By Cecilia Ologunagba
Nigerian ambassadors in North America and other dignitaries have called on Nigerians in diaspora to evolve practical solutions to security challenges in Nigeria.
The ambassadors, who spoke virtually at the 2021 annual general meeting of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), said insecurity had become a global challenge that needed a holistic approach to address.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Dr Uzoma Emenike, tasked the Nigerian diasporas on the need to change the wrong narrative about the security challenges at home rather than negatively projecting it in their host countries.
“The earlier we showcase our country in the positive light, the better for us because the challenge we face is not peculiar to Nigeria alone; it happens everywhere.
“We are the one to fix our country and we should also be good ambassadors wherever we are,’’ she said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said the solution to insecurity in Nigeria was within our grasp.
“The country (Nigeria) is important for all of us. We need to be united, we should not allow anybody coming from outside to divide us.
”Let us collectively fix whatever is bad in our security system. The issue of confidence building is important.
“We have been saddled with self-doubt; listening to false stories about the country.
“We have to be realistic; Nigeria is a very important member of international community, in AU and ECOWAS, so we need to portray the country in a good light,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb Lot Egopija, commended the NIDOA for its contribution towards the attainment of social-economic development in Nigeria.
Egopija tasked the diaspora for convening the meeting aimed at proffering workable solutions to the security challenges currently confronting the country.
“I wish to thank NIDOA for this forum aimed at providing enduring and sustainable solutions to Nigeria’s security situation,’’ the envoy said.
Also, Consul-General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Amb Amina Smaila, said the socio-economic dynamics of a nation could not be separated from its security framework.
“NIDO has a great role in positively influencing policy decisions making and implementation toward the continued and sustenance of our common security,’’ she said.
She tasked the diaspora community to reject anything that would downplay the unity of their home country.
Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Amb. Adeyinka Asekun, said the ongoing activities of bandits in some states were distracting Nigerians and the international community from focusing on the achievements in other sectors in Nigeria.
Asekun condemned the incessant attacks on institutions of learning, regretting that it has adverse implications on the future generation and national development.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, said that the 1999 Constitution stated that the security and welfare of the people should be the primary responsibility of the government.
Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, while regretting the spate of insecurity in the country, said Nigeria’s security threats since independence had been largely internal.
In his opening remarks, Chairman, NIDOA, Mr Obed Monago, urged the federal government to tackle security issues such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and unknown gunmen.
Monago said the theme of the meeting: “Building a Sustainable Security Apparatus in Nigeria: Diaspora Perspective” is to look inwards and proffer solutions to the security challenges in the homeland.
He said Nigeria had the capacity to be great but that if insecurity persisted, it would not attract the expected economic investment into the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, National Assembly Committee Chairmen on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, among others. (NAN)