Friday, 20 January 2012
Video: Nigerian Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri SNUBS COUNTRIES ANTHEM!
Efforts by the Consul General in New York, Mr. Habib Baba Habu, to plead with the protesters failed as they insisted that every Nigerian should be ashamed of the state of the nation and demanded that the minister and her entourage should stay at home and do the right thing for the nation.
The protest, which lasted for close to two hours, later attracted a team of officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD), who came into the hall to ensure that the situation did not degenerate.
Shortly after their arrival, the situation was brought under control as the the protesters walked out of the hall, with some of them explaining the situation in Nigeria to the NYPD officers.
The meeting however proceeded at about 9pm with the former Ambassador to Austria, Jerry Ugowke, who was on the minister's entourage, pleading with the people to pardon their late arrival and attributed it to flight delay and the high traffic from the airport to the hotel.
He said the protesters were not wrong for expressing their displeasure with the state of the nation, but added that they should have allowed the meeting to proceed after a while so that others could also have opportunity to express their opinion on the state of the nation.
In her own remarks, Onwuliri said as a mother and grand mother, she understood the pains of young Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the state of the nation.
She added that as a former member of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), she was not new to protest, and could also be described as an activist for good governance, though now in government.
She pleaded with Nigerians in US to give President Goodluck Jonathan a chance to bring Nigeria out of the woods, arguing that only constructive criticisms and popular support could help the present administration succeed in tackling the problems confronting the nation.
She said she was in US to feel the pulse of the people and to also brief them on the situation at home, adding that she would return home to brief the President on how they felt and the suggestions offered.
The minister and Ugokwe later took time to respond to the plethora of questions asked by the participants. (Thisday-Nigeria)
Kayode Ogundamisi is a commentator on Nigerian and international affairs, he was involved in the Nigerian pro-democracy struggle, Ogundamisi survived a trumped up charge of treasonable offence against the military government of General Babangida, he was detained in Jos prison in 1991 and released after intensive local and international campaigns against the government charging him and 12 other students before a military tribunal. Ogundamisi was a frontline member of the National Association of Nigerian Student and a former secretary general of the the University of Jos Students Union in Nigeria and the O'dua Peoples Congress.