Maybe profiling us would make us wake up and start to work on our bad attitudes – By Alao I. Zangalo

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Ethnic profiling: Nwon npe e ni ole, iwo naa ngbe omo-eran jo; this isn’t just a blackmail, you are guilty.
Has that your skin colour or accent ever been an obstacle against an opportunity you meritedly qualified for? Has being an African/a Nigerian ever brought an undeserved embarrassment to you abroad? Has that your international passport caused you an unfriendly treatment at any international airport?
YES? It means you have experienced ethnic profiling. It is a bad thing. The victim feels so irritated to the extent of regretting his origin. It is not supposed to be so, we say. Yes! When it happens, people say “it is because our own country isn’t good, that’s why we are being treated that way.” No, that’s not the actual reason. It is the attitude of a very few bad eggs among us that earned us the bad image hench the profiling.
A gulf country had stopped issuing work visa to Nigerians for over 4 years now. Why? Crime rate was so high among Nigerians: beating police; doing one chance taxi; planting and selling igbo; printed and spent fake notes. In another gulf country like that, they have turned that into their Naija campuses where they engage in cultism fights.
Towards the end of an interview, the interviewer asked me which part of Nigeria I come from? I told him. He was relieved. I was given the job. Later after I resumed, he told me if I was from a certain ethnic group, he wouldn’t have given his approval despite my performance. His reason: two guys who had worked with the company before are of the ethnic group. The company regretted employing them. In another company, when I was being introduced to the deputy director of the company upon resumption, a Britiko, he jokingly asked if I had connection with any Nigerian that his or her parents had died and needed a sponsor to clear his or parents huge money in a bank. He was actually referring to the usual template scam letter Nigerian fraudsters send out to catch their maga. It really pained me. I just smiled and jumped to another topic.
What am I trying to say? What a few of a group does, many times, speaks for the entire group. We may argue that it’s not supposed to be so. But we should remind ourselves that we also always gladly accept good things said about our group as parts of us.
Maybe profiling us would make us wake up and start to work on our bad attitudes so that we can change the wrong perception about us. We shouldn’t just dislike being profiled, let’s change what bad behaviour, immoral and illegal activities we engage in.
We can do that by unanimously condemn and expose our looting politicians, yahoo boys, kidnappers, rapists, blood money ritualists, fraudsters, killers, etc. in our midst. They live among us. They are our brothers, sisters, uncles, anties, cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. They are our tribesmen. If we can’t fight them to change their dubious ways, then we are not innocent, we are guilty. We should learn to live with the such bad ethnic profiling, for life.
This is a kind advice to the Fulani herdsmen and other apologists shouting ethnic profiling for saying Fulani herdmen are violent. Don’t just hate being tagged so, prove to the world that you are not what they call you. Yoruba too, flush out the yahoo and yahooplus boys among you. Put a stop to production of fake items and drug trafficking, you Igbos, if you truly dislike the tag “Igbos are dubious.”
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