By Chris Onuoha
As Nigeria celebrates its 60th independence anniversary, obviously marked in a low key, as a result of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, citizens, both at home and in diaspora still have cause to remarkably appreciate God’s mercy for life.
While some Nigerians seized the opportunity to reflect on many issues bothering the socio-economic challenges in the country such as the economic downturn, social disturbances and hyped crime rate, other Nigerians in diaspora, passionate about reaching out and enhancing the lives of people, embarked on intervention, acclaimed to be worth commending.
African Foodbank and Disaster Relief Foundation, a Nongovernmental organisation based in Texas, USA and founded by a Nigerian, Sir Andrew Okokhere, in collaboration with a broadcast station, Afrocentrik Radoio/ TV also owned by a Nigerian, embarked on a food relief distribution held on October 3, 2020 at the city of Oakmond, Houston to mark the Nigeria independent anniversary.
The event attracted high placed personalities and some influential people in the US government who magnanimously shared the dream of impacting lives with the organisers. They include the Mayor of Houston, Honourable Sylvester Turner; Mayors of Atlanta and Dallas who not only identified with the noble cause of the organisers but also participated in distributing foods to people to show their solidarity and other notable individuals that participated.
In a statement made available to Vanguard to this effect, Sir Andrew Okokhere, the founder and Chief Executive of Africa FoodBank and Disaster Relief Foundation said; “We celebrated the Nigerian independence in style, we hosted Americans in the city of Houston where we distributed food and other life helping materials to people who drove in and collected. The most inspiring moment of this particular event was when the Mayor of city of Houston, Honourable Sylvester Turner folded his sleeve shirt and helped in distributing packaged items to the people. He did mention that as an African American himself, he is more related to Africans and always identify with their cause. He also promised that whatever that will be done to bring peace, harmony and progress in the city of Houston by the African Community, he will be ready to identify with it.”
Sir Okokhere, in response to the Mayor’s speech stated that doors of unity must be opened for African Americans for the minorities in America to compete with others communities. He also noted that a place has been earmarked in the city of Badagry Lagos for such initiative to actualise. He called on African Americans and Africans living in diaspora to come back to the land of their ancestral root, Badagry to connect with brothers and sisters, and also open doors of unity, economic and social harmony including opportunities for tourism exploration in Badagry land, Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Mayor Sylvester Tuner has promised to visit the Greatland Resort at Iworo town, Badagry where a monument of Freedom has been erected for African Americans to connect with their people in Africa. Prior to this, Sir Okohere has promised to make the resort a sort of home to everybody who is African in both spirit and physical. He also promised to launch “Mr. Froggy,” at the resort soon, a mascot that will carry the banner of food distribution channel for Africans in need, while appealing to well meaning personalities in Africa and Nigeria in particular to identify with this noble cause, like giving back to the needy in Africa project, which he will launch alongside with the “Mr. Froggy” mascot.