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Hon. Kenneth Gbandi (right) and Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the nominee for the position of the Chairman/CEO of the National Diaspora Commission and currently the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, at the 2018 annual general meeting of NIDOE in Vienna, 8 November / Photo: TAC

Nigerian Diaspora Europe re-elects Kenneth Gbandi as chairman

Kenneth Gbandi has been re-elected the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) for a second 2-year term.

Hon. Gbandi was returned unopposed at the biannual election, which took place on Saturday (10 November) in Vienna as part of the activities of the group’s annual general meeting. It’s the first time that a chairman of NIDOE would be re-elected for a second term since its founding in 2000.

The event, presided over by HE Ambassador Vivian Okeke, Nigeria’s envoy to Austria, also witnessed the re-election of Engr. Cornelius Obot as Vice-Chairman, Barrister Georgian Opara, Legal Officer, and Adeyemi Ademuyiwa, Financial Officer. Other officials elected were Vire Komolafe as General Secretary, Rev (Mrs) Helen Onwu-Dorkenoo (Treasurer), Fidel Oneil Wilson (PRO/Asst. General Secretary), Godson Azu (Social/Welfare Officer), Ade Adeyanju (EU Relationship Officer), and Laura Ngozi Ikeobi and Ponfa Roy Bitrus as Special Duties Officers.

Ambassador Okeke (4th from left, front row) with members of the new executive council of NIDOE on Saturday (10 November). From right (front row): Godson Azu, Laura Ikeoba, Georgina Opara, Cornelius Obot, Vire Komolafe, representative of the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, Ambassador Okeke, Mrs Rimdap and Rev (Mrs) Helen Onwu-Dorkenoo. Back row, from left: Fidel Oneil Wilson, Ponfa Roy Bitrus, Ade Adeyanju and Adeyemi Ademuyiwa  / Photo: TAC

 

Gbandi thanked members for the trust reposed in him and pledged to consolidate the achievements of the organization under his stewardship. “Our determination is to ensure that the Diaspora continues to play an active role in national development,” Gbandi said.

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“Our activities will include the intensification of efforts to attract foreign investment and development projects to Nigeria,” he added. “That is the only way to promote economic growth and development to sustainably reduce poverty.”

The re-elected chair said the executive council would also give priority to issues of immediate importance to the Diaspora, such as the voting right.

Ambassador Okeke presents an award to Engr. Abiodun Ogunshakin with Hon. Kenneth Gbandi and Engr. Cornelius Obot, chairman and vice-chairman respectively of NIDOE; look on / Photo: TAC

 

Gbandi thanked Ambassador Okeke profusely for taking part in the activities of the annual general meeting, which took place on 8-10 November. “Ma, we appreciate your rare gesture which shows the respect that you have for Nigerians in the Diaspora.”

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Gbandi also congratulated Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who is the nominee for the position of the Chairman/CEO of the National Diaspora Commission, and charged her to work on effective policy frameworks for a more robust Diaspora engagement in national development when she assumes office.

Ms Dabiri-Erewa, who is currently the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, had praised Gbandi during the conference opening event for having taken NIDOE to higher level. The election was also witnessed by Barrister Vivian Iroh Uchime,  Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Abia State on the Diaspora, who represented her principal, HE Dr Okezie Ikpeazu,

Some of the participants at the 2018 general meeting of NIDOE on Saturday in Vienna / Photo: TAC

 

Gbandi, a Hamburg, Germany-based media entrepreneur, was first elected chairman of NIDOE in 2016 at the organisation’s general meeting in Athens, Greece.

Femi Awoniyi

About NIDOE

The Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe (NIDOE) is the European arm of the global Nigerian Diaspora network recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Established in 2000 and registered in England and Wales in 2002 under the Companies Act, the organization’s Headquarters is in London from where it serves its 19 Regional Chapters in 18 European Countries.

NIDOE and the other continental arms of NIDO – in the Americas, Asia and Africa, are together the largest assembly of Nigerians worldwide.

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