Nigerians in the Eyes of a Ghanaian Driver

“How was your trip Oga katakata?

“Fine. And how are you doing too?”

“I’m doing good, Oga katakata.”

“No, it’s Oga patapata; not Oga katakata. And you don’t have to add ‘patakata’ all the time. You simply say, ‘Oga,’ if you must.”

“Okay. But I was told that Oga katakata, sorry, Oga patapata means the overall boss.”

“That’s right.”

“Won’t you be offended if I just call you ‘Oga’ when you are actually the overall boss?”

“Who told you that I’m the overall boss? In any case, you don’t even have to call me Oga in the first instance.”

“Ah, Oga. That means you must be a different Nigerian.”

“No, I’m not. The point is that you don’t have to call every Nigerian man you meet Oga.

“But most of your people want to be highly respected and praised. Some are so particular about the way one addresses them; most especially a driver like me.”

“I’m not one of them.”

“Where are you staying, Sir? Is it Obasanjo hotel?”

“Which one is Obasanjo hotel? Does Obasanjo have a hotel in Accra?”

“No, Sir. You see, I worked as a car rental driver at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel for a long time and we, the drivers, named the hotel after Obasanjo because he stays there each time he comes to Accra. And many Nigerians; big, big, people from Nigeria also stay in that hotel all the time.”


“Yes, Sir. I also hope you heard about what happened to Obasanjo in that hotel when he was in power.”

“No! What happened to him?”

“Ah, Oga, that Obasanjo is a clever man and I like him very much.”

“What exactly happened? I’m listening.”

“The man caused a big headache for everyone during one of his stays there. But we thank God that Ghana was not given a bad name at the end of it all.”

“What did he do, please?”

Hmm, Oga. On the second day of his stay in that hotel, we just noticed that there was pandemonium in the compound at about 2.00am early in the morning. Later, we saw soldiers and policemen entering the hotel and helicopter was hovering everywhere. They said they were looking for Obasanjo. They locked all the gates and started searching for him everywhere. It was so terrible, Oga

“Eeeh, eeeh!”

“I tell you, it was a big commotion. For two hours or so, nobody knew where Obasanjo was. Our president rushed to the hotel. Jerry Rawlings also came. Siren was blowing everywhere. The roads leading to the hotel were all blocked.”

“That must have been a serious matter.”

“Yes, yes, it was!”

“So, how did they eventually find the man?”

“Aaaah, your former president is a funny man. You know what happened? Obasanjo had smuggled a woman into his suite and both of them sneaked out through the back door without any of his bodyguards knowing.”

“Are you serious? Did he drive out by himself?”

Noooo. He and the lady went to the beach at the back of the hotel! They found the two of them there at the beach!”

Aaaah. Oh my God, OBJ! OBJ!”

Oga, it was a terrible incident. He threw the whole of Accra into serious panic that early morning. And do you know what Obasanjo said when they finally found him?”

“What did he say?”

“He said, ‘Aah, you people sef, why are you looking for me in my country? Ghana is my country so nobody can kill or kidnap me here! Everybody started laughing.”

“How about the lady?”

“I don’t know what happened to her. I think she just disappeared from the scene.”

Hmmm. Our leaders can be funny indeed.”

“But I like Nigerians so much.”

“Yes, you have to. We are good people.”

“When I was working at that Obasanjo hotel, I met many Nigerians. I would carry some of them for days and they won’t pay me any money until the last day. When I then take them to the airport they will just ask, ‘How much is your money?’ When I tell them, they don’t even argue. They just pay me in dollars. At times, they give me extra. Nigerians are rich people. They are good.”

“We are very generous.”

“But do you know that many Ghanaians don’t like you Nigerians?”


“Because you people are too loud. You also boast too much. You don’t know how to hide your feelings.”

“Well, it is not every Nigerian that is like that.”

“You are correct, Oga. I think it is the Ibo people that make so much noise when they come here. Now, I can easily identify an Ibo man when I see him. They don’t speak your type of English. They always say, ‘Nna, Nna.’ My friend told me that most Ibo people speak Vernacular English.”

“It is called Pidgin English. We all do. I can also tell you that being loud has to do with individual characteristics. I’m sure there are many Ghanaians that are equally loud.”

“But we are not proud, Sir.”

“Who then says every Nigerian is proud?”

“I will tell you, Oga. In Ghana now, everybody is afraid of Nigerians. You will know them when they are passing in their cars. Their car speakers are always loud, and they don’t ride small cars. If you go to Osu in the evening you will see them. Last Friday, one Nigerian boy came with a brand new Bentley car and he stopped in the middle of the road for his friends to see his new car. They all surrounded the car right in the middle of the road playing loud music and disturbing everybody. Too bad, Oga!

“Someone should have called the police to arrest them.”

Eeh! Not in Accra, Oga. These Nigerian boys have money; a lot of money. Our police like them because they take care of them.”

“Are you saying that your police also collect bribes here?”

Hmm, they don’t call it bribe.”

“So what do they call it?”


“Gifts? From who?”

“It’s a Nigerian gift. You people like giving gifts so our Police also like collecting gifts.”

“You are a very funny man.”

Oga, it’s the truth I’m telling you.”

“That one is bribe, not gift.”

“I always carry a Nigerian businesswoman to the markets each time she visits Ghana. She likes me. But she’s a very tough woman. The first time I would carry her, she abused me inside and out but I also abused her back.”

Aaah, so you Ghanaian men abuse women?”

“She was rude to me and I told her that I have someone like her at home.”

“But what did you do to her?”

“Simple thing, Oga. She said my car was too small. Instead of stopping at that, she went on to boast about her cars in Nigeria and wouldn’t stop talking. So I got upset with her.”

“But she was your customer. She had the right to complain.”

“In fact, we became friends a few minutes later. Oga, I can’t understand Nigerians. One minute they are busy fighting you, the next moment they are asking if you are hungry so they can buy food for you to eat.”

“Did she buy you food?”

“Yes, yes. She asked me to take her to where she could buy Adire to eat.”


“Yes, Oga. Chicken.”

“Oh, no, that’s Adiye; not Adire.

“Okay. We went there. She bought one whole roasted chicken and Malt for herself. She also bought exactly the same thing for me. Since then we became friends and she would not engage any other person except me whenever she’s in Accra.”

“That’s good. So, both of you are good friends now. Right?”

“Yes. She has even asked me to come for a weekend in Nigeria.”

“So when will you be visiting her?”

Oga, I’m afraid of going to that country.”

“Why are you afraid? Every Ghanaian I’ve ever met wants to visit Lagos!”

“As for me, I don’t want to die yet. There is Boko Haram in Nigeria and I don’t want them to bomb me. My father is still alive. He’s 85 and he lives in Kumasi. The old man will want me to bury him when he dies.”

“There is no Boko Haram in Lagos. And the issue is not as terrible as you are painting it.”

Aaaah, Oga, don’t deceive me. We all know what is happening in Nigeria. Your people are killing one another like chicken. We see it on Television every day, and our government warns us to be careful of going to Nigeria.”

“Your government does that?”

“Yes. But Oga, what is Goodluck Jonathan doing about Boko Haram in Nigeria? The thing is giving you bad name outside, you know.”

“The man is trying his best.”

“That’s why I like Obasanjo. He’s an action man. He’s my friend.”

“Na you sabi.”

“What did you say, Sir?”


“There is another reason why I won’t go to Nigeria.”

“Which one again?”

“I can’t go to Nigeria because I don’t want to be used for rituals.”

“Rituals? You?”

“Yes, Sir. Nigerians like too much rituals. We watch it on Africa Magic every time. Nigerians will just kidnap you and use you for money. They will then use the money to buy big houses, big cars, and carry women.”

“Look, don’t be carried away with what you watch in those useless films. They are not real.”

Oga, they are real! Are you telling me those big cars and houses we see in your films are not real? They are all real. Nigerians use people for rituals!”

“Okay, let’s even agree that they use people for rituals, why would they use you – a foreigner who doesn’t understand anything?”

“In fact, that’s the more reason why they would prefer to use me. As a foreigner, your policemen won’t bother to look for me if I disappear.”

“You must be a very strange man, indeed.”

“Oga, I am only telling you what I know. As I said, I like Nigerians but I’m afraid of you people.”

“Are you afraid of me too?”

“Not really.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“You look gentle to me, Oga.”

“Am I?”


“So you think I can’t use you for rituals?”

“Not here on my land in Ghana. It won’t happen in Accra.”

“You are a case – a big case for that matter.”

“I’m just being factual, Oga katakata.”

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5 thoughts on “Nigerians in the Eyes of a Ghanaian Driver”

  1. One thing i have noticed about you Nigerians is that you are proud of your country and you are daring about everything you set your mind into it.

  2. That was a nice one is always good to evaluate how you are viewed by the world outside you and in the case of Nigeria, not really admirable. The truth is the truth,howsoever we couch it and your Ghanaian friend said it all. We need to change!

  3. Am a Kenyan and i do agree with what the Ghanaian friend was saying. Nigerians are known to be loud.

  4. Great write-up sir. Its really good to see how our news and movies are creating impressions in the hearts of people who have never step on our soil. As for the BH problem, I wished we have leaders who are leaders truly. Also, I wished movies were like real life, I would have begged Jack Bauer to come to our aid, but until then, we will keep being Nigerians and trying to be good ambassadors of Nigeria anywhere we find ourselves. Nigeria will succeed!

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