The fact that, individuals and organisations; registered and unregistered, usually a handful of well-connected persons, have constituted nuisance in the Nigerian Diaspora affairs, is no longer news.
That these set of people continue to undermine the establishment of NIDO to cause incoherence with Diaspora input in national development and usually with active support of government officials is also stale news.
The new thing however, is the fact that, they have carried on with these nefarious activities with or without the tactical approval of NIDCOM and being the new level of low which must be addressed.
The Diaspora community is shocked that these individuals and group under different registered and unregistered Diaspora organizations are now running the Diaspora community policies or pretending to run same with or without the requisite approval of NIDCOM with impunity.
We can no longer continue to pretend that all is well, hoping that this will soon go away!
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) is the official organization facilitated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to represent the interest of all Nigerians in the Diaspora. These includes: NIDO Americas, NIDO Europe, NIDO Asia, NIDO Oceania and NIDO Africa as continental organizations. This is backed by an act of parliament of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Official Gazette No. 67, Vol.104, NIDCOM Act.
Therefore, it will be tantamount to a waste of time trying to justify the role of NIDO as defined by NIDCOM ACT in this write up or thereafter.
The Role of NIDO as enshrined in NIDCOM ACT is non-negotiable and cannot be underestimated considering the many years of conferences and brainstorming put into crafting the NIDCOM ACT.
Such debates should be left for those who pretend to speak on behalf of the leadership of NIDOCOM and NIDO without taking out time to read the 15 paged NIDCOM ACT.
For the concerned impostors; do well by reverting to: article 2. (1) a-(i-iii), article 2. b (i-ii) and C (i-vi) and pay extra attention to article 3 and article 8 (d), (g) and (h) of the act.
NIDO veterans and Diaspora stakeholders have been asking legitimate questions on why NIDCOM Board is yet to be constituted in line with its establishing act almost a year after its enactment and the subsequent appointment of the Commission Chairman?
Little wonder question of legality in the operation of the Commission with deficits in Board positions a year after its inauguration. What is the intent for not consummating the gazetted roles assigned to NIDO in the NIDCOM structure?
I reckon the structure was not made for fancy considering the painstaking efforts made by NIDO that got us to the NIDCOM Commission stage.
The answers to these questions are of course obvious for anybody interested in due process and transparency. NIDO was assigned Board positions in NIDCOM, in part to check such excesses where individuals with connections in high places will hijack Diaspora policies for activities not designed in the long interest of the Diaspora and Nigeria.
This as a matter of fact is the current state of NIDCOM which calls for alarm. Diasporas only read about or see flayers of Diaspora conferences and townhall meetings of all Diaspora activities with NIDCOM Chairman only on social media. We also read communique on pages of Newspapers without prior notice or proper consultation with Diaspora representatives.
This is outright improper and against the spirit of NIDCOM ACT, it is unacceptable to Nigerians in Diaspora and we say NO to this actions and inactions.
We call on Mr. President, the Vice President who is a distinguished Professor of Law, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairs National Assembly Committees on DIASPORA, Attorney General of the Federation and the Chairman of NIDCOM to not close their eyes to this potential troublesome development at the border of illegality.
As we face the global economic meltdown and the potential roles of the Diaspora in the post Covid-19 national development would be imperative. It is advisable that these matters be resolved before it escalates to a situation where NIDO as a group would resort to the legal interpretations of NIDCOM ACT.
Therefore, we hope that the post COVID-19 period will be the right moment for the leadership of NIDCOM to align with NIDO for coherence in galvanising Diaspora input in national development as enshrined in NIDCOM Act. NIDCOM needs an organized Diaspora as much as the Diaspora needs a legally constituted NIDCOM.
From inception, the NIDO constitution has made provisions for corporate membership which enables inclusiveness of all diaspora organisations to participate in the affairs of NIDO and homeland development.
There are also Nigerians in Diaspora Organizations Strategic Assembly which comprise NIDO leaders, as well as legally registered Diaspora organizations who regularly brainstorm on Diaspora and national issues as it concerns homeland development. This specifically demonstrates that the leadership of NIDO recognizes the need for all-inclusive coherence platform for galvanising the Diaspora for homeland development.
Our least expectation from the government of Nigeria or any of its agency is to support the development, rather than pitch tent with individuals; be it registered or not with no collective responsibility or answerable to the already set up Diaspora organisation.
On this note therefore, on behalf of NIDO continental entities, their relevant BOT and assemblies, I have taken it upon myself to dedicate my remaining term in office to advocate for the constitution of NIDCOM Board.
In line with this commitment, I hereby withdraw my nomination by the Board of Trustees (BOT) of NIDO Europe who duly and democratically nominated me to NIDCOM Board in line with NIDCOM ACT. This goes to show my intent in our bid to advocate this cause without fear or favour.
Hon. Kenneth Gbandi (M.P.S., U.P.A)