WHY WE NEED TO STAND OUR GROUNDS ON DIASPORA DAY- HON KENNETH GBANDI

“There is nothing wrong with Nigeria/Diaspora that cannot be cured by what is right with Nigeria/Diaspora”

I am neither a praise singer nor a ‘Yes, Sir’ man. I have always followed my conviction courtesy of the grace and magnanimity of the wise counsel of fellow patriots to whom I will ever remain grateful.

I am not perfect and can’t be, but try very hard to be reliable, pragmatic and I am very passionate about the Diaspora and Nigeria.

The responsibility, for action or inaction, lies on the shoulder of the central executive council (CEC), consisting of men and women of integrity, whose chairman I am fortunate to be. Together with the NIDOE Board of Trustees we regularly engage the other continental NIDO bodies and other sister Diaspora organisations.

The historic International Edition of Diaspora Day London, UK, has come to stay.

After hundreds of hours of our collective precious time at the cost of being with our families and loved ones, and as professionals, people of integrity and custodians of international best practices, we disagree to agree on the following.

1. Firstly, by a majority vote, NWW proposed for a change in the way Diaspora Day (DD) is celebrated. A DD celebration in the Diaspora was mooted as progressive and a necessity.

2. All NIDO Europe Chapters (BOT) unanimously endorsed the NIDOWW initiative through a clear democratic process, leading to all the Chapters suspending all planned programs including ‘A Week in Nigeria’ by NIDOE UK South.

3. This decision was reached after the SGF, NNVS and NASS did not object to this novelty idea i.e. DD 2018 taking place in the Diaspora to mobilize support for a new era of Diaspora engagement post-Nigerian Diaspora Commission. A letter was duly written to inform them about this.

4. In the NWW meeting, where all the continental bodies that constitute the NIDO World governing council were represented, it was agreed that in the event of a last minute change of mind by the SGF or the NNVS, then a hybrid type of event will endure. This meant NWW’s concept of DD 2018 in Diaspora will still go ahead while we send delegates to Nigeria. We are convinced that not all Diasporans will be able to travel to Nigeria and not all Diasporans will be able to travel to London. This was accepted as a win-win solution.

5. The current position by some individuals suggesting a disagreement in NWW is totally unpatriotic and uncalled for. The action of some of us is tantamount to what happens in Nigeria after elections. Once you lose an election you pull down others. It kept many of us wondering if some people actually have something to benefit by seeing us look divided. Most painful is it to see those who had held a leading position in this organization promoting such a notion.

6. I did submit that over the years, successive NIDO world stakeholders have been plagued with series of crises and challenges that negatively impacted on NIDO from achieving their goals in furtherance of the objective behind the establishment of NIDO. Though the Nigerian Diaspora landscape has changed dramatically over the years influenced by the structure and disposition to NIDO by successive administrations in Nigeria, each of these changes have also presented the key NIDO stakeholders with different sets of new challenges on how to engage with them. Tackling these challenges has met different degrees of success and failure.

7. I also concluded on the fact that the organisation is still standing today despite these daunting challenges and being explicitly mentioned in NIDCOM is an attestation of the resilient nature of our collective leadership past and present and our collective faith in the NIDO project. It is worthy of mention without being intimidated that some of the division that the organisation has faced are externally inspired to achieve a set objective.

8. Some of the brightest minds in the Diaspora have reasoned that this DD and generally DD whether in Nigeria or in Europe or in both geographical regions should be seen as an opportunity for growth and not compete with each other. I am in total agreement. One of the driving ideas of the first International Edition of the DD 2018 in the UK is because some of our policy makers in Nigeria consider Diaspora people as unserious opportunists only looking for government appointments or patronage. We needed to correct such uncharitable and misguided impressions.

“There is nothing wrong with Nigeria/Diaspora that cannot be cured by what is right with Nigeria/Diaspora”
Kenneth Gbandi
Continental Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe

 

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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