Nigerians in the city of Newark, the largest city in the State of New Jersey gathered in the county City Hall, piping a swelling rendition of Nigeria’s national anthem as the community celebrates Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary with a flag-raising ceremony.
The event was graced by Consul-General Ben Okoyen; Newark’s Deputy Mayor, Ligia De Freitas, and many Nigerian-Americans living in the city of Newark and New York.
Consul-General Ben Okoyen
The flag-raising has been a tradition of friendship between Nigeria and Newark, according to Okoyen.
“We are happy the Nigerian flag is being hoisted everywhere in the city in recognition of Nigerians’ contribution to the community,” the Consul-General said.
“We will continue to keep this friendship. We are grateful to the county.”
Newark’s Deputy Mayor, Ligia De Freitas
The deputy Mayor noted that the Nigerians make the largest African community in the Diaspora in the city, and have contributed to its economy.
“Business-wise, Nigerians own some of the largest stores and different kinds of businesses in Newark,” she said when asked the specific contributions of Nigerians.
“They also hold higher positions like lawyers, engineers, doctors, directors, and others.”
The Chairman of Nigerian In the Diaspora, NIDO, New Jersey, Kazeem Bello, who honored Nigerians for their contribution in the city, said the event was to celebrate efforts toward nation-building that ultimately delivered the promise and dividends for the benefit of citizens.
Nigeria celebrates its independence October 1, and counties in the United States are beginning to join Nigerians in the Diaspora to celebrate the anniversary in way bigger than just flag raising.
New Jersey set the pace when it partner with We Lead International, a pan-African NGO, to celebrate the last October 1 ceremony.
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The President Trump said Nigeria is among the United States’ strongest partners in Africa and both share common goals of expanding trade and growing both nation’s economic relationship.
The statement adds that as allies in the global battle against terrorism, the U.S. wants to see Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa driven out of the region and other insurgencies like them dismantled.
The United States also welcomes efforts by the present administration to diversify opportunities for talented, creative, and hardworking people to the benefit of both Nigeria and the rest of the world.
The statement further said Trump is pleased that following the meeting between both leaders last year, the vice presidents of Nigeria and the United States are also building on the longstanding history of cooperation.