DIASPORA body the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) has just elected a new executive committee to conduct its affairs for the next two years at its annual general meeting with journalist Ayo Akinfe voted in as its new chairman.
At Canuk’s first ever virtual annual general meeting (AGM), the executive committee of Dr Boma Douglas was dissolved and the new officials were sworn-in by the representative of the high commissioner. After a gruelling contest, Mr Akinfe, the editor of community newspaper Nigerian Watch beat academic Dr Kohol Iornem by 40 votes to 22 to become the new chairman.
Other members of the executive committee elected include Jumoke Ariyo as first vice chair, Chris Agbai as second vice chair, Titi Danso as general secretary and Princess Christian-Iwuagwu as financial secretary. Doyin Oweye is the new social secretary with Toyin Balogun as her assistant, Moradeun Adedoyin-Solarin becomes publicity secretary with Mohammed Yiosese as her assistant, while Judy Akuta has been elected welfare secretary with Mary Adekugbe as her assistant.
No candidates stood for the positions of treasurer, legal adviser and assistant secretary, so the new executive committee will have to co-opt officials into these offices. Over the next week, the executive committee is expected to fill these and then begin addressing the plethora of challenges facing the UK diaspora.
Mr Akinfe said: “I will like to thank everyone for the huge massive support they have given me and the members of my executive committee. We have given a two year mandate to address a wide range of problems, with the delay in passport applications and issuance being the biggest challenge.
“Canuk was founded as an umbrella body for all Nigerian associations in the UK and it is now our challenge to attract as many of them as possible. We are going to reach out to all kind of associations including alumni bodies, state-based associations, regional UK bodies and special interest groups to get them to join Canuk.”
One of the first things the new executive committee will do is to meet with the newly-appointed high commissioner Alhaji Ishola Sharafa. Among the other matters Canuk’s new executive committee will have to address are diaspora voting, reaching out to the regions of the UK, youth knife crime and providing services for Nigerians with immigration issues.