(Ogun State, Nigeria:) Liberians resident in Nigeria over the weekend held successful, colorful celebrations of their country’s 171st Independence Day.
According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria, the Liberians from Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja (FCT) converged on the Southwestern State of Ogun where they also used the occasion and elected their new code of national and regional leaders.
Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh, other diplomatic officers from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja and other prominent Liberians resident in Nigeria joined their compatriots for the 2018 National Convention held under the auspices of the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria (OLICON).
OLICON is the national umbrella covering all Liberian communities from the various states and the FCT, the release adds.
Justice Micah Wilkins Wright, former Vice President of the Abuja-based ECOWAS Court of Justice, served as the keynote speaker for the three-day event that held few miles away from the former Liberian Refugee Camp in Oru, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
The activities held from the 26th to the 28th of July, 2018.
Justice Wright, using the theme “The Beginning of a New Dawn”, rallied Liberians in this part of the West African sub-region to unite through what he termed as “a simple message of unity and peace amongst” them.
The former solicitor-general of Liberia who was also attending his last OLICON National Convention due to the expiration of his tenure at the ECOWAS Court, asked his compatriots to reflect on the sole purpose of why the Diaspora organization was established. The keynote speaker himself has been deeply involved in the establishment of the national organization of Liberians from all parts of Nigeria.
On the national front, Justice Wright urged Liberians to be hopeful under the new administration of President George Manneh Weah.
The 2018 National Convention was Justice Wright’s second keynote address to Liberians in Nigeria, his first being during the 2016 Convention that held in the Southeastern State of Anambra.
For his part, Ambassador Conteh, who installed OLICON’s newly elected leadership, urged the new leadership to work in the interest of the organization by embarking on programs that benefit the entire membership in order to make their stay in Nigeria worthwhile. He called on the winners to embrace their opponents by bringing them on board to contribute their quota to the advancement of the organization.
Speaking further, Ambassador Conteh seized the moment to express gratitude to the Government of Nigeria and the people of Ijebuland for hosting Liberians refugees over the years.
Those elected for a new term of two years were Mr. Daoda Kanneh, re-elected as president, Mr. Joseph Mendy, re-elected as vice president, Ms. Joecelia M. Quewon, National Vice President for Gender, and Mr. Garrison A. Thomas, re-elected as the National Secretary-General. Others were Mr. Emmanuel Chea, National Financial Secretary, Mrs. Wede Eherue, National Treasurer, and Rev. Michael Kelechi, National Assistant Secretary-General and Rev. Derrick Chea, re-elected as the National Chaplain.
In his victory speech, Mr. Kanneh urged his Diaspora compatriots to support his leadership to build on whatever achievements made in the past years. He promised to take OLICON to the next level.
“With this mandate given to us, we must take our Community to the next level. Thanks for all of your support. We will not disappoint you”, the release quotes Mr. Kanneh as saying.
There were remarks from other speakers, including representatives from the Local Government Area of Ijebu-Ode, friends of Liberia and other invited guests, the release concludes.