Once, I met a guy. He was a good-looking and healthy bloke. He was chatting up a Chinese girl at a bus stop in Taipei, Taiwan. It was a Sunday afternoon. I’d just come out from Agape, the church I attended, when we met. As it’s my habit to greet fellow-foreigners, I did not hesitate to say Hello! to him. He answered back. I asked him where he was from. He said New York. Of course, being an internationalist myself, I can easily tell where one is from by their accent. And I don’t need to speak long with them to make it out. There was no way this guy could have been from New York. He was definitely a Nigerian. I knew that because Nigerians constitute a major portion of my friends in London. I attended a church there comprising mainly of them.

Trying to woo the Chinese girl somewhat, this guy had apparently told the girl that he was from New York. For one thing, that would give him leverage and make things a lot easier for him. He had to be consistent, too, and that’s exactly why he said the same thing to me. I’m no psychologist but it was obvious that he himself realized that I knew that he’d lied.

We got on the bus and half way along, the girl alighted. Soon after she did, the Nigerian geezer moved over to the seat next to mine, shamefacedly. He admitted that he’d lied. I told him I knew it long before. I understood his predicament.

That was only the first time I heard him lie about his nationality. We were soon to be neighbors after he’d moved into the room next to mine. To many, he was known as a South African. He did not want to be associated with Nigeria.

Nigeria, all of us know, is a country that’s endowed with a vast amount of natural resources. As the country with the largest population in Africa and with a reasonable intelligentsia, many Africans had looked up to Nigeria to lead that continent out of its