While it is important to debunk negative stereotypes, we should not fall into the trap of denialism and ignore or downplay the criminal activities of some unscrupulous Nigerians in the diaspora who are partly responsible for the country's image crisis.
On Sunday, 25 July, Nigeria celebrated its 15th National Diaspora Day under the theme: "Diaspora Integration for National Peace and Development".
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration launched this event in 2006 in recognition of the diaspora's contribution to national development. The 2021 virtual celebration, in the form of a webinar, was organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (Nidcom), an organisation that provides a platform to engage Nigerians in the diaspora in policies, projects and participation in the socioeconomic, cultural and political development of the country.
In her opening remarks, the chairperson of Nidcom, Abike Dabiri-Erewa noted the inextricable link between peace and development. Her remarks were pertinent in light of the ongoing security quagmire in Nigeria, ranging from Boko Haram terrorism to the Niger Delta crisis, the farmer-herder conflict and kidnappings by "bandits".
Dabiri-Erewa called on the Nigerian National Assembly to promulgate the much-anticipated law that would grant voting rights to Nigerians in the diaspora and urged the latter...