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Chief Obasanjo speaking at the reception in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Reciprocate your unity back home – Obasanjo urges Nigerians in Diaspora

President Olusegun Obasanjo (center), the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Oba (Prof.) Saka Adelola Matemilola and his wife (2nd and 1st from right) at another reception for the visiting delegation at Piscataway, New Jersey on Sunday.
Chief Obasanjo speaking at the reception in Piscataway, New Jersey.

 

Apparently impressed by the unity exhibited among themselves in far away United States of America (USA), former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Nigerians in Diaspora to reciprocate such togetherness when back home in their home-country.

Obasanjo made this disclosure on behalf of a delegation of eminent traditional leaders and academics that included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Oba (Prof.) Saka Adelola Matemilola, at an Evening Reception, held at New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States of America (USA), on Monday.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo told the gathering that Nigerians in the Diaspora are making the country proud in their different areas of endeavour and urged them to be good citizens of wherever they are domiciled.

He emphasised that “Nigerian nationals are often very united when they are abroad but something else when they return to the country. Therefore, I want to urge all of you to be good citizens, not only where you are, but when also you come home to Nigeria,” Obasanjo was quoted as having said.

Chants of “Obj, Obj, Obj, Obj” by the audience punctuated Chief Obasanjo’s speech. But he nonetheless, thanked the Rutgers University management for the warm reception accorded the Delegation and for the far-reaching engagements.

The event was put together by the Center for African Studies, Rutgers University, New Jersey, headed by Professor Bode Ibironke and was attended by the leadership of the University, the Representative of Nigeria at the United Nations (UN), Ambassador (Prof.) Tijanni Muhammed-Bande and top academics from other institutions, including Prof. Akil Khalfani, Director of the Africana Institute of Essex County College, Newark, New Jersey and Prof. Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede.

The delegation held meetings and engagements in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with the aim of signing Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and forging partnerships and Alliances between Universities in the United States of America (USA) and some of their counterparts in Nigeria.

Dr. Adeniyi Ogunkoya, a New Jersey-based Physician and head of a healthcare consortium with plans to establish a mega medical facility in Nigeria made a presentation of what the state-of-the-art facility would look like when completed. Also present were a former Secretary to the Government of Anambra State under Mr. Peter Obi’s government, Dr. Oseloka Obaze and Council Woman Zulfat Suara from Nasville, Tennesse who presented Council Proclamations to Chief Obasanjo and Oba (Prof.) Saka Adelola Matemilola.

Also at the well-attended event were Prof. Afe Adogame of Princeton University, Dr. Josephine Aguoji, Vice President, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Commander Victor Agunbiade of the United States Navy, Mrs. Moni Adesina, Treasurer, NIDO, Jide Akinosho, Finance Director, Global IT & Shared Services (Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., among other dignitaries.

Several organisations were involved in putting the program together, among them, different Yoruba groups, especially the Yoruba Action Council (YAC), led by Dr. Akin Awofolaju and Prof. Albert Ayeni; the NIDO, New Jersey chapter, led by Dr. Adeola Popoola and the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA).

The institutions participating in the program on the US side are the University of Maryland, IES Abroad, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Princeton University, and PennState University, while some of the Institutions on the Nigerian side are The Gateway Polytechnic, Saapade, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Olabisi Onabanjo University, and Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria.

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