Dr. Onyema Ogbuagbu: Nigerians should not only be ‘Nigerians’ when they attain global success

Success, it is often said, has many friends but failure is treated like an orphan. This saying is one which has been aired at many social situations but no matter how popular, it should not apply to citizenry. 

The United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria celebrated Dr. Onyema Ogbuagbu for his significant contribution to helping drug company, Pfizer develop “the first effective COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.”

As usual, Nigerians have been quick to associate with Dr Ogbuagbu’s success story and it won’t be surprising if the Nigerian government issues a statement to celebrate his astounding achievement during a time many nations have been scrambling for answers but always found themselves coming up short.

The global coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 1.4 million lives and coming up with a vaccine to the most widespread plague this generation has ever experienced is a research landmark which will not be forgotten soon.

Ogbuagbu hails from Abia State and studied Medicine at University of Calabar, graduating in the year 2003. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist at Yale University. His Nigerian nationality is not hazy in any way but now it appears that the value of where he comes from is just coming to the fore. 

Like Ogbuagbu, Okonjo-Iweala is being touted for the Director-General role at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and has been endorsed by the Presidency for the role. Akinwumi Adesina of the African Development Bank also got the nod from the highest political office in the country and was even hosted at the Villa. 

Yet, there are millions of youthful Nigerians who are clamouring for recognition, waiting on the government to make their citizenship worth it. Instead, the youth are left with the impression that they are second-class indigenes in their homeland. 

A consequence of this is brain drain Nigeria suffers on a regular basis. Dr Ogbuagbu might not have left these shores if he were convinced of a thriving system.

His success has already caused tribal war on Twitter with Nigerians going at one another’s throats because of ethnic affiliation but such should not have occurred if being a Nigerian is something an average citizen would be proud of. 

It is not when there is a global acclaim that a Nigerian should feel valued. The feeling is one which should saturate the society.

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