For the first time, Liberians living in Nigeria will gather to unite under one umbrella organization when they converge on the Eastern Nigerian city of Onitsha.
According to a press release issued by the Liberians in Diaspora Nigeria the group will use the observance of their country’s 169th Independence Day in Nigeria’s Anambra State to adopt an already reviewed constitution.
The release adds that the Liberians will also elect their first corps of officials to steer them under the new national umbrella association during a two-day event slated for July 29-30, 2016.
According to the press release, the Onitsha event follows a convention held in late February 2016 when delegates from various state chapters of the Nigerian Federation gathered in the commercial city of Lagos. The delegates at the time, among other things, constituted an Interim
Management Team (IMT), which is eventually leading them to the adoption of a constitution and holding of the elections.
According to Mr. Daoda Kanneh, the Secretary of the IMT, the constitutional review process came to an end in June 2016, when representatives from the Northern, Western and Eastern Regions converged on the city of Minna, Niger State, where they harmonized the regional versions into
one document that is now awaiting adoption during the pending Onitsha Convention.
The constitutional review committee is headed by Cllr. E. Boakai Harvey.
The Northern Region consists of Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and Plateau State Chapters. The State Chapters of Lagos and Ogun constitute the Western Region while Anambra and other eastern states make up the Eastern Region.
Already, ahead of the Onitsha National Convention, a seven-man electoral committee headed by Archie Delaney has released the notice of elections and timelines as well as electoral guidelines and procedures for the event.
The Electoral Committee hopes to have nine posts occupied during the Convention: National President; National Vice President for Administration; National Vice President for Gender and Social Welfare; National Secretary General; National Treasurer; National Financial Secretary; National
Assistant Secretary; National Public Relations Officer; and National Religious Officer.
At the same time, to ensure a successful event, the IMT has set up five other committees. They include the Central Planning; Publicity & Mobilization; Hospitality/Accommodation; Fundraising; and Entertainment Committees.
The Liberian Diaspora Community in Nigeria is one of the largest Liberian Diaspora groups outside Liberia. A fourteen-year civil war in Liberia spurred thousands of Liberians into other countries, including Nigeria. Thousands in this part of the world had since returned home following the end of the civil war in 2003, while hundreds more opted to integrate into the Nigerian society following the end of their refugee status.
ONITSHA IN BRIEF: Onitsha, located in Anambra State, is the biggest river port city in Nigeria. It is located on the western bank of the majestic Niger River and faces its sister town, Asaba, the capital of neighboring Delta State. Onitsha is an economic hub strategically located on the eastern bank of the river across the Niger Bridge. It has a population of more than half a million people, according to a 2002 statistics. Igbo is the main indigenous Nigerian language.