The Nigerian Consulate in New York, United States of America (USA) honored some compatriots and organizations, Saturday, April 24, 2021 for outstanding contributions to the well being of nationals in the U.S. at an event which saw more accolades being heaped on the immediate past Consul General, Ambassador Ben Okoyen.
The occasion was a hybrid Town Hall meeting convened by the Consulate, which featured prominent personalities, including Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and immediate past President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Ambassador Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, Harvard University Law Professor, Professor Ruth Okediji, President of the Nigerian-American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), Dr. Nelson Aluya, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NIDO-Americas’ Engineer Obed Monago, Dr. Kazeem Bello of NIDO, New Jersey chapter and Bobby Digi of NIDO New York, US.
The well attended program, which served as official sendoff for Ambassador Okoyen, who is resuming as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba with concurrent accreditation to Bahamas, Honduras and Nicaragua, also served as platform for the formal introduction of the new Consul General, Ambassador Lot Peter Egopija.
Speakers took turns to commend Ambassador Okoyen for the transformation that the Consulate witnessed during his tenure and charged his successor to build upon the structures that he has put in place.
Among the personalities that were honored at the occasion are Professor Ruth Okediji, Dr. Nelson Aluya, Dr. Iwuozo Obilo, Engr. Monago, Sir Ugochukwu Nwaokoro, Dr. Ewa Ewa, Deaconess Linda Middleton, Dr. Eunice Ukwuani, Dr. Toyin Umesiri and Bobby Digi.
Among the organizations and groups that were honored are NABTV, Global Patriot Newspapers (online), Nigerian Lawyers Association of New York, the Nigerian Nurses Association of America, the Ijaw Diaspora Council, USA, the National Foundation of Michigan, the Zumunta Association USA Inc, Legacy Initiative International Advocacy, and the Ijaw Women Association of USA.
Some Nigerians who spoke or sent questions or comments to the chat box, especially, expressed concerns over delays in the issuance of passports and were given strong assurances by Ambassador Okoyen, other Consulate officials and Hon. Dabiri-Erewa that the situation would soon be resolved, based on efforts being made at the Consulate and based on promises made by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola.
There were suggestions made that an Advisory body be set up, made up of the Consulate’s officials and members of the community, that would be addressing issues of concern to Nigerians in the Consulate’s area of coverage.
Other prominent personalities that graced the event are Ms Lilly Anyanwu, a Nigerian American educator contesting a seat in the Addison Texas City Council election taking place this weekend and Mr. Dotun Oladipo, President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) of Nigeria.