— Amb. Conteh urges Liberians in Nigeria
Liberia’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria has cautioned his compatriots to “remember the road that leads [them] home.” He drew his admonition from a strong patriotic message from the popular song by South African singer Master KG and vocal powerhouse Zanda Zakuza.
Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh advised Liberians in the Nigerian Diaspora to remain law-abiding, and not to forget to contribute positively to Liberia, their homeland. “So I am drawing my message from that popular song of the South African singer Master KG and vocal powerhouse Zanda Zakuza that says, ‘Remember the road that leads you home,’” he said.
A release from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria says the Liberian envoy made the special appeal during a recent joint celebration of Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day as welll as Flag Day held in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
Organized by the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria (OLICON) as its Fourth Annual National Convention, the joint celebration was held on Saturday, August 24, 2019 under the theme, “Unity, The Key to Sustaining our Community.”
OLICON is a non-governmental and non-political organization that brings together all Liberians residing in Nigeria for the purpose of fostering unity, solidarity and to coordinate efforts towards the general and personal development of Liberians in Nigeria, the release said.
Amb. Conteh also briefed scores of Liberians about current developments back home under the leadership of President George Weah.
“Such include President Weah Administration’s efforts in consolidating peace and stability such that a new generation of children are growing up without hearing the sound of guns,” Conteh said.
He then congratulated the president and officials of OLICON for their 4th Annual Convention and in uniting Liberians in the 36 states of Nigeria towards a common cause, the release added.
He said that the commemoration of the Convention, coinciding with National Flag Day in Liberia, is a true mark of patriotism as the flag is one of Liberia’s national integrative symbols.
Amb. Conteh: “I commend you, Liberians in Nigeria, for being law-abiding. The Embassy has not received a single case of any Liberian violating the laws of Nigeria. I advise you to remain law-abiding and not to forget to contribute positively to Liberia, your homeland.”
Dr. Omar Abdallah Dukuly, an associate professor of Arts and Social Science Education at the Federal College of Education in Kaduna State, delivered the keynote address. He applauded Liberians residing both at home and in the diasporas for making meaningful progress in their lives.
According to the release, Dr. Dukuly recalled that about 15 to 25 years ago, most Liberians living in Nigeria were completely depending on individuals or groups of individual Nigerians for scholarship, food, shelter, clothes and so forth.
“Today, we are giving back to the Nigerian society what they gave us some years back. Skilled and semi-skilled Liberian professionals are spread all over Nigeria, giving their all to the society. During this year’s Liberia’s Independence Day celebration (July 26), the Liberian Community in Abuja visited a general hospital and donated various items of need to less privileged patients. A similar gesture was done by the Niger State Chapter of the Liberian Community here in Nigeria at an orphanage center,” he said.
Dr. Dukuly also provided several approaches of sustaining unity and how it can be realized and implemented: “The first approach is by helping one another. Being concerned about other people’s emotional and material needs sustains bonds of unity and brotherhood. Giving benefit of the doubt is another means of sustaining unity. We don’t know others until we wear their shoes. Criticism against Plateau State will be better handled if we can listen to them. We can keep our family together if we focus on the positive things our spouses and children do.”
He then cited Rwanda as a good example of where crisis threatened nationhood: “Yet with determination the leaders and people have been able to build a nation to achieve significant development. It is generally known more by the civil war of the 1960s and genocide of 1994 and its ability to deal with the consequences.”
Daodo Kanneh, president of OLICON, described as “remarkable” progress being made by the Liberian organization. Among them are the empowerment of its members and consolidation on the creation of database of Liberians within the borders of Nigeria as well as buttressing the Liberian Embassy’s efforts to promote Liberia-Nigeria relations.
At the same time, Her Majesty, Mariam Bright Ateke Fibionumama (Olari-Odo 1) of Abuloma Kingdoms Rivers State, was elected on the OLICON Board of Trustees. She was welcomed on the Board and presented by the chairman of the Board, Amb. Conteh.