By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Sept. 13, 2022
Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), South Savannah chapter, Georgia, has made history by inaugurating the first NIDO online radio, calling on Nigerian Diasporas to participate in its programmes to further Nigeria’s development.
NIDOA South Savannah President, Mr. Collins Ikegwuonu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the first online radio could be listened to anywhere in the world.
“It’s a platform to influence governmental policies and we want every Nigerian to come and participate, free of charge, just come with your content,’’ he said.
He paid tribute to the pioneer President of the chapter, late Prof. Joseph Igietseme, who brought the idea of establishing the radio and came up with a Roadmap that the chapter is implementing.
“We are planning to invite some Nigerians schooling abroad, those in journalism school and create a stipend where we can encourage them to develop programmes for the radio.
“We see this as a way of supporting and mentoring the younger generation. It means their voices would be heard all over the world before they graduate,’’ he said.
With the Roadmap, he stressed that the chapter was able to mobilise no fewer than 100 Nigerians into the association in less than one year, making the chapter the youngest NIDOA in the Americas.
“My chapter is aggressively working with all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnicity. What we did is that we made people understand that it is not a one man show.
“We encourage them to come with their ideas, for us to brainstorm to see how we can develop Nigeria,’’ he said.
Ikegwuonu told NAN that the chapter had been encouraging Nigerian professionals to discuss ways of mentoring younger Nigerians coming into America to be able to have successful and meaningful careers.
In addition, he said the chapter was working towards introducing free premium life insurance, a project that has not been done in any NIDOA chapter, to help address the issue of untimely death, if it happens.
Apart from the contributions of his chapter, the official said that Nigerians in Diaspora had a lot of skills and potential, noting that what is lacking is the enabling environment.
“We want the Nigerian government to understand that for us to contribute greatly, they need to talk to us first and give us a level playing field to contribute to the growth and development of our homeland.
“I’m in the Aero space industry. If you come talk to me, I can help the Nigerian government develop a plan, invite fellow Americans and they will believe me to go and set up a company in Nigeria.
“Nigerians have lots of talents and potential and there are great people doing great things in various sectors here in the U.S,” Ikegwuonu.
On the 2023 elections, Ikegwuonu encouraged Nigerians above 18 years to go and collect their PVCs to vote, lamenting electoral illiteracy and emphasised the need to re-introduce history in secondary schools in the country to address it.
“Electoral process should be added as a curriculum while people will know that once they are 18 years, they should have their PVC, know their ward chairmen, Local Government Chairmen, etc.
“If you don’t know your leaders at the grassroots, you will not be able to make decisions at the top,’’ he said.
He prayed for peaceful elections and urged the electorate to vote right by choosing competent, honest, and prudent leaders.
“Election is an opportunity to change something that is not working.
“The power belongs to the people, and they have the right to change every situation by peaceful voting not by rioting, not by killing people, not by causing chaos but by organising themselves and voting peacefully,” he added.