By Prudence Arobani
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), USA, on Saturday organised a reception dinner to formally welcome retired Justice Sylvanus Nsofor to the U.S. as the Nigerian Ambassador in the country.
The event, which held at Holiday Inn, Maryland, was attended by many esteemed Nigerians from across the U.S., Nigerian diplomats and other officials of the Nigeria Missions in the U.S.
An elated Amb. Nsofor, accompanied by his wife, in his remarks, praised the Nigerians in the U.S. for their show of affection toward him and his wife since their arrival to assume duty.
“I must not fail to say ‘hic et nunc’ that I am exceedingly delighted and grateful for the way you, the ‘Nigerians in Diaspora’ – Maryland and D.C. Chapters in particular.
“Affectionately looked out for my wife and myself since we arrived the United States to assume duties,” Nsofor said.
The Nigerian envoy, then used the occasion to task the Nigerians in the U.S. on rebuilding and reinforcing Nigeria’s virtues.
“Our great country, Nigeria today is beset with a lot of negative attributes to wit: corruption, terrorism, hate speeches etc.
“To set these tasks aside, Nigerians in Diaspora have a herculean task to accomplish. And I pray you do succeed!
“Therefore, it is for you to see yourselves not as political archaeologists who concentrate on digging for vestiges of our past failures but rather as political architects who would build into our political future.
He charged Nigerians in Diaspora to align themselves with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s evergreen statement: ‘Ask not for what your country can do for you, ask for what you can do for your country’.
“By so asking, Nigerians in Diaspora, will most certainly reinforce Nigeria’s once existing virtues of hard work, patriotism, good governance and accountability.
“Let us, therefore, at this period, reassure ourselves that at this period of our history we are able and capable of regrouping with transformed pledges of rebranding Nigeria.
“Let us pledge to be faithful, loyal and honest to Nigeria, our fatherland. Let us, conscientiously pledge to serve Nigeria with all our strength.
“Let us, sincerely, pledge to defend the unity of Nigeria. And, let us, proudly, pledge to uphold the honour and glory of Nigeria – ‘Nigeria First’.
“Now it behoves on me to remind all and everyone and to state categorically without equivocation, that the Embassy, under my watch, is ever committed to continued support and guidance to Nigerians in Diaspora.
“All, I humbly pray for and request of you is: Be, always, Law abiding,” Nsofor, who assumed office at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., recently, said.
Mrs Patience Key, Chairperson, NIDOA USA, said the welcome reception was an expression of their joy that Nigeria was having a substantive ambassador in the U.S. after a few years.
Key said the reception was also an expression of their high expectations from the ambassador to improve on the relationship with Nigerians in the U.S. and the services rendered at the Embassy.
While regretting some of the challenges Nigeria was currently facing, she challenged Nigerians in the Diaspora to rise up to the responsibility and fix the challenge rather than despair.
“Every member of NIDOA is a potential Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because in every democratic country, every citizen is a potential ambassador of his or her country.
“Therefore, Nigerians should not wait for government to officially assign the role of an active ambassador to them before effectively playing the role of a patriotic plenipotentiary,” she said.
The NIDOA USA leader pledged the support of Nigerians in the U.S. to ensure that Nsofor has a successful tenure as Nigeria’s envoy to the country.