NIGERIANS in the Greater London borough of Essex have elected interim officials to run the affairs of the newly-formed body put together to harmonise their interests and represent them within the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk).
Titled Nigerians in Community Essex (Nice), the organisation held its inaugural meeting yesterday with a pledge to represent the interests of all Nigerians living in Essex. In addition, the association nominated interim officials, put together a constitution drafting committee and passed a resolution committing its executive committee to joining Canuk, among other things.
At the inaugural meeting which held virtually, Councillor Yetunde Adeshile, was elected as interim president, broadcaster Priscilla Nwikpo was elected as acting vice president, while IT consultant Bukola Olofinjana was elected interim secretary. General practitioner Dr Chucks Ukpaka was elected patron, Kayode Alateshi was elected as interim welfare officer and financial consultant Felix Achonu was elected acting treasurer.
Attended by the Canuk chairman Ayo Akinfe, the meeting also put together a constitution drafting committee chaired by the former mayor of Thurrock Councillor Tunde Ojetola. Other members of the committee include Pastor Olutayo Thomas, Kenny Adegbite and Dr Arinola Araba.
Mr Akinfe said: “Essex is one country where we have thousands of Nigerians all doing well and climbing up the social ladder. Having Nice within Canuk will be a big boost for us as it will enable us to showcase the achievements of our people, as well show that Canuk can reach out to every nook and cranny of the country.
“On October 1, we welcomed several Nigerian associations into Canuk as part of our independence day celebrations, including the Nigerian Community in Greenwich and the Nigerian Community in Surrey & Sussex. On December 17, we will be holding an end-of-the-year party, where we will be looking to welcome another set of organisations, including Nice.”
Councillor Adeshile added that once the constitution-drafting committee has completed its job, the document will be submitted to the general house for approval. She added that once this is done, the association will hold elections to fill all the positions substantively in accordance to the provisions of the constitution.
Ms Nwikpo stressed that with the constitution of this body, all Nigerians living in Essex now have a central focal point around which they can congregate. She added that this will help the process of speaking with one voice, pointing out that at events like the forthcoming Canuk dinner on December 17, Nice could book one table for instance, rather than members booking seats individually.