From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Management of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has debunked claims by former Mayor of London Borough of Lambeth, Adedamola Aminu, in an interview with The Sun that the Commission has not been forthcoming despite attempt to engage with it.
According to a statement by Head of Media, Public Relations and Protocols, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the commission said, “This is false and baseless. Definitely, if his supposed engagement with NIDCOM is self- serving , unpatriotic and purposeless, he will not get any positive response.”
In a statement titled “Re: Our plan for Diaspora Party in 2027”, NIDCOM said it was engaging and collaborating with genuine diasporans on many areas of national development as against seeking for contracts and other forms of personal patronage not listed among our core mandates.
The statement read thus:
The attention of the Management of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has been drawn to a misleading and uninformed publication in the Sun online newspaper of Sunday August 7, 2022, credited to Adedamola Aminu, a supposedly former Mayor of London Borough of Lambeth and whose long sojourn in UK had, perhaps, made him to disconnect from the reality on ground in Nigeria. He said in an interview that he had tried to engage with NIDCOM but the Commission was not forthcoming. This is false and baseless. Definitely, if his supposed engagement with NIDCOM is self- serving , unpatriotic and purposeless, he will not get any positive response.
Genuine Diasporans do engage with us and collaborate with the Commission on many areas of national development as against seeking for contracts and other forms of personal patronage not listed among our core mandates.
He also alleged that NIDCOM was not using its human resources in the Diaspora for national development. This is where Mr Aminu has exposed himself as ignorant of the activities of the Commission as well as giant strides it has recorded in the areas of harnessing the potentials of Nigerians abroad. The list is endless. Just some days ago, NIDCOM marked its another National Diaspora Day ( the fourth to be organised by NIDCOM, the 15th so far,) where over 20, OOO Diasporans participated , both online and in person , and showcased all their various contributions back home, assuring of doing more in the nearest future. The July 25 Diaspora Day can still be viewed on our website: www.nidcom.gov.ng
It is the height of ignorance and mischief, for someone who claimed to have been in UK for over two decades to say “For me, NIDCOM, I don’t understand their role.” It is the most sacrilegious and myopic statement for a Diasporan to utter this simply because he could not secure any form of personal patronage, like asking for NIDCOM to facilitate a contract for his company.
As a Commission, we know our Diasporans who have been contributing to the national development through various means of giving back . Just this month, the Commission appreciated and commended a US- based Diasporan, Dr Philip Ozuah for contributing one million dollars to his alma mater fund raising project. Some others came back home with medical equipments worth several millions of dollars, others built a state of art hospital and schools. We have Diasporans who had contributed and still contributing to the energy, agriculture, ICT, tourism and housing sectors. The question is what has Mr Aminu contributed to the country since his sojourn in UK?
On Diaspora voting, again, let Mr Aminu mention his contribution towards the efforts by concerned Diasporans to ensure the passage of the bill. A personal Diaspora NGO, Nigeria Diaspora Voting Council (NDVC) under the able leadership of Prince Ade Omole and other committed Diasporans went round the country for public hearings, lobbied National Assembly members, using their personal resources to ensure the passage of the bill. Where was Mr Aminu in all of these efforts, yet he is quick to complain that for many years nothing has happened to the bill.
As a jester, when he had failed in all these, Mr Aminu and his cohorts are musing the formation of a Diaspora Party in 2027. Is he already tired of the ADC? This is someone known to be a card carrying member of ADC but already projecting the formation of another party for 2027. Well, it is within his fundamental human right as well as the Commission in charge of registration of such party to do its work as enshrined in the constitution. The said party, according to Aminu, will have its members in the Diaspora and the party registered by INEC in Nigeria. Only time will tell. We wish him well. As long as all efforts are geared towards deepening the Democratic process.
To our ever resourceful and forward looking diasporans, the Commission reassures you not to be distracted from the vision and mission of galvanising and harnessing the potentials of Nigerians in the diaspora as well as protect their welfare wherever they may be.