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Nigerian-Canadians Celebrate 47th Anniversary

By  | 13 October 2007 at 04:43 | 918 views

On Saturday October 6th, 2007,Nigerians residing in Britsh Columbia, Canada celebrated their country’s 47th independence anniversary at the New Serbian Community Centre complex in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb.

The warm and colourful event was attended by many distinguished personalities including Nigerian High Commissioner Femi George, the member of parliament for Burnaby-New Westminster Peter Julian, The Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Burnaby-Edmonds Raj Chouhan and Burnaby city mayor Derek Corrigan.

Here is the speech delivered by the president of the Nigeria-Canada Development Association of British Columbia, Emmanuel Onukwulu, at the event which attracted hundreds of Nigerian-Canadians and other communities in the province:

"Welcome to our celebration of Nigeria’s 47th year of independence from colonial rule. We have to say both congratulations and a prayer for the new Yar’Adua’s government; that they would continue to move the country forward to a better place for the people. Why, you may say!!

It is because one of the richest countries in the world deserves to have a better life. Africa’s most populous country needs to show the proper leadership, as it has all the resources to be one of the greatest places on earth.

Yes, we say so, knowing our independence umbilical cord has not been severed.So we say, to those that profess our poverty and want to give us aid while allowing the wealth that we have to be stored in their economies in the guise of business, it is time to sever that umbilical cord and listen to us. Love your creation truly. My brothers and sisters, let us not continue to perpetuate legacies of chaos, poverty and severely stunted growth to our children, our people and Africa.

As for us, your elected executives,we will endeavor to do our part by expanding on the great work we have started. We will continue to develop programs to facilitate a cohesive and comprehensive cross cultural development between us, as Nigerian-Canadians or Nigerians in Canada and our neighbours from other cultural heritages. We will be developing more public relations events, summer adventure tours, and camps for the children and a series of annual events. All this will be possible with your support and participation. It is said that for one to effect a change,one must first be the change they seek. Lessons learnt, God willing,may serve as part of building a more caring and progressive society in our motherland, Nigeria.

Let us from today vouchsafe to sing our anthems with pride, awareness, knowledge, and understanding and a promise to make an effort to be good to ourselves,children and the unity of Nigeria for we are one people no matter what language we speak,or in what name we worship our Creator.

Let us celebrate a new beginning to a future full of light, caring, peace,justice and progress for all. Sharing is a wonderful thing.

May you feel the freedom to express yourself in this our celebration for in that expression lies the future. Make it positive and progressive.

Very special thanks to MoneyGram for their major sponsorship of this event.

On behalf of the Association, I say Welcome!!!

Your President.

Photo: President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria.

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