The Coalition of Oduduwa Descendants (COD) has urged the Federal Government to totally scrap or restructure the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) over threats to national security by some Nigerians in the Diaspora.
According to the Oduduwa group, this has become paramount following hate campaigns by some disgruntled elements abroad , endorsing negative publicity about Nigeria.
The COD made these known at a press conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
Speaking on behalf of the group, National Coordinator, Lekan Ekundayo, said NIDCOM has failed in its mandates thereby discouraging many investors, exaggerating the security situation and underreporting the success made in the fight against insecurity.
The group noted that many campaign of calumny against the country abroad are spearheaded by these Nigerians abroad.
According to COD, these criminal elements hiding abroad have also encouraged enemies of the Nigerian state like Boko Haram, insurgents and other economic saboteurs to continue to wreak havoc on the country.
Instead of promoting the image of the nation abroad, the Yoruba group said NIDCOM has become the refinery for the processing of crude, scathing critics and all forms of negativism against Nigeria.
The Oduduwa descents, however, urged the FG to scrap NIDCOM or restructure it inorder to focus on its “fundamental objectives of harnessing our human resources for good and not for the destruction of Nigeria”.
It also advised the commission to focus on researches that would facilitate development in Nigeria in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine.
Read full statement below:
Gentlemen of the press,
We are addressing you today on an issue of urgent national importance.
This has to do with the way our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora have constantly been portraying Nigeria in negative light thereby influencing our citizens and other citizens of the world to hate our dear country, Nigeria.
We are also alarmed by the official consent given to these hate campaigns by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, which is like given an official endorsement to negative publicity about Nigeria.
Going by the kinds of texts and literature coming from our kindred in the Diaspora, one would assume that there is absolutely nothing good about Nigeria and that this country is only fit to be discarded and dumped in the refuse bin.
Saying anything positive about Nigeria is now considered demeaning and for one to belong to the class of individuals seen as deep intellectuals, one must attack the Nigerian government and speak of happenings in the country as the worst in human history.
It is this kind of mindset that gave birth and nurtured the self hating and seditious sentiments of the likes of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB who kept referring to Nigeria as a zoo and had wanted to start an insurrection until he was checkmated by the Nigerian Government.
These set of people have become in the words of Prof. Toyin Falola, “like the Europeans in 19th century Africa, the colonizers, who saw nothing good about the continent.”
According to a United Nations 2017 report, there are at least 1.24 million migrants from Nigeria in the Diaspora but that this figure is likely to be higher in 2018 and 2019 with the recent trend in migration from Nigeria.
These include people who have done their basic and tertiary education in Nigeria but are unwilling to contribute their quota for the development of the country and have set their minds only on looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
These are people who have benefited from the free primary and basic education programmes of previous Nigerian governments, enjoyed various forms of scholarships at the tertiary levels and were treated with high respect and dignity and given choice appointments upon graduation from the universities.
These are the same set of people that have now turned their backs on the very country that gave them these opportunities.
So, as these Nigerians who benefited from the Nigerian system continue in their hate campaigns, the damages they’re doing to the well being of the country is better imagined.
By their actions and comments, they have discouraged many investors from coming into Nigeria as they exaggerate the security situation in the country and underreport the success made in the fight against insecurity.
Unfortunately, their comments influence other unsuspecting citizens not to believe in themselves but begin to think that nothing good can come out of Nigeria and that the only way they can make it is to escape to other countries.
They have encouraged corruption in the public sevice because people who are reading them have come to believe that the only way they can make it is tosteal from the public till and send their children to schools abroad no matter the cost even as Nigeria offers better opportunities in that regard.
The utterances and actions of these Nigerians in the Diaspora has stalled the growth of public institutions in Nigeria as their self hate sermons has encouraged a lackadaisical attitude towards everything the country represents.
Worse still, it has encouraged enemies of the Nigerian State like the Boko Haram terrorists, insurgents and other economic saboteurs to continue to wreak havoc on the country in the misguided belief that they share common passion with Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Their attitude has also served to dampen the morale of security agencies who are in the field putting their lives on the line to secure the country as troops go home with the belief that they’re not appreciated.
THE ROLE OF NIDCOM
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which was created to provide for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and for the purpose of utilising the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development has unfortunately allowed itself to be used by these see -nothing -good -about-Nigeria set of Nigerians.
Rather than adhere strictly to its role of fostering development, NIDCOM has now become the refinery for the processing of crude but scathing criticisms and all forms of negativism against Nigeria.
The Commission, rather than insist on the positive aspect of its role is lending itself to the projection of negative images about Nigeria and this is most unfortunate.
THE WAY OUT
NIDCOM must be called to order and reminded of its fundamental objectives of harnessing our human resources for good and not for the destruction of Nigeria.
It should not allow itself to be used by self-seekng opportunists to paint the country in bad light.
If the Commission refuses to fall in line, it should be restructured and reconstituted to allow only those with passion to develop the country come on board as the Commission has failed by becoming an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interest of the entire country.
Nigerians in the Diaspora on the other hand, should focus on researches that would facilitate development in Nigeria in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine and not jusy to be regurgitating worn out political theories that have become stale and are no longer applicable in the new world order.
They should be making remittances home not just to build hotels and mansions in their villages for camping young girls but to build industries for the employment of youths.
Nothing stops Nigerians in the Diaspora from building basic infrastructure like schools and hospitals to complement what the government is doing.
They should also use their various positions abroad to project Nigeria as an emerging world economy to woo foreign investors and they should stop magnifying the country’s challenges as there is no nation without challenges.
Finally, we call on Nigerians in the Diaspora to in the words of Prof. Falola remember that, “You are supposed to empower your people, not destroy them. Statements to uplift and upgrade are different from statements to ridicule. We all criticise, even we criticise family members, but not that we want to push them to the mouth of the lion.”
Group Chides Ayeni Over Calumny Campaign Against Okunbo
A group, National Youth Alliance of Nigeria (NYAN), has berated businessman, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, over what it called his “campaign of calumny” against the chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo.
NYAN said Ayeni, a former director and shareholder of OMS, contacted the group for a hatchet job against the person and business interests of Capt. Okunbo, especially the OMS.
National President of NYAN, Lucky Igbamodi, told journalists at a press conference that the group was hired to launch scathing campaigns against Capt. Okunbo in order to malign him through fictitious petitions and peddling of outright falsehoods.
Igbamodi said NYAN subsequently carried out its own investigation and found out that all allegations against Capt. Okunbo and OMS were untrue as they were fabricated for sinister motives by Ayeni.
“Making our stand public becomes necessary now lest the unsuspecting members of the public be misled about the real issues. Dr. Olatunde Ayeni mistook our group for agents of destruction for hire and we listened to him and carried our own investigations to ascertain the truth.
“We found out several things which point to a documented fact and established truth – that Dr. Olatunde Ayeni has since 2018 left the Board of OMS and as well sold his shares to Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo but only returns to launch a campaign of calumny against the latter just because Capt. Okunbo has a health challenge.
“Nigerians and non-governmental organisations should be wary of Dr. Olatunde Ayeni’s antics, which are all in bad faith and unbecoming of a businessman he claims to be,” Igbamodi added.
While wishing Capt. Okunbo quick recovery, the group admonished the Board of OMS to continue to support Okunbo and always stand by the truth as it has demonstrated so far.
Abia: Time For Adeyemi To Quit, Pro-Democracy Group Demands Senator’s Resignation
Following what it describes as “unguarded utterances” about Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, the National Democratic Front (NDF) has called on the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to quit the National Assembly.
Condemning Adeyemi’s outburst, the group said the Senate is a hallowed place of lawmaking and must be protected from misfits such as Smart Adeyemi .
Recall that the Kogi West Senator, in a scathing attack during plenary last week, described Ikpeazu and other leaders from Abia State as a drunkard.
And in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir , on Monday, the NDF labelled Adeyemi’s comment as reprehensive, utterly misplaced and gross abuse of the office that he holds.
By this, the group said Smart Adeyemi may be chasing shadow by his futile attempt to cast aspersions on a performing Governor which at best is attracting hate on his person from the public.
According to Abdulkadir , the Abia governor is a serious performer whose efforts to develop Abia State in the last 5 years cannot be wished away by a man out to please his political godfathers in Kogi State.
It further described Governor Ikpeazu as an infrastructure giant, a colossus and peacemaker per excellence and should be allowed to concentrate good governance to his people .
The group, however, advised the lawmaker to channel his energy on his legislative functions and avoid attention-seeking.
It further warned that Adeyemi’s failure to resign will draw the anger of the over 30 groups that are signatories to the NDF.
Read the full statement below:
It has become compelling to issue this statement following the unguarded utterances of a supposed Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC), Kogi West on the floor of the Senate of the National Assembly.
The Senate Chamber is a hallowed place of highest lawmaking in Nigeria and should be protected from misfits, who see it as an opportunity to get at those that are beyond them in deeds and character.
The National Democratic Front condemns in the strongest terms, the uncomplimentary comment made by Smart Adeyemi about the Governor of Abia State Okezie Ikpeazu. We state, unequivocally, that the utterances of Adeyemi are a clear case of abuse of power and disrespect for both the office of the Governor of Abia State and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
For crying out loud, the Senate Chamber is not a village square whereby even people with known cases of dementia, drug addicts and people who speak before thinking have the opportunity to vomit thrash when important matters are under discourse.
We find Adeyemi’s comment as reprehensive, utterly, abuse of the office that he holds and above all, the desecration of the hallowed chamber of the Senate and must be condemned by all lovers of democracy and its tenets.
Even if the Abia State Governor His Excellency Okezie Ikpeazu and Adeyemi were engaged in an argument, resorting to gutter language by the Senator is a clear case of one who is losing in a debate. Adeyemi should be concerned about facts on the ground and not resort to unsubstantiated claims. Or could it be that as a drunk himself, Adeyemi was only playing like other drunks who would simply open their mouth wide to call those who have not even tasted alcohol as drunkards?
If not for the institution of the National Assembly, we would not have been surprised about the comments of Adeyemi. After all, it is said: Like father, like son. If Adeyemi is the father of a known drug addict, no one needs a soothsayer to say that the son learned the act from his bloodthirsty father.
For the avoidance of doubt, Ikpeazu is a strong advocate of peace and forgiveness and has over the years resisted provocation and confrontation. Adeyemi may be chasing shadow, by his futile attempt which at best is attracting hate on his person from the public.
So far, Ikpeazu’s tenure as Governor has attracted peace and relative tranquillity all thanks to his milk of human kindness, which transcends petty human considerations. His impact on education, infrastructure, agriculture, health, trade, commerce and other spheres of the economy of his state are legendary.
Indeed, Governor Ikpeazu is one of the shining lights in terms of leadership and a patriot to the core whose leadership models should be copied and emulated by all Nigerians.
In case Adeyemi is unaware, Abia State is today enjoying peace because it has a leader that is humble, tolerant, with a deep understanding of the dynamics of power and human relationship. Therefore, the unwarranted attempt by the Kogi West senator to soil the name and reputation of Ikpeazu is at best a demonstration of someone who has lost touch with reality. Adeyemi should channel his energy on his legislative functions and avoid attention-seeking.
The National Democratic Front, therefore, resolved that Smart Adeyemi should quit the Senate with immediate effect. Failure to adhere to this will draw the anger of the over 30 groups that are signatories to the NDF.
A word is enough for the wise.
Drunkard Comment: Coalition Knocks Smart Adeyemi, Says Lawmaker Must Apologise To Ikpeazu
The Coalition for Good Governance and Rule of Law (CGGRL) has advised Senator Smart Adeyemi to apologise to Chief Okezie Ikpeazu over his recent attacks targeted at the Abia State Governor.
The coalition described Sen. Adeyemi as an extremely and suitably opportunist in the Senate, tumbling with verbal diarrhea.
Recall that the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District had, on Tuesday, during a plenary session described Ikpeazu as a drunkard.
However, the CGGRL at a press conference on Saturday in Abuja by its leader, Chief Isaac Ikpa, said Adeyemi and his state governor, Yahaya Bello are no match for Ikpeazu.
Chief Ikpa noted that Adeyemi has no known legacy in his constituency to showcase for his three tenures in the National Assembly to commensurate with the billions of naira he has received.
Ikpeazu, on the other hand, according to the group is one of the shining lights of modern leadership in Nigeria today.
Instead of look the way of Ikpeazu who has excelled in developmental projects, the group charged Adeyemi to criticise Yahaya Bello for his indebtedness of salaries and pensions in Kogi state.
The coalition, therefore, warned the lawmaker that failure to publicly apologise would “compel us to take further steps to test the liberty of freedom of speech in the Nigerian parliament in the judiciary”.
Read full statement below:
Let us specially welcome you to this unique Press Conference in the name of Almighty God, our guardian and protector. Nigeria and all of us are protected by His unalloyed grace!
Its unique in the sense that this is the first time the Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Good Governance and Rule of Law (CSOGGGRL) would come out and rise unanimously to caution the irreligious mouthing of a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the National Assembly (NASS), identified as Sen. Smart Adeyemi. We pardon him, if he ever grew up in some slums. But he should not export such ghettoish mentality or desecrate our parliament.
We were dismayed that this Senator threw decency to the dogs in our hallowed chambers to puke nonsensically at Gov. Ikpeazu, defying the sanctity of the hollowed chambers and its operative regulations on the executive Governor of Abia state, His Excellency, Chief Okazie Ikpeazu.
CSGs has never imagined that the Senate Chambers of Nigeria by today is a meeting ground for hooligans and miscreants with borrowed political garbs, to abuse the plenary session or NASS complex’s immunity by insulting other leaders as done by Sen. Adeyemi.
We interpret Sen. Adeyemi’s comments, tarnishing and libeling Gov. Ikpeazu as a “drunk” very uncomplimentary and derogatory. But we have no reason to blame Sen. Adeyemi, because in life, he believes it’s all about the “cut and join” certificates he has paraded over the years to become the National President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the Obasanjo Presidency.
So, it’s understandable that Sen. Adeyemi has no secured self-personality or public clout outside his small world of fakes. Adeyemi is perpetually threatened when formidable leaders are concerned and its perpetual with him over the years.
Adeyemi’s only delight is castigating and maligning those he perceives as enemies like he has done to the solid personage of a leader like Gov. Ikpeazu, who properly brought up himself, as a biochemical pharmacologist with an academic doctorate degree. But we don’t fault Sen. Adeyemi because his upbringing is clearly defective.
If Sen. Adeyemi has to pair up himself with Gov. Ikpeazu today, would Smart be telling Nigerians that he never went to a known primary or secondary school, but catapulted first to a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations, diploma in Law, advanced diploma in Mass Communication, and master’s degree in Public Administration from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, when he became a Senator, probably from a satellite campus? People like him would never respect talents as embodied by Gov. Ikpeazu.
Thus, Smart, as he prides his name, became a journalist (or broadcaster) and jiggled his way into Journalism, rising through his crooked ways to become NUJ National President. He left NUJ in the worse posture as we find it today, by leading journalists on what he termed nation-wide tour and verification of “democracy dividends,” in the Obasanjo Presidency.
Sen. Adeyemi amassed a lot of wealth for himself and when his tenure expired as NUJ national President, he pushed the illicit monies acquired on the field into contesting Kogi West Senatorial district in 2007. Like Sen. Dino Melaye, like Sen. Smart Adeyemi, the constituents’ of Kogi West senatorial districts are unfortunate to always have wayward Senators representing them at NASS.
As we speak today, Sen. Adeyemi has no known legacy in his constituency to showcase for his three tenures in NASS commensurate with the billions of naira, he has received as constituency funds; just like his predecessor, popularly known as “Dino.” The idea of leadership known to these fellows is personal enrichment against the people and expect every one to become a cheer-clapper in the crowd of sycophants around them.
Therefore, when genuine leaders like Gov. Ikpeazu deliver leadership to their people, its natural that the likes of Sen. Adeyemi would get offended and classify them “drunkards.” The mindset of Adeyemi is that every leader of the people in Nigerian today should be deceptive like him and he finds Gov. Ikpeazu an automatic enemy for trying to transform Abia state. Only God Almighty knows when Sen. Adeyemi would become Governor of his home state of Kogi.
We now understand why Sen. Smart supports his state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who is variously and consistently rated by Nigerians as Nigeria’s worse Governor after Benue’s Gov. Samuel Ortom. But we wish to appeal to Sen. Adeyemi that no one is at war with him at the moment.
So, he should discard his penchant for uncomplimentary comments about the Governor of Abia State and other leaders in that state or elsewhere in Nigeria. Sen. Smart Adeyemi is a three-tenured Senator in NASS and still serving, but no bills to his pride. We challenge him to disprove us. We cannot silently accept his descent into barbarism, animalism and insults on the concept of parliamentary sovereignty all over the world; much less on Gov. Ikpeazu.
In our considered and vetted opinions, we perceive the Governor of Abia state, Chief Ikpeazu as one of the shining lights of modern leadership in Nigeria today. It’s expected that anti-progress adversaries like Sen. Adeyemi must hate him. But Gov. Ikpeazu is a true patriot and servant-leader of his people to the core, whose leadership model should be copied and emulated by all Nigerians.
We advise Sen. Adeyemi to speak to his Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to clear his indebtedness of salaries and pensions in Kogi state before he looks the direction of Abia state, where Gov. Ikpeazu has excelled in developmental projects. It’s not about salaries or pensions, we are talking about now. It’s about the people’s development!
Finally, CSGs demand an immediate apology from Sen. Adeyemi to Gov. Ikpeazu. Failure to publicly apologize would compel us to take further steps to test the liberty of freedom of speech in the Nigerian parliament in the judiciary. Only after the court’s verdict, we shall know whether parliamentary immunity includes the sort of hogwash or defamation, Sen. Adeyemi hurled at Gov. Ikpeazu.
We thank you for your audience and journey mercies.
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