By JAMES EZEMA
Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has strongly stated that in line with the Act establishing the Commission to, among others, coordinate the activities of all diaspora groups and organisations abroad, it will carry along all recognised bodies of Nigerians resident in foreign lands.
NiDCOM, chaired by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in a statement signed by its Head of Media and Protocols, Abdur-Rahman Balogun gave the assurance while reaction to certain claims by the Chairman of NIDO Europe, Mr Keneth Gbandi bordering on the relationship between Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
The Statement reads in full:
Our attention has been drawn to an obviously confusing and illogical statement being circulated in the media by the Chairman of NIDO Europe, Mr Keneth Gbandi on the relationship between Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, (NIDO) as well as several existing and very well socio-cultural and professional diaspora groups abroad.
The statement to the least could be described as selfish and self-seeking as it is all in the attempt of a very few microscopic minority who wants to lord over the majority.
Recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo indeed came up with the idea of NIDO to be an umbrella body of all diaspora organisations, but unfortunately for 20 years this vision has not materialised as NIDO has not succeeded in bringing registered and recognised diaspora groups under one roof. Rather, it has been controlled, in some countries, by oligarchic few who are determined to turn it to a private and personal belonging.
The fact of the matter is that in the Act establishing NIDCOM, it is to coordinate the activities of all diaspora groups and organisations abroad.
So, it is important to stress here that NIDCOM is not to relate only with NIDO but also all recognized Diaspora organisations. This, the Commission has been able to do effectively by coordinating and harnessing the potentials of the Diaspora groups and individuals to national development.
NIDCOM has been able to engage as many diaspora groups as possible in all parts of the world through its various activities and interventions.
But the leadership of NIDO- Europe, wants to go it all alone. According to Keneth Gbandi, who has been in NIDO leadership in the last 20 years , it’s either his way or no way.
8. We stress again that Keneth Gbandi’s argument that whenever NIDCOM board is constituted by Mr President, it should be made up of only members of NIDO remains a pipe dream by Keneth Gbandi and his very few of his cheerleaders.
For the purpose of clarity and emphasis, NIDCOM is for all Diasporans, irrespective of groups and affliations and not for one organisation or group in the Diaspora.
It is therefore sad that while other diaspora groups and organisations are rallying support to combat Covid-19 pandemic, what concerns the few self styled and sit tight leaders of NIDO Europe under Keneth Gbandi is selfish total control.
It is expedient to mention here that the task ahead is enormous as NIDCOM will ensure that all diaspora groups work together with unity of purpose.
NIDCOM is poised to work with all Nigerians abroad to harness the human and capital resources that abound to escalate the development in Nigeria.
Now is the time to unify and work with all diaspora groups and organisations irrespective of ethnic , religious, political, cultural and professional affliations.
This is what NIDCOM is poised to do and will not allow a few people dominate majority as we will work with all stakeholders, including National Assembly relevant committees , focal persons on Diaspora from all states in Nigeria among other international bodies.
NIDCOM under the able and dynamic leadership of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa will continue to be guided by the Act of the parliament that set it up as well as see to the overall welfare of all Nigerians abroad in line with its citizen diplomacy philosophy.
Be rest assured of NIDCOM fairness, level playing field for all as the ultimate aim is to contribute positively to the national development.