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Independence: Nigerians set New York aglow with parade, carnival

By Cecilia Ologunagba/ Prudence Arobani

New York Oct.2, 2022

Nigerians from all walks of life on Saturday set New York City aglow and painted the city with green-white-green insignia.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian community leaders and envoys joined other compatriots to temporarily close down some parts of the Second Avenue in Midtown.

Notable among those who attended the parade and carnival were the Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, Dr. Uzoma Emenike and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande

(Middle) The Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande at the 2022 edition of Independence Day Parade on Saturday in New York
(Front) Mr Solomon Adelaja, Public Relations Officer, Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) leading the 2022 edition of Independence Day Parade on Saturday in New York

Mayor of New York Eric Adams and the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija and first Nigerian-American congressman, Adeoye Omolewa, also joined the revelers at the colourful parade.

Also, a young talented 12-year old Saxophonist, Temilayo Abodunrin, was among the instrumentalists leading the parade.

(Right) A Nigerian 12-year-old Saxophonist, Temilayo Abodunrin playing saxophone at the Independence Day Parade in New York on Saturday

The Parade, which began at the Second Avenue on E. 54th Street and terminated at E. 44th Street at Nigeria House, drew thousands of Nigerians who had the best of time as they sang and danced to Nigerian music.

known as the largest celebration of Nigeria outside the homeland, the annual Nigerian Independence Day Parade, in its 30th year, celebrated the very best, which showcased Nigeria’s unique culture.

The event also promoted the positive image of Nigeria to the rest of the world as several other nationals joined in dancing to the Nigerian music.

The parade later proceeded to the Dag Hammarskjold Park, where Timi Dakolo, Goya Menor, sensational kid saxophonist Temilayo Abodunrin and Ijoya Dance Crew reveled in the moment.

The Mayor, while addressing the excited crowd, paid glowing tribute to Nigeria and Nigerians’ unique way of life.

“No one throws a party like Lagos in Nigeria. No one knows how to celebrate life, like Nigeria.

“And right here in New York, your rich culture and contribution to the city is unbelievable,” Mayor Adams said.

The mayor thanked Nigerians for their support when he was running to become the mayor of the City of New York.

President of the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN), Mr Solomon Bakare, congratulated Nigerians on the 62nd independence anniversary.

President of the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN), Mr Solomon Bakare, congratulated Nigerians on the 62nd independence anniversary before the commencement of Independence Day Carnival in New York

The Nigerian community leader, lamented the state of the nation after 62 years of independence, saying the dreams of the founding fathers had not been realised.

Bakare challenged Nigerian leaders to improve the lives of the common man and redouble their efforts in building the country as truly the giant of Africa.

The official said the parade and carnival, which started in 1991, was a way to showcase Nigeria to the world and address the negative stereotypes of Nigerians in the American media.

He  said the OAN, which annually organised the parade and carnival, was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned Nigerians to address the needs of the Nigerian community.

At that time, Nigeria and Nigerians were suffering seriously from negative stereotypes in the American media.

Prior to OAN’s formation, there was no organisation committed to the broader issues facing the Nigerian community in the United States.

OAN filled the void by creating an umbrella organisation, which embraced Nigerians from all works of life, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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