By Joy Odor
The Nigerian National Association in Scotland (NNA-S) has expresses its dismay due to a call by the Coalition of Oduduwa Descendants to scrap Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) during a so-called World Press Conference in Lagos, Nigeria recently.
As one of the Nigerian associations in the Diaspora whose interests are being served with the creation of this commission, it is of utmost importance to lend our weight to NiDCOM, which has performed creditably well and beyond our imagination in helping to restore the dignity of Nigerians wherever they may be by speaking for those of us in distress either collectively or individually in their host countries under the leadership of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
It is important to remind the Coalition of Oduduwa Descendants (if it’s indeed a Coalition) that NiDCOM’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer has been actively and positively engaged in the affairs of diasporic Nigerians as far back as 2005 as the Chairperson House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs.
She declined to return to the House for a fourth term even when the ovation of her superlative accomplishments was loudest because she wanted to give the younger generation a chance. And she did. This act of political maturity and selflessness is very rare, if at all in existence, among Nigeria’s political class.
It is also instructive that Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is fondly called Mama Diaspora by Nigerians in the Diaspora, the top echelon of the Nigerian government including President Muhammadu Buhari himself not for the fun of it but because of the way she has taken, and continues to take to heart the wellbeing of Nigerians in the Diaspora. How the coalition arrived at calling for scrapping NiDCOM—to us—is beyond comprehension especially in view of the reasons advanced for its scrapping.
Hon. Dabiri-Erewa’s accomplishments, some of which are unprecedented, in the affairs of Nigerians in the Diaspora, including her unusual commitment and doggedness that finally birthed NiDCOM itself are what legends are made of. It is therefore an unpardonable height of political mischief for any Nigerian organization, home or abroad, to call for its obliteration.
DR. ADISA TOMORI
President, Nigerian National Association in Scotland (NNA-S)