Many women have made their marks in history. As queens and warriors and housewives and chambermaids, the ancient phenomenon of giving a woman an inch and watching her fill a kilometre is still as riveting today as it was in the days of Marie Curie, Queen Boudicca, Catherine the Great, and Cleopatra.
Today, Abike Dabiri-Erewa is the eye of the needle, the foremost Nigerian woman in Diaspora. That Nigerians are not always having the time of their lives outside the shores of their native country is a fact well-known. As Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa is the frontline archon tasked with ensuring that these overseas folks don’t lose their lives, dignity, or identity in their pursuits.
These things considering, Dabiri-Erewa is doing a fine job. Playing the twin roles of an Amazon and a Robin Hood, Hon. Dabiri-Erewa has made a tradition out of delivering Nigerians in diaspora from embarrassing, often life-threatening binds.
Two names immediately come to mind in this respect: Mallam Ibrahim Ibrahim and Zainab Habib Aliyu—who were imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for unproven crimes, but are back home now, all credits to Dabiri-Erewa’s dispensation of the NiDCOM charge.
What about the case of the Nigerian students that were reportedly killed in Northern Cyprus? Although stories keep pouring in from different angles about the incident, Dabiri-Erewa has remained an unyielding voice against that country’s reportedly callous constitution, as well as the unaccountable deaths of Nigerians seeking education and a better life over there.
Dabiri-Erewa is one of the few who are calling for preventive and precautionary measures against further butchering of the children of Mother Nigeria, especially in countries like Northern Cyprus, who are not recognised by the United Nations.
But it’s not always about quagmires and Nigerians in precarious positions with Hon. Dabiri-Erewa. Not at all. She is always on the lookout for those making Nigeria proud, and celebrating them in whatever way she can. Folks like Bukayo Saka—an Arsenal football club player—and David Olutokunbo Alaba—who plays for Bayern Munich—have enjoyed Dabiri-Erewa’s commendation and praise.
In these and several other ways, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is faithfully flying the Nigerian flag in foreign lands. As she continues in this capacity, Nigerians in the diaspora will soon have no desperate reason to sing that old number of Boney M—and will proudly sing the songs of home and country in a strange land.