2018: Unity Of Purpose

2018: Unity Of Purpose

Posted on: 2016-12-31 03:09:25

On behalf of the National Executive Council, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) in 2017.

We achieved remarkable growth and success. It is therefore with great pleasure that I reflect on some of the key highlights of 2017.

Firstly, we witnessed the deepening of core democratic values enshrined in our constitution through the successful electoral process which brought in the new leadership of the union. The smooth and peaceful transition is a reflection of the cordial respect and dignity exemplified by the outgoing and incoming NUSA office holders.

Secondly, we expanded our ward structures remarkably across South Africa. The expansion was championed by our desire to connect and engage with all members of the Nigerian community in South Africa.

Also, we launched NUSA’s Legal Help Desk (012 770 4440). The Legal Help Desk provides free legal assistance/ counselling to Nigerians in South Africa with the goal of addressing legal issues commonly affecting Nigerians. It tackles issues such as police brutality, unlawful arrests, extra-judicial killings, systematic discrimination and immigration challenges. Our Help Desk which will be operational from February will also provide information on internship opportunities within Companies owned by Nigerian entrepreneurs in SA for our undergraduates.

However, our highlights were unfortunately accompanied by tragic lowlights in the country.

In 2017, some Nigerian families and their properties were severely affected by xenophobic attacks throughout South Africa. These ongoing criminal attacks on foreign Nationals , Nigerians in this regard, in South Africa pose a significant threat to the lives of our community members. However, we assure you that NUSA is working tirelessly and cooperating with both South African and Nigerian government agencies to address this and many other issues affecting our community across the nine provinces.

We were also affected by the aftermath of ongoing criminal activities carried out by a number of Nigerians in South Africa. Although it is a handful of Nigerians who engage in criminal activities, our reputation as a nationality continues to suffer significantly due to this issue. The actions of these people who are not law abiding continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes and create false perceptions of Nigerians. This is disturbing and continues to concern us as an organisation.

To all law abiding Nigerians, we applaud you. We would also like to appeal to all Nigerians to abide by the law of the host community and encourage others to desist from all forms of crime.

Thank you to all those who contributed their resources towards the advancement of NUSA in 2017. Financial and non-financial resources are important for us to achieve our organisational goals. The lack of resources has significantly affected the implementation of a number of NUSA's people-oriented programmes. We therefore humbly appeal for your support, collaboration and cooperation in generating resources for NUSA's people-oriented programmes for 2018 and beyond.

As the President of NUSA, I assure you that we are actively prioritising issues that matter to our community. NUSA has declared 2018 as the year of 'unity of purpose'. In this spirit, I urge each and every one of us to identify and nurture the values that bind us together as a people and resolve our differences amicably.

As a people-centered organisation, we pledge to continue to respond to urgent situations affecting Nigerians across the country and to follow-up on such cases until justice is served.

Meanwhile, the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship programme launched during the inauguration of the National Executive Council in November will be vigorously pursued for the collective good of our countrymen who desperately need financial and non-financial assistance. Plans are underway to also intensify the frequency of our various town hall meetings across South Africa. This is where we hear the yearnings and cries from Nigerians in South Africa. We promise to keep our ears open and our hands working on the ground. The charity arm of NUSA called 'Nigeria Cares' will receive special attention before the end of the first quarter of this year for the benefit of those in need amongst us ( Both Nigerians and our host community).

Paying attention to the needs of Nigerians in South Africa should top the list of our government representatives. We call on the Nigerian High Commission, Pretoria and Consulate General, Johannesburg to be proactive to our communal demands; to actively prioritize the needs of Nigerians in South Africa. We shall continue to give our unflinching support to Nigerian government representatives in South Africa especially when the interest of the average Nigerian is protected. We shall equally object to steps and decisions which are capable of bringing hardship to the people.

It is our responsibility as representatives of the people to ensure that favorable decisions are made on their behalf. Meanwhile, our diplomats/Government representatives must also be aware of divisive elements within our community whose modus operandi is to spread propaganda against hardworking community leaders. These lazy antagonists are political jobbers who are only out to benefit from a divided community. We urge officials of government not to accommodate views and opinions that further polarize us.

I would also like to humbly encourage all Nigerians across South Africa to please join and participate in the community policing forums in their areas. We all need to help our communities to fight crime as criminal activities affects everybody.

You can also contribute to the empowerment of your community by organising charity drives and skill transfer sessions. NUSA will support such initiatives with our resources. In 2018, I will like to also urge our people to live moderately, cut extravagant expenses especially on partying and undue attention but rather seek opportunities in investments.

The main goal for us as the foremost community organisation for Nigerians in South Africa, is to foster unity across the different socio-cultural and political groups of Nigerians. We are committed to supporting programmes and organisations which seek to address the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters in South Africa. I urge you all to remain united and to embrace each other's differences. Commit to celebrating your fellow countrymen both in person and online. Let us concentrate our efforts to the initiatives that will benefit all of us as a people and not forget our country, Nigeria. Those who have the means to register to vote during the next General elections in Nigeria must do so. We are committed in our quest and pressure on various government structures for the actualization of diaspora voting.

On behalf of the National Executive Council of NUSA, I wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2018.

Hon. Adetola Olubajo
Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA)