By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Oct. 2, 2022
The Consul General of Nigeria in New York on Saturday congratulated Nigerians in the diaspora on the 62nd anniversary of the country, urging them to appreciate the rich culture of their homeland.
Egopija said this in his goodwill message on the commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary in New York.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Consulate in collaboration with the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN), organised a dinner, parade and carnival to commemorate the anniversary.
“The Consulate commends OAN for consistently organising the unique events since 1991. These events have contributed to serve as a platform to showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and bring Nigerians in the U.S. together.
“It is worthy of note that what started as a struggle to challenge negative stereotypes about our dear country and compatriots has since gained widespread acceptance and grown to become the largest gathering of Nigerians abroad.
“This celebration is also the largest of its kind by any African group in U.S.,’’ he said.
The envoy encouraged Nigerians in all fields of endeavour to continue to distinguish themselves and be law abiding, urging them to take pride in educating their children and making them appreciate their rich Nigerian heritage.
Egopija said the Consulate would not relent in its efforts to improve services to all stakeholders within its jurisdiction.
“Nigerian organisations are advised to avail themselves of the opportunity to be linked to the Consulate’s community WhatsApp platform where information is disseminated, and feedback is received.
“Nigerians are also enjoined to participate in the quarterly Town Hall meetings and Cultural shows,’’ he said.
Also speaking, first Nigerian American congressman, Adeoye Omolewa, urged Nigerians living abroad to continue contributing to the development of their homeland and host land.
Omolewa, representing the District of Columbia, U.S., recalled how Nigerians had been excelling greatly and making history in their endeavours, citing example of his health projects to deliver healthcare services to the residents of Columbia, also known as DC.
While welcoming the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, to the carnival, Mr. Francis James, OAN Board Member, extolled the greatness of people of African descent. and their contributions to the development of the U.S.
“I am pleased to share this historic moment with you (Adams), a man of African descent who has come to honour us today,’’ he said.
NAN reports that no fewer than 20 Nigerian Associations, groups and religious bodies joined the parade and carnival, including the UN Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC), Association of Nigerian Physicians, Akwa Ibom State Association and Christ Apostolic Church first in the America.
NAN also reports that UNSRC, at the carnival, organised Tales by Moonlight to tell Nigerian stories to the children, creating cultural understanding through folktales.