated to part with your money for the promise of pussy.

What did you do wrong to drive your CNA wife away? Nothing. You gave her a gift, inviting her to America to provide you with sexual stimulation and bear children just to carry on your unpronounceable name. What have you done to deserve someone urinating against your million-dollar mansion's wall? You did nothing .

You have built a mansion as a gift to edify or beautify a community and raise the property value, and now someone is urinating on the works of your suffering, afflicted hands. But why? We want to know.  It is because you sent a gift in form of invitation letter and paid the Delta Airline ticket for the village girl, and now she is leaving you for another man. In your heart of hearts, you know the truth.

The truth is that you gave the wrong gift. You are impotent and cannot fuck the village girl well because years of drunkenness and use of marijuana have weakened your penis, and your sperm is like the thin miri akpu (white milky water cassava is soaked in) rather than the thick miri akamu ( corn starch). You dare not tell friends for they would laugh you out of town after eloping with your village girl to show her how to fuck.  Like we said earlier, gifts are troublesome and sometimes can mess you up and even  lead to your demise when you meant to do some good. You cannot sleep well after giving gifts to relatives.

What sin have you committed that the neighbors are tampering with your sleep and mosquitoes sucking your blood at Lagos? Nothing.  You arrived at Lagos, Nigerian, for a much-needed holiday. You cannot sleep because you are being eaten as dinner by the ubiquitous mosquitoes buzzing, buzzing, buzzing throughout the night.

In the morning, as you are about slip into the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep with its attendant unconsciousness, the front door bursts open, and here come relatives you never expected were still alive and unkempt neighborhood children you do not care for. They are in the middle of your parlor with one purpose in mind: to demand for the dollars you have brought from America.

They say, "Dash us" ( give us gifts). Whichever way you see it, my friend, you are besieged by a virus. A virus in no other than a gift in the form of cola nuts, bottles of Budweiser or Golden Guinea. Uncle Bankole saunters in unexpectedly, and you send Bamidele to the corner store to fetch cold beer.

Demanding bribery is no different than asking for a gift from someone under duress. Duress is defined as pressure, threat, coercion, constraint, compulsion, or force. Giving gifts can kill you. You are in trouble when you give, and you are in trouble when you do not give. What then do you do? Like money, gifts are fungible in that they are not exciting unless gifts leave your hands and go into the hands of some other person. Why did Jesus tell us "it is more blessed to give than to receive"? Didn't Jesus create the gift virus with the Nigerians in mind when he was delivering the masterpiece sermon on gifts on mountaintop?

Fights often broke out in many Nigerian communities when we were growing up as little innocent children at Oturkpo or Igumale. We were told it was the right thing to do on the Boxing day right after the Christmas Day. We were young, misinformed kids, and didn't know any better. We believed that Boxing Day was a day to box your neighbors' ear off if gifts were not forthcoming   It is believed  many fights related to gifts still break out today in many communities in today's Nigeria.  How did the name Boxing Day originate?  One school of thought says Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day.

The Nigerian Government often celebrates the Boxing Day as a public holiday. What a remnant of colonialism! The Boxing Day originated in the United Kingdom, and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously belonged to the British Empire, Nigeria and Canada included.  Another school of thought argues that the tradition began in churches in the Middle Ages when Parishioners collected money for the poor in alms boxes, and these were opened on December 26, the day after Christmas in honor of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

For many of us, Christmas is a time for giving, and giving is good for the true giver as well as for the proper receiver. It is advisable that one should know what to give, when to give, when to withhold gifts, and how much to give in order to remain safe, it is not always the  man or woman who asks to be given deserves the gift. Sometimes giving can come with fatal consequences.

A man on a monthly salary of N27,000 ($68) asked his boss for N15,000 advance payment so he could travel  for the holidays. When the boss said she did not have the cash and advised the employee to exercise patience, the man sneaked up on the woman at or around 10:30am and stabbed her to death for not effecting a gift.

How many times have you sent your hard-earned dollars to your folks back home in Nigeria  only to regret or feel sorry afterwards that you were foolish? Perhaps you shouldn't have sent home anything, not even a kobo. The receivers may end up insulting you. Some of your receivers may ask: "Is this all you can afford from a big person like you"?

Others may say in sarcasm: "After all, it is your duty to give me." Sending the money home to Nigeria can have a boomerang effect in ways that are unexpected and demeaning. The receiver my ignore you as if your gift does not matter .You are expected to call to thank the receiver  for accepting the gift in the first place.

A Christian woman this writer met while riding the bus had something to say about giving gifts that are not appreciated. She believed that if the gifts come from God's heart, it doesn't matter what the receiver does, says or feels after receiving your little gift. If  the giver gives the gift with a clean heart, and the receiver takes possession of the gift, that is the end of the case.  God blesses the transaction as He always does. The woman and I got into a disagreement.

ME: Why bring God into this?  The receiver ought to say thank you or show some appreciation.

WOMAN: Appreciation? To who? And for what?

ME: Appreciation to me for spending my time and money.

WOMAN: You are demonstrating pride by demanding to be worshipped, to usurp God's throne.

ME: I don't understand.

WOMAN: There are things you don't understand about God and His ways

One day, Emmanuel, a classmate of this writer called out of the baby-blue sky from Aba to say: "Send me dollars." I simply hung up the receiver and let the fool stew in his ignorance. It is disrespectful and the height of bad manners to demand a gift from someone you haven't seen in decades just because you happened to share a classroom in Nineteen-something.. Emmanuel didn't camouflage his ignorance with small talks about the weather in America or inquiries into my health or the wellbeing of the children, or news of happenings in Nigeria.

"Send me dollars" is unexpected from a  retired bank manager. Perhaps his demand for dollars was made in jest or moment of inebriation or drunkenness. Nigerians at home and everywhere drink unusually large quantities of alcohol to knock them out of misery. The Nigerians act out of obsession with being instant millionaires.

Consider the popularity of the South-East and South-South Nigerian governors who pride themselves on building beer breweries as a clever way to keep citizens so lethargic they are kept in the dark as huge sums of money from the government treasury accounts are made to disappear into private account. One is lethargic when one is so drunk as to be sluggish, tired, weary, languid, exhausted, or lazy.

Whatever reason Emmanuel had in mind for saying "Send me dollars" did not sit right with my spirit and would not sit right with anyone familiar with today's hard economic times. Here, in America, I work hard for my dollar. I find myself picking up coins as I walk around gas stations and shopping malls. I am looking on the ground. Gluing my eyes to the ground helps me to pick up pieces of money people throw away. I have picked up enough pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and even dollar bills to send some Nigerians  the sum of 100 dollars. It is not unusual to come home with pockets bulging with coins

This 22-year-old Cameroonian, Joel Ludguo, who killed his employer, is currently in police custody at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, Lagos State, for allegedly killing his boss, Miss Temidayo Adeleke for failure to make a gift. A man on a monthly salary of N27,00 ($68) asked his boss for N15,000 advance payment so he could travel for the holidays.

When the boss said she did not have the cash and advised the employee to be patient, the man sneaked up on the woman and stabbed her to death. .Neighbors said Adeleke,whose wedding was planned for early 2017, met Ludguo at her church and brought him to live at her house. She had been kind and generous to her help. She gave a gift of money and accommodation and then paid for it with her life.

As we said earlier, the gift you give may not be appreciated, or it may end up being your undoing defined as a downfall, ruin, ruination, collapse, shame, or embarrassment. Let's consider a few ways to ensure our gifts do not hamper or daunt out peace of mind.

First, we oughtn't  give too many unnecessary gifts to children in our households or home. Children feel spoiled and pampered with too many unwanted gifts on each birth date, holiday, and special occasions. Some of the gifts to give our kids are not even taken out boxes before new gifts arrive knocking at the door. Children find it onerous and frustrating to take tabs of and manage busy schedules of unwanted gifts.

Possible solutions to problems associated with children's  gifts include: (i) make fewer gifts; (ii) demand that kids perform some chores when they receive gifts, such as wash dishes after dinner, clean their rooms or launder clothes, or pay for some family utility bills with money earned from part-time jobs.

We conclude this essay with the same opening paragraph. So we are compelled to give away our wealth to people who do not merit our bleeding hearts? Why?  Friends, I do not feel guilty for being in America and  working  hard for every US dollar I send home to bloodsucking parasites we call relatives. Let's not let folks back home make us feel guilty that we are enjoying overseas while they suffer poverty. Tough luck! Nigeria is not a poor county, and our folks are not poverty-stricken. Our relatives are manipulative suckers who waste resources, competing with the Joneses and expecting us to serve as the OBFN (Overseas Bank For Nigerians). Let them get off their lazy asses and do whatever they can to help make ends meet, like plant gardens, raise chicken, or start small business from which to make profits to be shared with us.

by Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies .blogspot,com

Read 284 times
James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.