Friday, October 25, 2019 11:47 pm
The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Benaoyagha Okoyen, on Friday called on Nigerians abroad to refrain from demeaning public comments about their fatherland.
Okoyen made the call while delivering a keynote address at a flag raising ceremony to mark the 59th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria in Newark, New Jersey, United States.
According to him, people who disrespect their countries and leaders also get disrespected by witnesses of their unpatriotic attitude
He urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to think of how they could be solutions to the challenges facing their country, rather than dissipate time and energy lamenting and cursing.
“It is important for us to avoid unnecessary criticism of this country. When you criticise Nigeria, others will also criticise you as a person.
“Nigeria is the people, the government is the people, and the resources are for the people. So, it is important for us to know these facts.
“So, it is important that rather than dwell on criticisms of ourselves, we should look for solutions to our problems and contribute to developing our nation’’.
According to the envoy, there is need for Nigerians to be good ambassadors of their country, and continue to stand as a“ symbol of unity and development in different areas of life’’.
“We call on Nigerians in the Diaspora to also unite and support the economic, cultural and educational development efforts in Nigeria with greater strength and dedication.
“We must be ready to drive the process of a better Nigeria, never accepting defeat, and rejecting the stereotype and the humiliation from certain quarters that tends to paint Nigeria dark.
“It is not acceptable and that never defines us; don’t join that minority. Nigeria is too big for any single individual to bring down. Together we are moving forward,’’ he said.
The envoy also called on Nigerians in the United States to take advantage of investment opportunities in their host country so they could have the resources needed to support development efforts back at home.
He said the consulate remained committed to effective and efficient service delivery in the issuance of passports, visas and other travel documents, urging Nigerians to feel free to visit.
Okoyen, however, urged them to be patient while accessing the services of the consulate, subject themselves to due process and avoid third party service providers.
“ We have discovered that most people prefer to go through third parties in trying to access the services we render in the consulate. That is not advisable. Many people have fallen into wrong hands.
“Always use the official websites, email and office address. Apply directly for your passport and other services.
“We are saying this because of the experiences we are having, for those who want to bring our name down. Always do the right thing, and you will never be trampled upon by others,’’ he said.