Nigerians, Africans In Diaspora Celebrate Nigeria At 58
Some Nigerians in diaspora reciting the national anthem and pledge

Nigerians were joined by citizens of other African countries and the United States to commemorate the 58th independence anniversary at the Hempstead town in New York.

According to reports, the event was also a moment of pride and recognition as the Nigerian flag was hoisted in Hempstead Town Hall to commemorate the day.

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The Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the hoisting of the Nigerian flag was an added achievement.

Okoyen said: “For us as Nigeria and Nigerians, it is very significant and symbolic that a community is identifying Nigeria because of her achievements and the achievements of her citizens that are resident in this community.

“It says a lot to us in Nigeria because Nigeria anywhere can do well. It is a proof to everyone of us to continue to be ourselves.

“We are respectable, we are resourceful, we are resilient, we are hardworking, we are industrious. Nigerians are one of the best in the world.

“So for this community to identify and single out Nigeria among all the African countries for the first to hoist our flag in the city hall, is an achievement added to our independence day.”

Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said the hoisting of the Nigerian flag started from a recommendation by a Liberian resident in the U.S, Prof. Elseah Chea.

“So it’s something that we need to do, that the first time that an African flag has flown here in the town of Hempstead and it is over 360 years old.

“There are some people who don’t understand but it did matter to me because we are all one.

“This town is composed of many different ethnic groups and as such they feel we should celebrate, and that’s why we’re doing it. It is important.

“You were under the leadership of the United Kingdom for years; Nigerian was founded over 500 years before Christ and it’s time that they were recognised for all that they give and all that they do.

“Nigerians are wonderful, wonderful people. So I’m very happy to be able to host this,” she said.

Goosby, who is the first African-American to have ever served on the Senior Council Board, said she probably could have some Nigerians in her lineage, owing to “the evil of slave trade”.

Speaking with NAN, Chea, a Liberian-American professor of English at Molloy College, Hempstead, New York, said his recommendation was borne out of appreciation to Nigeria’s sacrifice for Liberia.