In response to the stifled terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Friday, a couple of Nigerian student have posted what they call "the Nollywood re-enactment of Flight 253". The message behind the madness? Not all Nigerians are terrorists, despite what the hype might have you believe.
In trying to blow up Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab catapulted the phrase "Nigerian terrorist" into the media spotlight. Just a few hours later, a Nigerian businessman from Port Harcourt launched a Facebook group called "We Condemn Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's Action: Nigerians are NOT Terrorists". By Wednesday, over 38,000 people had joined.
“Nollywood re-enactment of Flight 253”
“Being a Nigerian in the US is already hard. It will be even more so in the next few weeks and months”
A Nigerian from the north of the country, John Orafa has been studying at Brigham Young University in Rexburg (Idaho) for the past year. He's behind the re-enactment clip.
We all saw the CNN broadcast on TV on Christmas Day. With a few friends, we talked about how it was going to affect Nigerians back home, and how it will affect us, in the United States. Everybody expressed disbelief and surprise about what had happened.
With the video, we like to make fun of such events, because it helps our message stay in the public consciousness. And more importantly, we wanted to tell the world that the attempted act of terrorism was the action of one deranged and misguided kid.
Being a Nigerian in the US is already hard. I have come across racial and religious prejudices. People have negative ideas. It will be a lot more difficult in the next few weeks and months, I believe. I attended a wedding this weekend, and some Americans stopped talking to me and walked away when they realised I was Nigerian. They seemed shocked and abruptly ended the exchange of pleasantries.
What Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did does not represent in any way the intention or perception of the Nigerian people towards the good people of America. We do love Americans and seek every opportunity to learn from Americans. And we love life way too much. I apologise on the behalf of all Nigerians and will be leaving for DC to express this with other Nigerian students in a few hours. But I'm a little anxious about going to an airport now..."