Leaving on a Jet Plane

This blog written by Jeff Brailey was downloaded on 13 October 2018 from http://novemberghosts.blogspot.com/2007/05/leaving-on-jet-plane.html.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am sitting in the Lufthansa Lounge at Lagos’s Murtla Mohammed International Airport. In about three hours I will be leaving Nigeria for perhaps the last time. It is a bittersweet parting.

I first came to this West African enigma in 1995 was run by an oppressive military government under the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha. By 1999, Nigeria was a democracy and this year, for the first time in its history, a democratically elected government was replaced by admittedly flawed democratic elections. Believe it or not, this represents a great achievement for this fragile country.

I’ve been working here for 26 months this time, 28 days on and then 28 days back home in Indiana. The changes I have noticed the past two years and two months have been monumental. From the airport which is modern with all of its air-conditioning and people movers working, to the people who work for the Nigerian government I deal with on a regular basis.

What I will miss most about this nation are her people. I have made many good friends here, from oil field workers to journalists and writers, to immigrations and customs officers. I shall miss them all.

I have high hopes for this country if it can ever free itself from the greed and tyranny that is implicit with fraudulently run state and federal elections. If the government can start treating those who have nothing in a gentler and more just manner, there is nothing the people of this country can’t accomplish.

Farewell Nigeria, if and when I am able to conquer a few of my health problems, I definitely plan to land at this airport again.