Olusegun Obasanjo 1

Obasanjo Appeals to Diaspora Nigerians to Foster Unity Back Home

  • Former President Obasanjo recognises unity among Nigerians abroad and urges them to replicate it in Nigeria.
  • Obasanjo, speaking on behalf of a delegation of traditional leaders and academics, was impressed by the unity of Nigerians in the USA.
  • The former president calls on Nigerians in the diaspora to be good citizens wherever they reside, including when they return to Nigeria.
  • The Center for African Studies, Rutgers University, New Jersey, organised the event and was attended by various academics, dignitaries, and leaders.
  • The delegation met to establish partnerships and agreements between US and Nigerian universities.

News Story

In a recent address, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo commended the solidarity shown by Nigerians overseas, and he appealed for them to extend such harmony within their native country.

During an evening reception in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, Obasanjo expressed admiration for the unity he observed among Nigerians residing in America. The former president represented a delegation of distinguished traditional leaders and academics, which included the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Saka Matemilola.

Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, released a statement highlighting the ex-president’s words. Obasanjo celebrated the achievements of Nigerians abroad and implored them to maintain good citizenship in their countries of residence and upon their return to Nigeria. However, his speech was frequently interrupted by the enthusiastic chants of the audience.

As the Balogun (Prime Minister) of Owu Kingdom, Obasanjo also expressed gratitude towards the Rutgers University management for their welcoming reception and extensive engagements.

The Center for African Studies at Rutgers University, New Jersey, led by Professor Bode Ibironke, organised the reception. It was attended by university leadership, including high-profile attendees such as the Representative of Nigeria at the United Nations (UN) Ambassador (Prof.) Tijanni Muhammed-Bande and a host of top academics from various institutions.

The primary aim of the delegation’s visit, which included meetings in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, was to establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and to create alliances between American and Nigerian universities.


Fostering Unity: A Call to Diaspora Nigerians

As ex-President Obasanjo observed, witnessing the harmony and accomplishments of Nigerians overseas is heartening. The unity among the diaspora is a testament to our shared values and cultural bonds, unbroken by distance or nationality.

However, the stark contrast in our behaviour at home, as pointed out by the former president, is troubling. Why does this unity often dissipate when we return to our homeland? The symptoms of this disunity are all too evident: social unrest, ethnic clashes, and a strained sense of national identity.

The opposition may argue that the harsh realities of life in Nigeria foster such discord: economic hardship, corruption, and uneven distribution of resources. Indeed, these are valid concerns. Nonetheless, it does not justify a divisive mindset.

It’s time for a change in our attitudes and behaviours. Unity should not be a concept only found overseas; it must permeate the very fabric of our society here in Nigeria. This begins with each of us being ambassadors of unity in our families, communities, and the nation.

Let us heed Obasanjo’s words as a reminder of what we can achieve when we stand together. We should strive to be good citizens, not only abroad but also upon our return to Nigeria. Our government, on its part, should address the structural issues that amplify these divisions and make unity a problematic proposition.

Indeed, the diaspora has a unique role in driving this unity. With their broadened perspectives and international exposure, they can initiate a new narrative of unity, foster dialogue, and promote peace.

As we consider this, let us ask ourselves: What steps can we take, individually and collectively, to ensure unity prevails in our homeland, just as it does among Nigerians in diaspora? The answer to this question could shape the future of our beloved nation.

Did You Know?

  • Nigeria has the sixth-largest diaspora in the world, with approximately 15 million Nigerians living abroad.
  • The Nigerian diaspora remitted over $25 billion back to the country in 2018.
  • Nigerians in the diaspora actively participate in various sectors, from healthcare to information technology, contributing significantly to their host countries’ economies.
  • The Nigerian government established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission in 2019 to harness the potential of Nigerians living abroad for national development.

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  • Zainab Sulaimon

    Zainab Abisola Sulaimon is a news content writer who loves fashion design, reading, chatting, and dancing. In addition, she's devoted to her three-year-old Samoyed dog Zoey. She has always been fascinated with the art of writing, and she enjoys anything related to fashion, design, and reading. Zainab spends most of her free time browsing different blogs on these topics (sometimes even at work). She also can't resist chatting with friends online or in person about everything that makes life worth living - from food to family events! Dancing is another excellent exercise for Zainab that keeps her fit while having fun!

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