Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu
By Chinedu Eze in London
Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, has ex-pressed optimism that her husband, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, who is currently undergoing treatment in a London hospital, would soon be discharged.
Speaking with journalists at the Leyton Marsh Fields, London, venue of the 2011 Nigerian Carnival United Kingdom (NCUK) at the weekend, Bianca thanked Nigerians for their prayers and support so far, adding, “we hope to be back home soon.”
She expressed joy over the carnival, saying it would provide a forum for Nigerians living in the UK to interact and strengthen their unity as Nigerians.
She said if Nigerians worked together in the UK, they would be able to command respect from the host country and also be able to influence decisions about their welfare.
Bianca, therefore, urged the organisers of the carnival not to be discouraged but to organise more programmes that would foster the unity of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, who represented the First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, urged Nigerians living in the UK to be of good conduct as they were also ambassadors of the country.
Maina also thanked the organisers of the programme for attracting thousands of Nigerian youths to share in their country's rich culture and tradition.
She said such unity was important especially as that the country was passing through various ethnic and security challenges.
Maina also urged the Nigerian women in the UK to ensure their children and wards were well trained to contribute positively to the development of their host country and their fatherland.
“This carnival is an opportunity with Nigerian culture and tradition. We're known for peace and hard work and we must radiate this at all times,” she said.
In his speech, Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), Bimbo Folayan, said the programme was borne out of the need to have an umbrella body of Nigerians in the UK.
“We have over two million Nigerians in the UK. We must always come together. In the past, Nigerian Carnival UK (NCUK) held the carnival alone and this is the first time CANUK is collaborating. CANUK is the collection of all other individual associations in the UK. We're working as one because we believe that when we work together as one, we can do exploits. Next year, we hope to have a massive show,” he said.
We all have roles to play in this matter because intelligence gathering requires that the man in the streets also avails security agencies necessary information to further facilitate their operations.”
Moro further disclosed that the Federal Government had gone into a synergy with the governments of Niger Republic, Chad and other neighbouring countries with a view to checking any form of security threat from such countries.
“Government is on top of the situation, be assured that in the coming weeks and days these security challenges will become history,” he said.