NIGERIA’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom Ambassador George Oguntade has inaugurated the Nigeria at 60 UK planning committee and tasked it with the responsibility of organising a memorable event when the festivities take place in October.
On October 1, Nigeria will be celebrating 60 years as an independent nation and the federal government will be marking the occasion with a series of activities. Not wanting to be left out, the UK diaspora has decided to organise a number of events in conjunction with the high commission to celebrate Nigerian culture too.
In a process spearheaded by the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) and supported by Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (Nido), UK community leaders decided to create a 50-man planning committee. Yesterday, the committee was officially sworn-in by Ambassador Oguntade after presentations by the Canuk and Nido chairman Dr Boma Douglas and Chibuzo Ubochi.
Six sub-committees have been created to organise the event and heads of these committees were announced yesterday. They include Anthony Ajiduah (sponsorship), June Douglas (protocol), Bunmi Mustapha (hospitality), Ayo Oyebade (Finance), Priscilla Nwikpo (publicity) and Ronke Udofia and Ayo Akinfe (events management), while the former chairman of the Nigerian Council of Elders (NCE), Chief Adebayo Oladimeji, will serve as the chief adviser for the project.
Among the community leaders who graced yesterday’s event were the mayor of Enfield Councillor Kate Anolue, who will serve on the protocol sub-committee. Some of the committee members travelled from as far as Wales and Manchester to attend the event, as the organisers wanted it to represent the whole of the Nigerian community in the UK.
Dr Douglas said that the idea was not just to represent all Nigerian communities in the UK but to also reflect the diverse cultures and make-up of Nigeria. He added that the event, which will have a gala dinner as its highlight will seek to portray Nigerian culture and sell the country as she celebrates her 60th birthday.
Among the committee members who were present yesterday include Dayo Olomu, Dapo Williams, Doyin Owoeye, Euphemia Chukwu, Patrick Obidoyin, Aqueen Ibeto, Juliet Benson, Seye Aina, Margaret Fadeyi, Tina Onyia, Victoria Fasan, Josephine Agukwe, Adeyinka Tella, Margaret Bosher and Ayan de First. Also in attendance was the current chairman of the NCE Chief Sylvester Okonkwo, Dr Victoria Oladimeji, former mayor of Enfield Councillor Patricia Ekechi, Agatha Ewruje, Yetunde Adeshile, Abbey Akinoshun, Omusa Ohyoma, Sheryl Coker and Uche Kay.
Ambassador Oguntade charged committee members to carry out the tasks they have undertaken diligently, promising that the high commission is fully behind them. Following the successful inauguration, the committee’s first job will be to draw up a programme of events, after which it will seek sponsorship to fund them.