By Fortune Abang
This is contained in a statement released Tuesday in Abuja by the Nigerian Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the sidelines of activities marking the 61st anniversary of Nigeria‘s independence.
According to the statement, the missions welcomed the Nigerian community, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, leaders of the host community and other sympathizers from Nigeria, to mark the anniversary.
He noted that the event was being organized at the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for and on behalf of the High Commission, the Defense Section and the Consulate General.
The statement cited Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr. Muhammad Manta, in his speech, for advising Nigerians to contribute their quota to the ongoing nation-building process of their homeland.
“I urge Nigerians to learn how to complement government in the task of nation building.
“Some achievements of the current administration include its relentless drive to tackle the country’s security concerns and infrastructure deficit.
“I am optimistic that together more can be achieved for the good of all Nigerians,” Manta said.
He also quoted Nigeria’s Consul General, Mr. Abdul Malik Ahmed, who reportedly said Nigeria’s independence anniversary remains a unique opportunity to celebrate the past and rich future of the nation’s heroes.
“Nigerians must continue to reflect on the sacrifices of the country’s founding fathers, their work is not in vain.
“The challenges of nation building are not unique to Nigeria.
“I urge Nigerians to explore the constitutional provisions to deal with national development issues, instead of resorting to illegal means,” Ahmed said.
Professor Larry Obi, former deputy vice-chancellor of two South African universities, gave a lecture on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obi advised all participants to support efforts to stop the pandemic on its own, by availing themselves of the vaccination.
In addition, Mrs. Ndileka Mandela, the eldest granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, praised during the event the role played by Nigeria in the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in southern Africa.
She called for a strong engagement of young Nigerians and South Africans to face the challenges of xenophobia.
She also highlighted the remarkable virtues of Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa and its emancipation from the black race.
The mission said the anniversary celebration included raffles organized by two Nigerian companies, Homebaze Restaurant and MJF travels, owned by chef Ken Ayere and Ms. Bukky Eniola respectively.
The highlight of the event included a carnival display of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and a congregation of people with steadfast faith and belief in the country.
There were also the cultural performances of Nigerian groups, fashion and colorful Nigerian cuisines, as a platform for the promotion of African unity, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence between Nigerians and South Africans. .
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