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Diaspora Chronicles: Why Do They Not Want to Come Back Home?



Everyone, home and abroad saw the pictures of the flooding in Lagos, the incidental memes and even the alligator that was washed up. The laughter was plenty, but now the sun is back.

As is expected, everything would appear to be back to normal until another round of floods perhaps this year or next. I still have friends and relatives that continue to live the nightmare as they replace furniture and heavily damaged cars.

This is tough in a situation where buying a “Grade A” used car is very much a luxury.  Anyway, one of such friends emailed DC this story that I am about to share with you. She said after reading previous articles particularly the one with almost same title as this one, she was moved to tell us this story. Enjoy!

I had returned to Nigeria 2 years ago after living in America for some years. I have since settled, started a business and in spite of all the struggles associated with running businesses in Nigeria, I am still hanging in there and trying to make it work. To be honest the sunny weather, friendships and my family was enough motivation to be in Nigeria.

On Friday, 7th July I had to make an international trip to purchase items for my business. My home being in Lekki, I set off at 1:15pm for a 10:30pm flight. The possibility of rains, flooding and traffic jams were the reason for me leaving 9 hours earlier. There was also the fact that the driver needed to pick the kids from after school lesson at 6:45pm. It took me 2½ hours from Jakande Roundabout to Lekki Phase 1 roundabout; and just so you know if you don’t live in Lagos, this should be a 20-minute journey. Thinking that using the Ikoyi Bridge would cut my journey in half, I decided to enter Lekki Phase 1 to access it.  After a futile one hour, my driver abandoned that option and we turned around to use the LCC Toll gate but it took another 1 hour to get there. By now, it was getting to 6pm and time for the driver to pick the kids.

In order to release the driver, the only option was to get a taxi to the airport. I signalled several taxis that I saw in traffic, but they all refused to make the journey to the airport. I also kept trying Uber which was experiencing a surge, but finally I got a driver who agreed to meet me up at the Southern Sun.

My dear frustrated driver got me to Southern Sun at about 6.30 pm and I let him go with my check-in luggage, as the Uber driver said he seriously doubted the possibility of our getting to the Airport on time. Having only my hand luggage, I hoped would provide me with flexibility, if push came to shove. Luckily the traffic to the 3rd Mainland and on the bridge itself was not too bad so we got to Maryland area by 7.45 pm.

However, from that point on it was chock-a-block; when I came out of the car and looked towards Oshodi, it was at a standstill. Of course the powers that be were weaving through the traffics, sirens blaring and causing more traffic.  When I realized that it was 8.45pm and there was no chance of me getting to the airport, I told the driver to get on the service lane by a Petrol station. He got there, parked and I walked up to the police patrol motorcycles typically packed there to seek their assistance. I explained to the officers there that I was about to miss my flight, showed them my ticket and begged them to give me a lift to the airport on one of their bikes. To my shock, one of them agree to help. So, there I was sitting on a bike clutching my hand luggage and handbag with all my money and passport zipping through dark Oshodi at 9 pm. To cut the long story short, I made it to the airport. I was the last person checked in – all made possible because I did not have any luggage to check-in. The regular check-in desk was even closed!

Later, as I sat at the lounge and reminisced on the day I had had, I couldn’t help remembering the attack and negativity poured on the writer who last wrote on reasons she didn’t want to move back to Nigeria. Still on the plane my mind was in confusion and at a point I seriously contemplated just jettisoning all the plans I had for Nigeria and staying back after my trip and then sending for my family to come join me.  To be honest, sometimes living in Nigeria drains you emotionally, physiologically and financially.  Since my return, I had never felt as frustrated as I felt on the 7th of July. Not even the light, water or other sundry issues had gotten me that agitated. In spite of not even getting a job commensurate with my degree, I had soldiered on, but this day was the last straw.

I have since returned and I am still hanging in there and looking up to God, but now I am less judgmental of those who have refused to come back as I ask myself nearly every day, is it really worth it?

Story written by Kiki Daniel of Diaspora Chronicles.

For more stories like this see our blog –; Instagram – @diasporachr; Facebook – diaspora chronicles.

Photo Credit: Kiosea39 | Dreamstime

Diaspora Chronicles specialises in insightful stories, articles and news that will help the newbie settle abroad. On the occasion we do write stories that border on entertainment. Our differentiating factor is that we will not share gossip hence our tag line "gossip is so last year"! Check us out on our blog, [email protected], Facebook -Diaspora Chronicles and [email protected]


  1. nene

    August 7, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    “To be honest, sometimes living in Nigeria drains you emotionally, physiologically and financially.” THIS! I’m just like the writer. I don’t judge people who choose to live abroad anymore

    • Anon

      August 7, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      nene – fantastic at your change of heart. I will not remember your old comments criticising Nigerians in the Diaspora.

  2. Author Unknown

    August 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    What’s the obsession with the Nigerian “elites” and who resides where? Nigeria’s problems are not at all subjective. They’re very real and evident even to people that have never stepped foot outside of Nigeria. Nothing ever works as they should. You don’t have to have lived in the developed world to realise this, or to be frustrated by it. We need to fix Nigeria, not only for the benefit of Nigerians in the diaspora, but primarily for the benefit of Nigerians at home. When Nigerians at home win, Nigerians abroad also win. Enough with the IJGB, or often erroneous “Nigerians at home are making money” mentality that Nigerians abroad have. If you want to live abroad and can, live there, if not live in Nigeria. Do what works for you is basically the message. BN is also guilty of feeding into this. Now, how do we start to fix Nigeria? Who do we hold responsible for a lack of constant power or clean water supply? Do you know who your representatives are? Let’s start by holding people accountable.

  3. Bolanle

    August 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    I can relate
    I moved back to Nigeria in 2013 from the UK and a part of me regrets it, but I’m glad I did cos I met my wonderful husband
    We are Now working towards moving to Canada
    Nigeria is crap! Plain and simple

  4. MrsO

    August 7, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Nigeria is great for good food and social belonging. Aside from that, it is failed nation filled with pretentious, materialistic and furstrated individuals. Nothing works!

    • m4

      August 7, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      “Nigeria is great for GOOD Food and SOCIAL belonging”….That´s the only things i miss about naija, nothing more

  5. Akin

    August 7, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Don’t go back to Nigeria at least for now!!!

  6. Eagleeye

    August 7, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Is this story real?! 6pm and still in Lekki for traffic?? Stories like this make me reconsider ever moving back…wow!

    • Dora the explorer

      August 7, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      you have seen the worst of it bruhhh!

    • Simplychic

      August 8, 2017 at 9:59 am

      This story is very real and relatable, I remember the Saturday when flooding happened, I was in that traffic. I had a PTDF exam for 11, I left my house like 9 because I was leaving with a friend that had a car and normally being a Saturday, it shouldn’t take that long. Let’s just say I did not get there until past 3 when the exam was almost over. The officials refused to allow us in despite them knowing about the flood situation. They mocked us saying ‘shebi we want to live in lekki’ they kept laughing at us and I was really dissapointed. We tried to explain and one official threatened to arrest us with DSS…it was that bad. At the end of the day, something better happened for me and I was like jokes on you guys

  7. Shade

    August 8, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Google maps is your friend. I have avoided Lagos traffic by using the app. Please save yourself the stress of Lagos traffic. Ikoyi-Lekki bridge at rush hour is a no-no. Use LCC Toll, go all the way to Ahmadu Bello round about, connect to Awolowo and take 3rd mainland from there.

    In Oshodi at 9pm, flight at 10:30pm and still had time to drop by the lounge after checking in and going through security and immigrations? Hmmm

  8. ozyy

    August 8, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Living in Abuja may be better. Fresher air, No traffic, Okay life esp if you have something doing. Lagos is just a craze man’s city, the only reason its still a destination is coz of the economic drive it has but living here and getting to my place of work or other places within 20mins (i.e if you live in town, if you live on the outskirts, its 1hr max which is still better than Lagos) is a blessing i do not take for granted.

  9. lollly

    August 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

    funny how all these stories are centered around Lagos.
    perhaps our returnees should consider other states in Nigeria where one can live decently.
    evrybody wants to live in lagos!

  10. Mau Mau

    August 9, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Though Abuja may seem saner, many returnees prefer Lagos because of more opportunities and the cosmopolitan nature of the town. There is that energy about Lagos that no other town in Nigeria has been able to duplicate. That is the same energy you see when you are in Newyork city. You come out to Manhattan as early as 3 am and it is like the whole city is there and that is the same at all hours of the day. The same applies to Lagos and that is why they keep coming in spite of the stress and challenges. Lol !!!

  11. aj

    August 10, 2017 at 1:19 am

    nawa for lagos traffic! I would love to relocate someday! But it will have to be Abuja though.

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