President Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to eschew ethnic profiling and discrimination, asserting that all Nigerians are “a single family.”
Mr Tinubu is infamous for playing the ethnic card in his ambitious political campaigns before emerging as the president of Nigeria, suggesting there was a gang-up to stop him with his infamous “emi lokan” outburst in Ogun.
Mr Tinubu rallied Nigerians to unite and stop ethnic profiling at a town hall meeting with Nigerians in the diaspora on Wednesday in New York.
“You ought to embrace one another. No labelling, no identity; you should remove ethnic identity that tends to differentiate us. We are one single family, living in the same house but living in different rooms,” said Mr Tinubu.
The president, however, expressed delight in the conduct of Nigerians who have continued to excel abroad.
“You are lucky to be among those who are celebrated for good manners and behaviour and are operating in an acceptable manner. I’m very proud of you,” Mr Tinubu told his audience. “I have also been a beneficiary of inspiration, determination, commitment and perseverance, and that is all you need to get to pull through.”
NiDCOM chairwoman Abike Dabiri-Erewa introduced some Nigerians excelling in the U.S. to the president.
Some of them who spoke expressed their delight in the leadership courage of Mr Tinubu, pledging to continue to support him in his efforts to reform Nigeria. They promised that they would continue to make Nigeria proud in their host country and contribute their quota to Nigeria’s development.
The first Nigerian-American elected into the United States Congress, Oye Owolewa, said 25 per cent of business orders in the U.S. were black and 1.7 per cent got federal contracts.
Mr Owolewa, who represents Washington DC, said they had been supporting people to take advantage ot such opportunities for economic empowerment.
“Those are the opportunities to make investors biggest in New York. In my office, we do the talk, we teach our people how to get contracts, we teach our people how to get grants,” added Mr Owolewa.
A Nigerian-American, Olufunmilola Obe, an inspector working in the New York Police Department (NYPD), briefed Mr Tinubu on her efforts to make Africa, especially Nigeria, proud in her office.
She told Tinubu that she was the coordinator of an African Law Enforcement Organisation, an association within the NYPD, as vice-president.
Ms Obe is the first African ever to be promoted to inspector in the history of NYPD.