The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, United States, Amb. Lot Egopija, has urged Nigerians living in the U.S. to be hopeful about the future of the country and its leadership.
Egopija made the call in an interview with The Tide source in New York as Nigerians at home and abroad commemorate the 63rd Independence Anniversary of the country.
The theme of the anniversary is ‘Nigeria@63, Renewed Hope for Unity and Prosperity.’
“My message to Nigerians is, ‘We should be hopeful and we should hold on to our belief that we will all arrive at our destination’.
“As the president has admonished us, let us ensure that even as the government renews our hope through its policies, we will also do everything to follow and ensure that we attain our desired goals,’’ he said.
The envoy said hope is alive and hope is being renewed, according to the president’s “Renewed Hope Agenda”.
Egopija, however, urged Nigerians in the diaspora to follow the polices of the government and also contribute their quota to the “Renewed Hope Agenda” of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He said that the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York had outlined some events to mark the anniversary, urging nationals within its jurisdiction to attend the events.
The events are Flag Raising, which will be held on Monday, October 2, and Independence Anniversary Parade and Festival, which will be held on Saturday, October 7.
The Consulate will hold the events in collaboration with the Nigeria Independence Day Committee (NIDC) and the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN).
“Judging from the mood of the nation, after the successful visit of Mr President to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), we will be having celebrations to commemorate our independence anniversary.
“It is significant because this year, for the first time, Nigeria’s flag will be hoisted at the Bowling Green Arena.
“This is possible because of Mayor Eric Adams’ friendly disposition to the Consular Corps. He has given the Consular Corps all the supports so we have indicated interest that we want our national flags to be raised at Bowling Arena,’’ he said.
Egopija recalled that flag raising events were done outside New York before now.
According to him, “If you recall before now, we do have our flag raising in other cities but not in New York. Nigeria’s flag will be hoisted at Bowling Green, incidentally, it is the site where the American National Flag was first hoisted.
“So, we are doing everything to ensure that Nigerians will participate, we have invited a couple of Nigerians who have excelled in their various positions.
“We’ve also invited Nigerian diaspora organisations within New York jurisdiction to come and witness the event. The mayor himself will be there as a special guest and together, we will we hoist the Nigeria flag.’’
In addition, Egopija said the Consulate would host a dinner on Monday, October 2, in collaboration with OAN after the flag raising event.
“Unfortunately, we had earlier invited MohBad, who recently passed on, to perform as the special artist at the festival; having lost him, we will honour him with the event.
“Also, many cultural groups will perform; Nigerians and Nigerian associations in America who want to showcase their culture and promote tourism in their respective ethnic groups are welcomed.
“Mayor Eric Adams has also agreed to participate with us to ensure the success of the festival and the parade.
“The parade will start at 2nd avenue and East 54th street and will proceed to East 44th and ends at Dag Hammarskjold Park where the festival will be held,” he said.
The envoy, however, urged every Nigerian to come for the celebrations, saying, “it is only in our celebration of Nigeria that we can come together and it is in togetherness that we can overcome our challenges.’’
FG Moves To Stop Influx Of Illegal Aliens
The Federal Government has promised to put measures in place to end the movement of illegal immigrants into the country to secure the country.
The government stated that the era where aliens easily enter the country with fake travel documents must stop.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, according to a statement on Saturday by the Director of Press of the Ministry, Afonja Ajibola, disclosed this when the Director, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi visited him.
The statement read, “The Minister assured he is working seriously on efficient ways at securing Nigeria borders; saying a situation where illegal aliens easily find their ways into the country often with fake travel documents has to be stopped. In his view, Nigeria cannot be secured if its borders are not secured”.
The Minister also said the Ministry was ready to partner with the BPSR in proffering effective solutions to the nation’s security challenges, especially in securing the nation’s borders.
“I am ready to actively collaborate with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms to find solutions to our security challenges,” he was quoted as saying.
ECOWAS Condemns Plot To Obstruct Peace In Sierra Leone
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the plot by some individuals to disturb peace in Sierra Leone.
The condemnation is contained in a statement issued by ECOWAS in Abuja, yesterday.
ECOWAS said, “The bloc has learnt, with utter disgust, a plot by certain individuals to aquire arms and disturb the peace and constitutional order in Sierra Leone.
“ECOWAS condemns this act and calls for the arrest and prosecution of everyone involved in the illegality.
“The bloc has always maintained its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.
“We want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting the government and the people of Sierra Leone’s quest to deepen democracy and good governance by consolidating peace and security so as to foster socio-economic development”.
Earlier, the Sierra Leonean Government had declared a 24-hour nationwide curfew in a proactive step to ensure that the peace is not tampered with.
Bad Roads Fuelling Insecurity In N’East -Govs
Worried by the security challenges confronting the region, governors of the North East have resolved to embark on more collaborative efforts among member states to come up with a security architecture design for the region.
The governors noted that bad federal roads are fuelling insecurity in the region and called on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 9th meeting of the forum, held at the banquet hall of the Adamawa State Government House in Yola last Saturday.
According to a statement signed by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, the forum said there was a need for a robust platform for regional economic development and resolved to work as an entity in strengthening the human capacity and socio-economic development of its people.
The communique read in part, “Forum is continuously disturbed about the poor infrastructural base of the region. More concerned that the federal roads within and between the states in the region have been neglected.
“We call on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region. The poor road network is fuelling insecurity stalling development and making life more difficult for our people in the region.
“Forum notes that the bad federal roads within and between the states are major setbacks to the infrastructural development of the region.
“Forum notes the poor energy situation in the region. To mitigate the situation, Forum resolved to work with Shanghai Electric to construct a 60 MW Coal Power Power Plant in each state of the region.
“Forum decried the lack of modern rail projects in the region and called for repairs on the old gauge rail lines which no longer useful and sustainable technology. Forum calls for inclusion of the region into the Nigerian National Railway Transport Plan using the Modern Guage rail.”
On climate change and environmental degradation, the forum resolved to strengthen its collaboration with all initiatives such as the Great Green Wall and the Global Initiative of Carbon Credit financing.
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