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Nigerians in Sierra Leone celebrate heritage

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The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada has said that the world will never respect Africa until Nigerians earn their respect adding that the black race across the world is looking up to Nigeria to be the source of their pride and confidence.

Quoting the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Dr. Ugbada said every Nigerian citizen should and must be made to understand this truth.

The High Commissioner made this statement among others when he was addressing his compatriots at an annual outdoor red carpet exhibition to showcase Nigerian culture and celebrate the first anniversary of his diplomatic sojourn to Sierra Leone at the Nigerian High Commission in Freetown, on Wednesday 21, November 2018.

The event, which was the first of its kind in Sierra Leone, was organised in collaboration with the Arewa chapter of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO),

“No strategy could be better than the integration of people within a nation or continent,. Democracy and good governance thrives on those principles. Nigeria has great potentials to be the key driver for the actualisation of the dream in the African continent”.

H.E. Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone 

Speaking on behalf of the Fourah Bay Community in Sierra Leone, an area that is settled by people who are largely of Nigerian descent, Professor Abdul Babatunde Karim said that during the 17th century, the worst international abuse of human rights and dignity occurred, mainly perpetrated by the Americans and British.

Professor Karim said the freed slaves who had already lost their identity, culture and heritage were repatriated to Sierra Leone and settled in central Freetown.

He narrated that most of the recaptives were of Nigerian descent belonging to the Yoruba, Igbo and Akan ethnicity; hence most of the Krio villages around Freetown have settlements with Nigerian names.

He said the recaptives were never forgot their heritage but remained together and held on to their religious beliefs, culture and tradition.

In his presentation, President of NIDO, Ernest Udeh, said the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which he referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, is one of the oldest countries in Africa, comprising 36 states and one Federal Capital Territory. He said Nigeria, is the 8th most populous country in the world and the most populated in Africa, with a population of over 186 million inhabitants.

He concluded that the occasion was a demonstration that they were a race that could sharpen the affairs of the world, be it in politics, entertainment and academia, and that they were at the threshold of reaching their glorious destiny adding that the gathering was a sign of unionism among Nigerians in Sierra Leone.

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