Nigerians in U.S. are patriotic, says Ambassador Egopija
Nigeria’s consul general in New York, Lot Egopija and permanent representative of the UN, Tijjani Bande, have commended the patriotic zeal and commitment of Nigerians in the U.S.
Messrs Egopija and Bande gave the commendation at a dinner to commemorate the 61st independence anniversary of Nigeria in New York.
The envoys particularly paid glowing tributes to those who started the annual Nigeria Independence Day Parade and Carnival about three decades ago and for using the event as a rallying point for Nigerians in the U.S.
Nigerians from all walks of life usually set New York aglow as thousands throng the streets for Nigeria’s independence day parade and carnival.
The annual parade and carnival started three decades ago by the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) to challenge negative stereotypes about Nigeria and Nigerians in the U.S.
Described as the largest gathering of Nigerians outside the shores of their homeland, the event is usually attended by Nigerians from all walks of life, particularly the youth.
The 2021 edition of the event only featured a carnival, and it was held on Saturday in New York. The parade component did not hold because of COVID-19 concerns.
“Nigerians in the U.S. keep flying our flag high as our nationals excel in their various endeavours. It is in recognition of this that the consulate is happy to join the organisers of the Nigeria Independence Day Parade and Carnival to host this dinner,“ said Mr Egopija.
The envoy urged the nationals to “let your charitable works continue until the country of our dreams is actualised,” pledging that the consulate will continue to collaborate with everyone and every group seeking to showcase Nigeria to the world.
In his remarks, Mr Bande commended the organisers of the annual parade, saying it has become an important platform to remind Nigerians about their values and their contributions to the homeland.
He said New York had been the centre of the world on account of its diversity, noting the mutual partnership between Nigeria and the U.S.
“There will be no vibrancy of New York without Nigeria and Nigeria itself as represented by us all here should not be hidden, and the occasion of the independence parade is just one of such occasions,’’ noted Mr Bande. “There are several ways in which this is done. It is done quietly in U.S. hospitals where Nigerian doctors and nurses, pharmacists and other professionals give excellent services.”
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