Prudence Arobani/New York
Prof. Mohammed Bande, Nigeria’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, said if Nigeria should tell her story, other countries would keep quiet.
Bande, who stated this in New Jersey at a dinner organised by a U.S.-based Nigerian medical doctor and President Nigerian Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Iwuozo Obilo and family, said Nigeria has remained a great country.
According to the Nigerian envoy, however, Nigeria has not been able to properly tell its story for the world to appreciate its accomplishments and sacrifices.
“All countries tell the best stories about themselves outside but some do it better than other. If Nigeria can say what it has done, many countries will keep quiet.
“But we have not been able to say all what we have done but we will continue to say it,” Bande said.
The Nigerian envoy commended the great Nigeria men and women who are doing the country proud in the U.S. and all over the world, saying Nigerians are excelling everywhere.
“Nigeria and Nigerians are always happy when our sons and daughters excel all over the world. Millions of Nigerians are doing Nigeria proud all over the world,” he said.
According to him, the Federal Government has posted eminently qualified Nigerian envoys to the U.S. and the UN to project Nigeria’s image of the country to the outside world.
“There is no place as vibrant as Nigeria; that is who we are,” the Nigerian envoy stressed.
Bande pointed out that other countries also had their own challenges, saying no country is immuned from problems.
He said Nigerians in the disapora were very united, explaining that there is neither Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba sentiment among Nigerians once they left the shores of country.
He also said efforts were ongoing to deal with the issues of corruption, disintegration, and insecurity, among others.
The Nigerian envoy commended Obilo and family, saying: “I am happy a Nigerian is inviting Nigerian officials to his house to appreciate them.
Nigeria’s Acting Consul-General in New York, Mr Tanko Suleiman, said Nigerians could fight when they were in the country.
“But when we get outside the country, we fight as one Nigeria. Let us bring that thing that we practise outside back home,” Suleiman said.
Obilo, in his remarks, said it was his tradition to host Nigerians and Nigerian officials, commending them for representing Nigeria well in the U.S. and for the reforms at Nigerian missions.
“We Nigerians in the diaspora love our country. At the same time, we love our countries of residence. U.S. showed me who I can be and trained my children without any problems.”
He, however, bemoaned some of the challenges confronting the country but pledged to continue to contribute his quota for the upliftment of his fatherland.
The Nigerian philanthropist, who sponsors medical outreaches to Nigeria annually with his American partners, said: “Nigeria is blessed with many things but we also have challenges – the leadership is poor.
“We Nigerians want to come home to contribute because my partners, who are Americans, have taught me so much”.
Obilo’s American partners, commended him for going back to Nigeria every year to contribute to the country’s health sector, saying it is a pleasure to work with the Nigerian over the years, .
The event was attended by Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Samson Itegboje; Head, Economic and Trade at the New York Consulate, Nicholas Ella; Spokesperson of the Permanent Mission, Bolaji Akinremi, and others Nigerians and partners.