(Onitsha, Nigeria: ) Justice Micah Wilkins Wright has urged his compatriots throughout Nigeria to foster patriotism and unity.
A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria says the experienced justice made the assertions when he served as the keynote speaker during the Second National Convention of the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria over the weekend in the eastern Nigerian city of Onitsha in Anambra State.
Liberians from across Nigeria also used that event to observe their country’s 169th Independence Day which formally fell on July 26.
Justice Wright who is also the Vice President of the Abuja-based ECOWAS Court of Justice stated, “I come to you today merely to hold a family conversation with you and not with a speech in Greek Philosophy or in the art and mastery of great oratory rhetoric. Rather, I come with a very simple message: unity.”
The former Liberian solicitor general who joined hundreds of other Liberians from across the Nigerian Federation in making the long travel to Eastern Nigeria used the occasion to urge his compatriots living in another countryto govern themselves accordingly “as not to bring about any dishonor or disgrace or embarrassment to the name of our country, Mama Liberia.”
“We must conduct ourselves in a way as to portray us as people who mean business and are serious about moving our Liberian Community in Nigeria forward”, he stated.
About 300 Liberians from various Nigerian states conveyed on Onitsha and elected their first code of national officers after they had adopted a constitution.
Mr. DaodaKanneh, based in Niger State, was elected as the association’s first National President during an electoral process spearheaded by Mr. Archie A.A. Delaney, Sr, an international Liberian electoral consultant to Nigeria’s Independent National Elections Commission (INEC).
Others elected were Mr. Garrison A.D. Thomas, National Secretary General (of Abuja), Ms. Fatu Thomas, National Vice President for Gender and Social Welfare (of Lagos State), Ms. MiattaHaggans, National Treasurer (of Kaduna State), Mr. Edwin Taylor, National Public Relations Officer (of Ogun State) and Pastor Derrick Chea, National Religious Officer (of Plateau State).
Regarding the elections, Justice Wright urged those who contested for and were elected to various offices or positions to not entertain the ambition of occupying position just for the sake of it: “We must be prepared to render sacrificial services to our compatriots, and not see ourselves as lords over the very people who elected us. How we manage our offices and execute our duties and functions will be a representation and a microcosm of what we would do if we were in Liberia during this highly politically charged period.”
At the same time, Justice Wrightappealed to Liberians in Nigeria to see the Liberian Embassy as an active partner as the Embassy performs its consular and other functions to protect and seek the interest and welfare of all Liberians in Nigeria: “For doing their best to protect and serve Liberians under difficult conditions, we, and I personally, congratulate the Embassy Staff, led by our illustrious Ambassador, Dr. Professor Al-Hassan Conteh.”
The seasoned Liberian lawyer also paid homage to Chief Cliff O. Nzeruem, former Liberian Honorary Consul in Lagos and now Protocol Attaché of the Liberian Embassy.
He continued: “It is my information that Chief Cliff has stood with Liberia and stood by Liberians through thick and thin when others of us were not available. I understand he played a major role in trying to get Liberians together for the welfare of all Liberians in Nigeria. Therefore, and without offending any of our sensibilities and personal egos, I want to, in this public manner, congratulate and commend Chief Cliff for his selfless, outstanding and fatherly role played in touching the lives of so many Liberians here in Nigeria”.
At the same time, the newly elected president, Mr. Kanneh, in his victory speech remarked, “This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I will endeavor to represent you with the utmost transparency and boldness”.
Also on hand to grace the occasion upon the special invitation of Press and Public Affairs Counselor Nat Bayjay was Bahn B. Geezay, popularly known as ‘Wedigar’.
The Onitsha Convention, the second after the inaugural Lagos Convention held in late February of the year, brought together delegates from Kano, Kaduna, and Plateau States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) all grouped as the Northern Region. Others came from Ogun and Lagos States, grouped as the Western Region. The Eastern Region, constituting the hosts of Anambra, Enugu, Delta, Imo, Abia, Cross River and River States, also had their delegates on hand.