The Nigerian community in the U.S. on Sunday in Maryland pledged renewed commitment to reinforcing Nigeria’s virtues and redeem her image globally.
Nigerians converged in grand style at an event, organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), USA, which also featured the inauguration of the new members of the Board of Directors for the organisation.
Mrs Patience Key, the new Chairperson, NIDOA USA, in her address, said Nigerians in the U.S. were synonymous with the virtues of hard work, resilience and ingenuity.
While regrettably admitting some of the daunting challenges Nigeria currently faced, she said Nigerians in the Diaspora would rise to the responsibility of contributing its quota as a major stakeholder in the rebuilding Nigeria project.
Key said: “This administration of NIDOA USA Board of Directors commits to restore mutual trust amongst Nigerians at home and in the Diasporas.
“NIDOA shall set aside the negative attributes of corruption and terrorism to restore Nigeria to its enviable position and pride among the comity of nations as the ‘giant of Africa’.
“I grew up to learn and know that Nigerians are the most hospitable and the happiest people on earth; so how comes our society has turned the opposite direction overnight?
“Therefore, Nigeria’s current challenge is our responsibility to fix. NIDOA has given us a great and standard platform as ambassadors of Nigerian to create a safe haven for Nigerians in the USA and Nigeria.
“I pledge, on behalf of the Board of Directors of NIDOA USA, to work cooperatively with our outstanding advisory group- the Board of Trustees – in every way possible to promote and support the nation-building.”
Key, who is the first female NIDOA USA leader, challenged Nigerians in the Diaspora to always project the strength of the country’s diversity to the world.
She expressed pride that Nigerians were among the best immigrant communities in the U.S., blazing the trail in every fields of endeavours and called on the Nigerian Government to leverage on that for the benefit of the country.
She also tasked the Nigeria leaders on accountability and good governance to change the negative narratives of corruption, nepotism and violent conflicts in the country so as to encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora and other foreign investors.
“As a major stakeholder in the Nigeria’s project, remitting over 20 billion dollars annually to Nigeria, Nigerians in the Diaspora rightly demand accountability and good governance from our leaders,” Key stressed.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., Justice Sylvanus Nsofor, his wife and the Consuls-General of Nigeria in Atlanta and New York, Kayode Laro and Tanko Suleiman respectively, attended the event.
Others were Mfawa Abam, Minister/Head, Political at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Nicholas Ella, Minister and Head, Economic at the Nigerian Consulate in New York and Innocent Iwejuo, Minister and Head Economic, Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta.
In his remarks, Nsofor congratulated the new executive members of NIDOA USA and urged Nigerians in the U.S. to always be law abiding.
“I seize this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected executive members of Nigerians in Diaspora on their election. Congrats! I make haste to add that to whom much is given, much is expected.
“You are the ‘Trustees’. And to whom much is entrusted, a great deal more is demanded. Nigerians in Diaspora has been entrusted to you – members of the Executive,” the Nigerian envoy counselled.
Other members of the new executive are: Mr Isaac Inyang, Vice Chairman; Dr George Nwogu, General Secretary; Ms Theresa Edoja, Assistant General Secretary; and Mr Benjamin Falade, Public Relations Officer.
Dr Ndubeze Chukwu is the new Financial Secretary; Obed Monago, Community Affairs Director; Mr Ovie Mukoro, Treasurer and Mr Andrew Ikhede, Events Planning Director.
Launched by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000, NIDO America is a non-profit organisation that draws resources from the synergy of all Nigerian professionals in the diaspora.
NIDO believes that Diaspora Nigerians can make significant contributions to Nigeria through harnessing their talents, expertise, and resources for Nigeria’s development and nation building.