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Edo Election: Youths Protest, Call For Non-Violent Governorship Poll

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A group of youths under the aegis of Edo Concerned Citizens have staged a peaceful protest in the state.

The protesters marched through some major streets on Saturday in Benin City, the Edo State capital to demand a peaceful governorship election in the state.

They urged the political leaders to sustain the relative peace in the state as they prepare for the poll scheduled for September 19.

According to the protesters, the demonstration became necessary as a result of the recent turn of political activities in the state.

They believe the events seem to have raised concerns over the possibility of the election being marred by violence and other forms of electoral malpractices.

The protest held as political parties and various groups increase activities ahead of the election to select the state governor for another four years.

Among these activities are the screening exercises by various political parties before the primaries to pick their candidate for the election.

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Joe Biden’s Inauguration Speech In Full

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In his inauguration address, President Joe Biden called on Americans to be ‘different and better’ – read his full speech below

Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.

We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundations, we come together as one nation under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be, I thank my predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service.

I’ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation, we are good people. And over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we’ve come so far. But we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility. Much to do, much to heal, much to restore, much to build and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now. The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity. In another January on New Year’s Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, ‘if my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it’.

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day. My whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setback, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of our moments enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way. The way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee we will not failed. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together. And so today at this time in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome. As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War. When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. We endure, we prevail. Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall, where Dr King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can change. Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever. To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear us out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peacefully. And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honour, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders. Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation. To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like their dad they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking: ‘Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage?’ Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer’s not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions. Distrusting those who don’t look like you, or worship the way you do, who don’t get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days you need a hand. There are other days when we’re called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be, that’s what we do for one another. And if we are that way our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise this, as the Bible says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning’. We will get through this together. Together.

Look folks, all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching. Watching all of us today. So here’s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example.

Fellow Americans, moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be. So I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, those left behind and for our country. Amen.

Folks, it’s a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy, and on truth, a raging virus, a stinging inequity, systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up?

It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you. We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must and I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will, and when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story.

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me, it’s called American Anthem. And there’s one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this:

‘The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day, which shall be our legacy, what will our children say?

Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.’

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: ‘They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.’

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution, I’ll defend our democracy.

I’ll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service. Thinking not of power but of possibilities. Not of personal interest but of public good.

And together we will write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrive.

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.

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Subversive Elements Radicalizing Diaspora to Promote Destabilization of Nigeria From Abroad -CNM

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Some Nigerians with questionable character in the Diaspora have indulged in malicious campaigns to radicalize their compatriots and promote destabilization back home.

This revelation was made by the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) in a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the group, these subversive elements intend to tarnish the image of leaders, while ultimately activating insecurity and economic crisis that would lead to anarchy.

In his address, CNM’s leader, Patriot Sabo Odeh said Nigerians must be aware of these elements who deliberately instigate problems back home and escape with their families to safe abodes.

According to Odeh, they sponsor youths to protest under the pretext of democratic liberty and fails to speak out when it turns violent.

The coalition recalled the role played by these Nigerians abroad in fuelling last year’s EndSARS protest which eventually led to arson, unrest and bloodbath.

The group wondered why these Nigerians who criticised the Federal Government for quelling further breakdown of law and order suddenly went mute when police were deployed at U.S. Capitol Hill.

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement, however, advised Nigerians to wake up from slumber, before the antics and sinister plans of these elements in the diaspora would cause the total ruination of our country.

It added that the mindless assault and undermining of the peace and security of our country in the guise of the exercise of democratic rights must cease.

Read the full statement below:

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) is wishing you a prosperous and happy New Year, as we welcome you most warmly to this press conference.

We are elbowed to address this press conference to speak to the generality of Nigerians over the trending mindsets and inclinations of Nigerians in the diaspora who have decided dodge the pains, discomforts and scars of nation-building, but indulges in subversive actions against the country. Whilst this clan of Nigerians have decided to hoe themselves in foreign lands, they deliberately instigate problems of frightening dimensions on insecurities, but escape to the safer abodes of other nations with their families when the conflagrations they ignite goes wild aflame.

The troubleshooters abandon the rest of us to our fate, after making us susceptible to the problems they generate by their actions and utterances’. We are baffled at the manner these Nigerians in diaspora dubiously misinterpret and apply the doctrines of freedom of speech and the rights to public protests by the citizens in the expression of grievances against the government in a manner which projects them as blind to the discernment of peace and violence.

This tendency has become too pronounced under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last four years. These diasporan Nigerians prod and sponsor our youths to protests under the pretext of democratic liberty, but hardly know the difference between peaceful and violent protests as espoused by democratic Governments globally.  Even when such protests become violent and bloody, or marred by destructions the Nigerians in diaspora use various weapons, especially social media platforms to bolster the perpetrators of such evil against the people and the nation to continue in self-destruction.

Whilst we are unexcited at recounting the gores of some of these recently ugly so-called “democratic” public protests in Nigeria, which did only become bloody but violated the basic doctrines of liberty under a civilian government, but it has become pertinent to use the incidents for illustration and clarity.

We are aware of the age-long aberrations’ and the nuisances inherent in members of the outlawed sect, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria led by Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.  The sect’s devious members have repeatedly invaded Abuja with guns and other dangerous weapons under the guise of protesting what they believed in their narrowed senses as the unlawful incarceration of El-Zakzaky.

The protests were organized at two or three separate instances; but quite sadly, the Shiites defiled all sanity, turned violent and brutally engaged security agents drafted to maintain public law and order. In one of the incidents, they crudely attacked and gruesomely murdered Nigerians including a senior police officer.

Let us again look at the violent dimension of the #EndSARS protests of last year. It was executed with the same tenor of the IMN’s protests or other such demonstrations in Nigeria under the Buhari Presidency. All of us can attest to the scary bloodbath, rape of women, cruel butcher of security agents by the protestors, the destruction of public and private properties, looting, acts of arson and vandalization which were committed.

Nigerians were subjected to this level of barbaric violence and brutality in the pretext of “democratic” protests. This is not permissible anywhere and under any system of government in the world. Unfortunately, while the incensed madness lasted, Nigerians in the diaspora shamelessly rather emboldened and encouraged the crisis-printers agents of darkness and the hoodlums.

Strangely, Nigerians in the diaspora were rather faulting the strident measures President Buhari adopted to halt the carnage and restore public peace. The Nigerians in foreign lands lectured us on how undemocratic Mr. President acted by ordering the Military to quell the insane violence. They branded President Buhari a civilian dictator and all manner of derogative sobriquets.

But we must realize that democracy is not practised in Nigeria alone or Nigeria’s brand of democracy emanates from the skies. Almost every nation on earth has embraced this system of government. And with it, the fundamental doctrines of freedom of expression and liberties as also guaranteed in other nations. But there are limitations and the citizen’s exercise of these rights is also guided by the principles of decency and the consciousness of resisting the temptation on encroaching on the rights of other countrymen and women.

But most pointedly, no democratic leader allows national security to be compromised by hoodlums and miscreants in the guise of exercising democratic rights either in public protests or any other endeavour.  National interest supersedes every other consideration. Therefore, democratic protests which assume the character of bloodbath are ruthlessly crushed with the force it deserves.

Nigerians have seen it done elsewhere in recent times. We know America as the global bastion of democracy. But outgoing President Donald J. Trump could not tolerate lawless protestors. He ordered American Military out to protect America’s national heritage from abuse by vandals, looters, arsonists’ and brigands. It happened during the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations’ over the police murder of George Floyd. No one raised an eyebrow.

And it was recently, we witnessed the episode of the violent invasion of Capitol Hill building by pro-Trump protesters. In a split-second, security agents murdered five Americans.  The venom expressed by the protestors at Capitol Hill was just an insignificant fraction of what Nigerian youths did during the #EndSARS protests in the country. Among victims of the police reaction to the enraged and violent protesters was a woman who was shot point-blank on the chest and she died instantly.

Unbelievably, CNM observed with consternation the conspiratorial silence of Nigerians in the diaspora over the brutal police encounter with protestors at Capitol Hill. None of them neither condemned nor queried the excessive application of force by the American police.  We expected to hear a public condemnatory statement from the Nigerians who administer the Abuja country office of Amnesty International, but no word has been heard from them to this moment. But these are the people who pick bones in everything Buhari.

We must understand the motive and hypocrisy in the malicious campaigns of these Nigerians in the diaspora against their country. The masterminds of the bellicose campaigns are diaspora Nigerians who are at best, outcasts and renegades who escaped or sought asylum in foreign countries after committing criminal acts in Nigeria. Many of them were school dropouts, rapists, lawbreakers, armed robbers, bank robbers, looters of our commonwealth, failed businessmen and lazy baboons.

CNM is therefore calling on all Nigerians to wake up from slumber, before the antics and sinister plans of some Nigerians in the diaspora would cause the total ruination of our country. It appears to us now that what Nigerians who have escaped to foreign lands learn first are the tricks of how to orchestrate the destabilization and destruction of their country. This is condemnable and unacceptable.

This is the time for us to unite to tackle these questionable characters headlong. The Diaspora Office must be revisited.  We suggest that it should be scrapped because it has lost its relevance. Those who congregate under its roof are mere opportunists. They are bringing their disappointments abroad to implant a lawless society in Nigeria that was not accommodative to them before taking a flight abroad. The Diaspora office has failed. It has become an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interests of the entire country.

The CNM is pleading with all the citizens of our country rise against the negative influence and interferences by Nigerians in the diaspora who mean no good for our beloved country. This is not the time to procrastinate in taking the appropriate action. The mindless assault and undermining of the peace and security of our country in the guise of the exercise of democratic rights must cease.

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Scrap Or Restructure NIDCOM Now, Oduduwa Group Urges FG Over Threats By Diaspora To National Security

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The Coalition of Oduduwa Descendants (COD) has urged the Federal Government to totally scrap or restructure the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) over threats to national security by some Nigerians in the Diaspora.

According to the Oduduwa group, this has become paramount following hate campaigns by some disgruntled elements abroad , endorsing negative publicity about Nigeria.

The COD made these known at a press conference on Tuesday in Lagos.

Speaking on behalf of the group, National Coordinator, Lekan Ekundayo, said NIDCOM has failed in its mandates thereby discouraging many investors, exaggerating the security situation and underreporting the success made in the fight against insecurity.

The group noted that many campaign of calumny against the country abroad are spearheaded by these Nigerians abroad.

According to COD, these criminal elements hiding abroad have also encouraged enemies of the Nigerian state like Boko Haram, insurgents and other economic saboteurs to continue to wreak havoc on the country.

Instead of promoting the image of the nation abroad, the Yoruba group said NIDCOM has become the refinery for the processing of crude, scathing critics and all forms of negativism against Nigeria.

The Oduduwa descents, however, urged the FG to scrap NIDCOM or restructure it inorder to focus on its “fundamental objectives of harnessing our human resources for good and not for the destruction of Nigeria”.

It also advised the commission to focus on researches that would facilitate development in Nigeria in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine.

Read full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press,

We are addressing you today on an issue of urgent national importance.

This has to do with the way our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora have constantly been portraying Nigeria in negative light thereby influencing our citizens and other citizens of the world to hate our dear country, Nigeria.

We are also alarmed by the official consent given to these hate campaigns by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, which is like given an official endorsement to negative publicity about Nigeria.

Going by the kinds of texts and literature coming from our kindred in the Diaspora, one would assume that there is absolutely nothing good about Nigeria and that this country is only fit to be discarded and dumped in the refuse bin.

Saying anything positive about Nigeria is now considered demeaning and for one to belong to the class of individuals seen as deep intellectuals, one must attack the Nigerian  government and speak of happenings in the country as the worst in human history.

It is this kind of mindset that gave birth and nurtured the self hating and seditious sentiments of the likes of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB who kept referring to Nigeria as a zoo and had wanted  to start an insurrection until he was checkmated by the Nigerian Government.

These set of people have become in the words of Prof. Toyin Falola, “like the Europeans in 19th century Africa, the colonizers,  who saw nothing good about the continent.”

THE IMPLICATION

According to a United Nations 2017 report, there are at least 1.24 million migrants from Nigeria in the Diaspora but that this figure is likely to be higher in 2018 and 2019 with the recent trend in migration from Nigeria.

These include people who have done their basic and tertiary education in Nigeria but are unwilling to contribute their quota for the development of the country and have set their minds only on looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

These are people who have benefited from the free primary and basic education programmes of previous Nigerian governments, enjoyed various forms of scholarships at the tertiary levels and were treated with high respect and dignity and given choice appointments upon graduation from the universities.

These are the same set of people that have now turned their backs on the very country that gave them these opportunities.

So, as these Nigerians who benefited from the Nigerian system continue in their hate campaigns, the damages they’re doing to the well being of the country is better imagined.

By their actions and comments, they have discouraged many investors from coming into Nigeria as they exaggerate the security situation in the country and underreport the success made in the fight against insecurity.

Unfortunately, their comments influence other unsuspecting citizens not to believe in themselves but begin to think that nothing good can come out of Nigeria and that the only way they can make it is to escape to other countries.

They have encouraged corruption in the public sevice because people who are reading them have come to believe that the only way they can make it is tosteal from the public till and send their children to schools abroad no matter the cost even as Nigeria offers better opportunities in that regard.

The utterances and actions of these Nigerians in the Diaspora has stalled the growth of public institutions in Nigeria as their self hate sermons has encouraged a lackadaisical attitude towards everything the country represents.

Worse still, it has encouraged enemies of the Nigerian State like the Boko  Haram terrorists, insurgents and other economic saboteurs to continue to wreak havoc on the country in the misguided belief that they share common passion with Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Their attitude has also served to dampen the morale of security agencies who are in the field putting their lives on the line to secure the country as troops go home with the belief that they’re not appreciated.

THE ROLE OF NIDCOM

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which was created to provide for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and for the purpose of utilising the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development has unfortunately allowed itself to be used by these see -nothing -good -about-Nigeria set of Nigerians.

Rather than adhere strictly to its role of fostering development, NIDCOM has now become the refinery for the processing of crude but scathing criticisms and all forms of negativism against Nigeria.

The Commission, rather than insist on the positive aspect of its role is lending itself to the projection of negative images about Nigeria and this is most unfortunate.

THE WAY OUT

NIDCOM must be called to order and reminded of its fundamental objectives of harnessing our human resources for good and not for the destruction of Nigeria.

It should not allow itself to be used by self-seekng opportunists to paint the country in bad light.

If the Commission refuses to fall in line, it should be restructured and reconstituted to allow only those with passion to develop the country come on board as the Commission has failed by becoming an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interest of the entire country.

Nigerians in the Diaspora on the other hand, should focus on researches that would facilitate development in Nigeria in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine and not jusy to be regurgitating worn out political theories that have become stale and are no longer applicable in the new world order.

They should be making remittances home not just to build hotels and mansions in their villages for camping young girls but to build industries for the employment of youths.

Nothing stops Nigerians in the Diaspora from building basic infrastructure like schools and hospitals to complement what the government is doing.

They should also use their various positions abroad to project Nigeria as an emerging world economy to woo foreign investors and they should stop magnifying the country’s challenges as there is no nation without challenges.

Finally, we call on Nigerians in the Diaspora to in the words of Prof. Falola remember that, “You are supposed to empower your people, not destroy them. Statements to uplift and upgrade are different from statements to ridicule. We all criticise, even we criticise family members, but not that we want to push them to the mouth of the lion.”

Thank you.

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