The Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, has told Nigerians in the Diaspora to rekindle their love for the country as it turns 60.
The advice comes as analysts question whether there is really anything to celebrate in the face of myriad challenges facing the nation.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria in New York, Okoyen countered the cynicism, saying there were many reasons for Nigerians to celebrate.
One of the reasons, according to him, is the country’s rich stock of human resources that cut across all fields of endeavours.
He said that all over the world, Nigerians are making their nation proud in science and technology, medicine, the arts, sports, business and public service, among others.
“In celebrating Nigeria at 60, what first comes to my mind is the country’s enormous human resources, which are making her proud in the world.
“Our success story will not be complete without the numerous contributions of our Diaspora population, especially those in the United States
“We are proud of their dynamism, their resourcefulness and their resilience.
“For instance, Nigerian medical professionals and other essential workers formed part of the workforce in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 here in the United States”
He advised Nigerians in the Diaspora to strive harder in their service to their fatherland “with greater love, strength, faith and hope for better days ahead”.
The envoy also urged his compatriots to rise above their religious and ethnic differences and stay united to move their country forward.
“They should continue to see themselves as ambassadors of their country and shun acts capable of tarnishing their individual and national image.
“I urge them to avoid unhealthy criticism and negative comments about their country and be the change that they want to see.
“The President Muhammadu Buharri administration is investing massively in infrastructure to lay a solid foundation for our development.
“In spite of the current challenges of nation building, Nigerians should remain hopeful. They should continue to support developmental efforts back home,’’ Okoyen said.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Silas Nwoha