Here's the dialogue I had entering the US from Canada at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing on March 29, 2013... What would you have done if you were me??
Immigration Officer 1: Where are you heading today?
Immigration Officer 1: What for?
Me: To visit some friends
Immigration Officer 1: How do you know these people?
Me: I lived in Seattle for about 5 years
Immigration Officer 1: What was your status in the US?
Immigration Officer 1: Where did you work?
Immigration Officer 1: What did you do there?
Me: I was an engineer, working on the 787 wiring
Immigration Officer 1: Where did you go to school?
Me: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida
Immigration Officer 2: Is that a little bit inland from the beach?
Me: It's about 3 miles from the beach
Immigration Officer 1: Wow, so your parents must be rich... (holding my Nigerian passport)
Immigration Officer 1: ... or criminal!
Immigration Officer 2: Sometimes, they're one and the same!
Immigration Officer: Yeah, but you seem like a good guy!
Me: <Silience>... collecting my passport and driving away.
Nigeria really needs a new image! I'm tired of being suspected of being a criminal or a terrorist when people find out I'm Nigerian.
Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of how, and where, I was raised... but having to deal with all the negative aspects of Nigeria's image is getting a little bit old. There are lots of good things about Nigeria and in my life, I've met so many Nigerians that make me proud to wave the flag... but I have met people that make me brush up on my 'oyinbo' accent... :-)
There are so many beautiful things that Nigeria has to offer the world and I wish we could do just that, without have to explain or make excuses for the bad things.
Nigeria WILL be great! I believe it! I just hope it's in my lifetime.