Nigerians in Diaspora have been urged to be good ambassadors of the country wherever they are and to harness their expertise, competencies and resources towards the development of the fatherland.
The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Hon. Benaoyagha Okoyen, gave the charge in his keynote address at the Virtual Independence Day celebration organized by the New York State chapter of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization(NIDO) on Thursday, October 1, 2020 in New York, US.
He told members of the Organization that “as good ambassadors of Nigeria, you must continue to fly the green white green flag of Nigeria higher to project the good image of the country in the United States and beyond,” stressing, however that every Nigerian in diaspora must become an agent of development at home.
Noting that Nigerians are known for dynamism, resourcefulness and resilience across the world, he cited as example “the success stories of Nigerian professionals in every field of human endeavors, including medical and health professionals who formed part of the incredible workforce at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives all over the world.”
He stressed that these expertise and experiences should be a great asset to Nigeria and “must be well coordinated and channeled back home.”
Hon. Okoyen, however, urged that while focusing on what individuals can do for the good of the nation, “we must resist the big temptation of blaming one another or the government,” insisting that Nigerians must act against disunity, sustain hope, remain steadfast “and join the efforts to positively contribute to nation-building.”
He called on Nigerians in Diaspora to forge a common bond and care about their nationality first before any other affiliations, noting that recent happenings among diaspora leaders have been a cause for concern, and insisted that all must act above personal and parochial interests.
Moving Nigerians in Diaspora forward, he stressed, “will require us to continue to have abiding faith in our nation and remain good Ambassadors of Nigeria. Our optimism about Nigeria’s future must always remain unshaken and patriotic,” he told the NIDO members.
Hon. Okoyen, who congratulated the Nigerian community in the US on the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence, paid special tribute to the nation’s founding fathers “who fostered Nigeria to nationhood and all others who continue to contribute to the growth and development of our dear nation.”
He also took time to condole with families that lost their members as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that it has been “a trying moment for these families and an unusual time for everyone.”
Put together by the youthful executive of the New York chapter of NIDO, with Mr. Bobby Digi as President, the celebration was exciting and inspiring as Mr. Digi spoke tirelessly about their vision of youth empowerment.
There were music performances and awards to deserving individuals before the event came to a joyous end with virtual music and dancing fit for Nigeria at 60.