Canada is the primary object of the Nigerian dream to be in distant western colony while showing Nigeria the true, unfettered social media love.

A random look through a couple of Nigerian millennial Twitter account, and you see people’s location pegged at a hilarious, “Canada in Jesus’ name.

On Loose Talk Podcast, Pulse Sports Editor, Steve Dede is now the subject of the much-publicized persona, ‘SDC’ which means, ‘Steve Dede of Canada’ over his constant rhetorics to showcase his hilarious desire to move to Canada, but mostly inspired by the frustration with the Nigerian turn of events that only looks like festering. People like Steve are aided by reports that Canada intends to integrate one million migrants over the next three years.

As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced its postponement of the 2019 Presidential elections slated for February 16, 2019 at 3 am on the same day, frustrated millennials, disillusioned by the third consecutive postponement of a Nigerian Presidential elections, creating a culture of ineptitude to international observers yearned for a reopening of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) collection booths.

One thing, however, stood out in the vortex of madness, Nigerians yearned for Canada. By 4 pm on February 16, 2019, Canada was the number one trending topic on Twitter NG, with about 261,000 Tweets at the time.

This yearning, though some born of lighthearted banter, underlined the ill-fated disillusionment with the constantly festering Nigerian state of affairs as millennials continually tire of hope for a better Nigeria – and one cannot blame them.

In yesteryears of rampant Nigerian immigration, the subjects of these moves were the United Kingdom and the US, but with the emergence of Nationalist – nigh jingoist - phenomena like Donald Trump and BREXIT, immigration to those countries seem more a pipe dream, though borders are not completely shut.

Why Canada?

In 2018, Pulse opined that the Nigerian obsession with Canada was due to a myriad of reasons, but the underlying factor to all these reasons is a near-guaranteed access to better (quality of) life in a country brimming with opportunity and the promise of a better future for people’s children.

Asides that, Tayo, a recently married 28-year-old who left a Nigerian federal university for a Canadian degree in 2008 told Pulse that, “A lot of people are willing to come to Canada because there’s more access to corporate jobs (even with a Nigerian certificate) than in the UK or the US.”

In the 2018 article, Pulse writes, “Canada has an ageing population. To offset the imbalance and increase the workforce, the country created an Express Entry system for skilled workers in 2015.

“Factors like the applicant's age, education level, proficiency in languages and work experience are used to consider their eligibility for the program. The application process typically takes about 6 months and successful participants get a permanent residence permit.

Some also argue that Canada, being a multi-cultural country of immigrants seeks to utilize its land that stands at an incredible 9,984,670 km2 as against a population of 37,242,571 (per Q4 2018).

Asylum seekers walk down Roxham Road to cross into Quebec at the U.S.-Canada border in 2017.
Asylum seekers walk down Roxham Road to cross into Quebec at the U.S.-Canada border in 2017.

Last year, 5,575 Nigerians sought asylum in Canada; records state that in the first three months of 2018, more than half of the 5,000 asylums seekers who crossed the Canadian border were Nigerians.

But sensationally, by November 2018, Pulse reported that Canada rejected 70.7% of Nigerian asylum seekers who crossed borders. However, that has not stopped Nigerians from dreaming.

Here are some of the tweets from February 16, 2019;

As at 8 am on February 18, 2019, Canada is still trending on Twitter NG - Lagos trends.