Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Ahead of the 2020 National Diaspora Day Celebration, the Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has assured that the country will never abandoned her citizens abroad.
According to her, the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has demonstrated that already with the rescue interventions carried out by the NIDCOM since its inception.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “Wherever Nigerians are in trouble in Diaspora, NIDCOM will be there.
“The likes of Zainab Aliyu, Mr. Ibrahim Ibrahim( Saudi Arabia) Busari(Oman) Chinedu and Uchenna(Bosnia) John Adam’s Smart (Kenya) and a host of others are testimonies of efforts NiDCOM has done to save its citizens implicated with crimes or maltreated in their host countries.”
The Chairman of the commission also celebrated the many Nigerians who are doing the country proud in various ways in Diaspora, encouraging Nigerians out there to hold their heads high, despite the attempts to stereotype them.
“Nigerians in the diaspora have a lot to be proud of, don’t let the negative weigh you down.
“It brings me joy to note the breakthroughs, achievements and record-breaking feats achieved by Nigerians, just last week President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Prof. Charles Egbu, First Black person to be appointed Vice Chancellor of a ranking University in the UK and also Dr. Ikenna Nweke who returned a wallet with huge sums of money and a Credit Card to Japanese Police, Mrs. Olasunmbo Iginla-Aina, award Recipient of a member of the British Empire, Dr. Olagunju Ogunbiyi a foremost Surgeon, Anthony Joshua, World Boxing Heavyweight Champion, Karamu Usman UWC Defending Champion and late Toyin Salau to mention but a few, for example are proving to the world that Nigerians are focused, determined, caring, kind, friendly, brave, Intelligent, enterprising, creative and are passionate for all things humanity. They are rewriting the Nigerian story for the better.”
Dabiri-Erewa gave a summary of the evacuations done since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Currently, as COVID-19 is still on rampage, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions around the world have evacuated and still evacuating stranded Nigerians anywhere in the world. This is an update of the evacuation so far:
*US – 3 batches – 806
U.K. – 3 batches. – 831
Saudi Arabia. – 117
Cairo, Egypt – 372
France – 70
India. 3 batches – 540
UAE Dubai. 5 batches – 1,405
Turkey 2 batches. – 324
Sudan 3 batches. 365
Uganda & Kenya – 172
Senegal – 17
Pakistan – 56
Egypt – 102
China. – 268
Lebanon – 147
Canada. – 51
South Africa – 324
And other African Countries with the support of Air Peace Nigeria Ltd, there has been multiple evacuations from some countries.”
The NIDCOM boss said the 2020 National Diaspora day Celebration would be by webinar because of the pandemic. Hoping that next year there would be an opportunity for an elaborate celebration.
”We are proud of diaspora day, it will get bigger with time. This is the 15th national diaspora day celebration, and the second since NIDCOM’s inception”.
She said the commission looks forward to a productive celebration, through webinar adding that Tuface idibia will perform, also a Cake will be cut in UK to mark the day.
She appreciated the various Nigerians in Diaspora groups for the donations made especially to medical personnel on the front line as part of their contributions towards fighting the Coronavirus.
Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and sanitizers worth millions of naira were donated by Nigerians in Diaspora for use by medical personnel in the 36 states and FCT.