From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo South Africa, led by its President, Comrade Sunny-Wenike Douglas Ibojekere, yesterday, met with the Consul General, Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, Abdul Malik Ahmed, over the welfare of Igbo community in South Africa.
Ibojekere was accompanied to the meeting by the Secretary General of the group, Barrister Jeff Azubiuke, the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Henry Darlynton Monye, and the Chief Protocol Officer, Tony Okoro.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo President told Ahmed that the visit, among other things, was aimed at conferring with the mission with regards to the welfare of the Igbo Community in South Africa which accounted for about eighty percent of resident Nigerians in South Africa.
The Ohanaeze President also said the meeting was to encourage patriotic behaviours that will put Nigerians in good light and positively impact their host country.
The Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, in a statement made available to Daily Sun, said: “Comrade Sunny-Wenike at the meeting assured that Ohanaeze Ndigbo South Africa will always be good ambassadors of Nigeria and promote unity among Nigerians, in the firm conviction that the task of building a better Nigeria is a collective one by all patriotic citizens.
“He stated that the South African branch of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization condemned attacks on civilian population, military and police formations as witnessed recently in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, while affirming that it does not condone the use of violence in addressing national issues.
“While pledging its willingness to work with the Consulate General, the group called for a regular consultation among the leadership of all community based organizations in South Africa to discuss matters of common interest to the Nigerian Community.”
On his part, Ahmed said the Consulate General was conscious of the role of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and will not relent in continually engaging all Nigerians in South Africa as that constitutes one of its primary responsibilities.
He charged the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo South Africa to embark on projects that will boost communal harmony in their host communities, and enjoined them to continue to be good ambassadors of the country.
“On the perennial issue of lost passports, the Consul General stated that the high rate of loss of passports was a matter of serious concern. He explained that the losses which have been attributed to high crime rates and the necessity for holders to physically carry their passports for ease of identification, has to be tackled definitely.
“He informed that, following recent consultations with the Department of Home Affairs, Nigerians in no distant time, will not have to carry about their passports for identification purposes as South African security officials will be content with only a display of certified copies of passports. He stated that details of this measure were being worked out for immediate implementation.
“The Consul General thanked Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the visit and pledged that the mission was open at all times to receive ideas and projects to move the Nigerian Community in South Africa forward,” the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg also said.
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