The federal government has blamed Nigerians in Diaspora of fuelling agitation for Nigeria’s disintegration from the Diaspora. This allegation made by the spokesman of the federal government, Lai Mohammed, was also re-echo by some state government officials and prominent politicians.
However, Nigerians in Diaspora reacting through Hon Kenneth Gbandi, her immediate past Continental Chairman in Europe (NIDOE), and current Deputy Chairman of African Democratic Congress Party (ADC), puts the blame on the APC – led administration and their failure to properly constitute the NIDCOM Board. Commenting on the issue, while addressing media representatives, Hon Gbandi noted that claim is a testimony of the inability of the federal government to partner and cooperate with the Diasporans under NIDO Leadership. He recalled warning the federal government that their attitude towards NIDO leadership is counter productive and a time bomb that could explode in the future.
Hon. Gbandi who was the Continental European Chairman and co-ordinating Chairman of NIDO Worldwide, recalled writing several such letters to the federal government on the urgent need to constitute NIDCOM’S Board as stipulated by the bill, with full Diaspora representation via NIDO Worldwide. One of such appeals was written on July 27, 2020, to Dr. (Senator) Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, who was before then the Chairman of Senate Committee on Diaspora, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), pleading with him to use his good office to ensure his colleagues and the federal government constitute the NIDCOM board in accordance with NIDCOM’s Bill.
Hon. Gbandi reminded him that the global NIDO was a rallying point for most Nigerians in Diaspora who still believe in the country, and the power of Diasporans to foster developmental initiatives and reforms for Nigeria. Hon. Gbandi also noted that NIDO is a buffer zone for Nigerians in Diaspora where the spirit of oneness thrives without ethnic sentiments or ethnic allegiance to the detriment of the country. In his words, “for the love of Nigeria sir, l plead with you to use your good office and contact to stop the marginalisation and politicization of NIDO.
Gbandi highlighted the dangers of a tootles and collapse NIDO ,and a structured Nigerian Diaspora along ethnic lines and ideology, that will be a huge and unimaginable as patriotic and professional global Diaspora community, who act as a buffer zone to Diaspora with extremist view will be too week to counter them.”
He concluded that both dedicated Nigerians in diaspora and the federal government may be unable to contain the impending assault from individuals and organizations taking advantage of a weak and fractured diaspora community under NIDO leadership that could hold different views unchallenged.
Continuing, he argued that the moral fabric of the diasporans under NIDO will be greatly dampened, considering the many unpleasant state of affairs in our country today.
In the letter, Gbandi had urged the lawmakers to reflect on his appeal as a patriotic and clarion call aimed at helping to mobilize the National Assembly into action. He recalled that a similar appeal was also made to the Chairperson, House Committee on Diaspora, noting that the politicization of NIDO has now given rise to strong ethnic and regional groupings in the diaspora. He recalled that NIDO Europe sought legal opinion from human rights lawyer Femi Falana on the representation of NIDO in NIDCOM’s board, culminating in a letter written to the President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation in support of NIDO Europe’s position. Sadly, NIDCOM Board has still not been constituted.