‘Why Muslims in diaspora should promote national values’
Millions of Nigerian Muslims residing in various countries of the world have been urged to always engage in activities that would promote the Nigerian national values.Senior Special Assistant to the Presidency on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Kafayat Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who made this call during a lecture delivered at Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA) in Ile Ife, Osun State, said, Nigerians in diaspora must engage in legitimate activities that would promote the national values.
She said: “As Nigerians, we must rely on our strong spirit of hope and desire to thrive even while facing challenges. While government is determined to fight corruption, insecurity and fix the battered economy by creating strong institutions driven by the ideals of national service, there is also the desire to leverage on creative ideas to fast track our progress. There is hope, even from the stories of countries like Ireland, where the Irish economy was in dire straits, and yet rescued by the contribution of just about 1000 Irish Diasporans.
“I would like to assure that the current administration will continue to give the adequate support and advocacy required for all Nigerians in diaspora to engage with government towards the mutual development of their home country and their local communities,”
While conveying congratulatory messages to Nigerians who exceled abroad, she also admonished them to be of good behavior wherever they find themselves. She identified eight Nigerians that were given commendation letters for flying the Nigerian flag high in 2017 alone.
Dabiri-Erewa further enjoined them to be coordinated, saying: “Government continues to appeal to all to be selfless and patriotic. Our diaspora cannot afford to dissipate energy on wasteful and unproductive matters. Nigerians in Diaspora Organizations must focus on how to be genuinely relevant and contribute positively to the growth and development of Nigeria,”The Federal Government, according to her is making sure that infrastructure are put in place in the country so this will also encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to come back home.
“Every year, Nigerians in the Diaspora in their respective state of abode do hold various events towards showcasing Nigeria’s unique culture and promote the positive image of Nigeria to the rest of the world as several other nationals joined in dancing to the Nigerian music and eating of Nigerian food,”She enjoined Muslims in the Diaspora to lobby for favourable policies that are of concern to Muslims in Nigeria such as what NASFAT, NCNMO in US and other Islamic based organizations are doing abroad.
The Ummah, according to her could also raise money for social investments-schools, hospitals, religious centers scholarships among others; develop trade and other relationships with Muslims in countries where Nigerian Muslims domicile; provide platforms for knowledge and skills transfers as well as investment opportunities for Muslims on both sides of the divide.
She added that they can also affiliate with school, hospitals and businesses with successful mentors and support groups abroad, and engage in shipment of used equipment in containers typically destined for schools, universities, orphanages and hospitals.
She called on Africa to connect with its diaspora in order to move the continent forward. “This is important as collaboration is where the world is moving toward now. If China and India are investing in Africa, why can’t Africans in the Diaspora. And this is beginning to happen and it is quite encouraging.“There’s a lot in there for Africans in the diaspora to benefit from collaboration as the future of the African continent will get better if Africans at home and the Africans in the diaspora actually work together,” she stated.
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