By Chioma Gabriel
TOP Nigerian professionals in the medical, legal, finance and other fields recently gathered in Las Vegas, United States, to discuss the state of the Nigerian nation and the way forward, as the 2019 general elections draw closer.
They also discussed how they can contribute to the imminent turn-around of Africa’s most populous nation.
The event was hosted by Dr. Chinyere Okeke, Medical Director at Grand Desert Medical Services in Las Vegas at her palatial home in the Summerlin suburb of the city, when Hon. Sam Egu, the Assistant Director (South East) of the Atiku Campaign Organisation visited last weekend.
The guest speaker at the event, Hon Greg Egu stressed the importance of diaspora Nigerians, whose financial remittances have been the major back bone of many projects back home.
Addressing the Diaspora Nigerians, he said, “ Your influence on the people you support with money back home is a major asset since you can easily influence more people back home to vote for the candidates you believe in, with the projects you put in place.”
Some of the burning issues on the minds of the diaspora Nigerian professionals bothered on re-structuring of Nigeria, free and fair 2019 elections, turning the economy around and voting rights for Nigerians in the diaspora.
He said:“His Excellency Atiku Abubakar has been favourable to the restructuring of Nigeria.
“As a northerner and businessman with interest in many states across the country, he is one of the most liberal politicians in Nigeria. His clamour for restructuring dates back to 2003. He understands the need for more states to develop its resources instead of waiting for monthly allocations from Abuja”
Egu emphasised that this system is working perfectly in the US, where the states and counties are in charge of education, agriculture, power and others, while the federal government is saddled with few things like security, customs, immigration, interventions and a few others.
“The northwest politicians have always been the ones who instigate this opposition for restructuring by the north,” continued Egu.
“But a good leader will further educate them on the many positive gains the devolution of power from the centre to the operating units will bring in a proper federal system.
“Atiku intends to reach out to all the stake holders from the moment he gets into office. He believes that is a legacy he will leave for Nigeria for ever”
For Chief John Anozie, a top Las Vegas pharmacist, “the issue of passing a bill to allow the millions of Nigerian nationals in the diaspora to vote at Nigerian embassies across the world is very important.”
He said: “ From statistics, Nigerians in the diaspora contribute about 20 per cent to the GDP, through the billions of dollars remittances to family, friends, businesses, etc. So, it is imperative that this is recognised by allowing us to participate in choosing the leaders through voting. “This issue was discussed in the past with former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and the current Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri when they visited Las Vegas last year but nothing has come out of it so far.”