The Federal Government, according to President Muhammadu Buhari, will actively protect and defend the rights of law-abiding citizens in the diaspora.
President Buhari gave the pledge at a meeting with Nigerians living in Spain on the margins of his three-day state visit.
The diaspora team that met with Buhari included President of the association, John Bosco, his deputy, Richard Omoregbe, Super Eagles player Kenneth Omeruo, a football agent, Obinna Okafor, a student of Aviation, Mohammed Bashir, a student of Global Affairs, Segun Adedoyin, and businessman Bright Omorodion, according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Ades
‘‘We’ll continue to defend interests of all our law-abiding citizens abroad,’ President Buhari assured Nigerians in Spain in a statement.
“Many of you are here for different reasons,” President Buhari told the Nigerians in Spain, “some for a fulfilling career in sports, especially in football from where you earn respectable incomes to sustain yourselves as well as maintain your extended families in Nigeria including investments back home.”
“Some of you are engaged in other businesses that have enhanced your socio-economic status, both here and at home. More importantly, through your commitment to your various callings, you have enhanced the name and image of our country, thereby earning Nigeria’s respect in Spain.
“I have also been informed of how law-abiding you are here in Spain. I wish to encourage you to continue to be role models for our youth back home as well as sustain the image of being excellent Ambassadors of Nigeria in Spain and live peacefully in the various communities in which you reside here.”
““As I have always done whenever I am abroad, I wish to reassure all of you in Spain of the determination of the Federal Government of Nigeria to continue to remain engaged with our compatriots in the diaspora, for more purposeful partnerships that impact our country and people,” the President said, explaining why he established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.
“It is in the quest for actualising this objective that I established the Diaspora Commission to give focus to the management of this partnership that leads to a win-win situation for Nigeria, at home and abroad.”
He stated that Nigerians’ behavior overseas is critical because it defines their duties as ambassadors and boosters of the country’s image.
Buhari also encouraged them to contribute back to their communities through financial and non-financial efforts.
“As you perform this responsibility, I encourage you to embrace purposeful investments back home. Such assets can be financial or through your talents and skills, which can help mould and develop our youths.
“On the part of the Federal Government, Nigeria will continue to aggressively protect and defend the interests of all Nigerians abroad, especially the law-abiding compatriots,” he promised.
NiDCoM Chief, Dabiri-Erewa, Ministers of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, Ademola Seriki, and Special Assistant to the President on Sports, Daniel Amokachie are among the senior government officials present at the event.
President Buhari was gifted with a football and a shirt by Super Eagles player Kenneth Omeruo in recognition of the Nigerian leader’s support for sports, particularly the Super Eagles.