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New York City Mayor, Eric Adams speaking at the Flag Raising at Bowling Green Park in New York to mark the 63rd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria. Behind him (Right) is Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. (Ambassador) Tijjani Muhammed-Bande and (Left) Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umar Bargo

Nigeria@63: New York Mayor, envoys hoist national flag at Bowling Green

Nigeria’s Consul General in New York, Ambassador Lot Egopija giving his remarks
Gov Mohammed Umar Bargo of Niger State making his remarks

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, Oct. 3, 2023

New York City Mayor, Eric Adams on Monday hoisted Nigeria’s flag at Bowling Green Park in New York to mark the 63rd Independence Day Anniversary of Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adams hoisted the flag with the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

NAN also reports that the event marked the first time that Nigeria’s flag would be hoisted at Bowling Green, the site where the American National Flag was first hoisted.

In his remarks, Adams praised the contributions of Nigerian Americans to the growth and development of New York City.

“And so, we raise this flag. We also raise our spirits; we raise our energies.

“There’s so much we must do and there is so much we could accomplish if we accomplish it together.

“And so, I want to thank all of you for being here. It represents the strength and the power of the African people,” he said.

According to him, nothing can keep down a group or race of people who made their minds up on self-determination, and it feeds into the energy of this city.

“I tell people all the time, think about it: you are not called American Nigerians. You are not called American Chinese or American Italians. No.

“America says put your country’s name first and then introduce into the overall common denomination of America.

“You are African Americans, like Chinese are Chinese Americans and Jews are Jewish Americans and Italians are Italian Americans, Irish Americans.

“Don’t abandon your homeland; introduce your homeland into this amazing experience of being part of this great country.

“So, let’s raise the flag, let’s raise our energy, and let’s raise our voices. Let’s say right here and now in the heart of Lagos of America, New York City, congratulations to your independence,” he said.

Earlier, Egopija thanked the compatriots for witnessing the first Flag raising ceremony in the City of New York and welcomed the friends of Nigeria who came to celebrate with the nationals.

“The City of New York, the melting pot of cultures, continues to spearhead inclusivity in its diversity, and we acknowledge that Nigerians in the City have been beneficiaries.

“I thank Mayor Eric Adams, the 110th Mayor of New York and his team, for their willingness to work with the Consular Corps and for offering partnerships with various cities in the world.

“Indeed, the Federal Capital Territory Abuja authorities look forward to a Sister-City Partnership with the City of New York,” the Envoy said.

He also invited the guests and nationals for the Independence Parade organised in conjunction with the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) in New York scheduled for Saturday as part of the activities to mark the 63rd Independence Anniversary.

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