By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja-Nigeria
Retrospectively, September under the past government, over 40 Imo Diasporans from South Africa, became xenophobic victims and had to be evacuated back to Nigeria with other Nigerian nationals who suffered same fate. The arrangement from the Federal Government was for the States to rehabilitate all returnees but unfortunately it never quite happened for the Imo Returnees; in the Returnees’ own words, “we were passed on from one office to the other yet nothing happened. There were lots of challenges getting through to anyone…”
Recently, the Returnees represented by their executive body, visited the office of the Special Adviser to the governor on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Cllr. Celia Osakwe-Hibbert, and share their frustrations, disappointments and despondency.
They explained that they have been skeptical of seeking further support since all their efforts yielded no results with the past administration.
Hon. Cllr.Osakwe-Hibbert assured the returnees of the Governor’s utmost commitment to Imo indigenes both those at home and in Diaspora. “I am sorry to hear of your experience in your host country and I’m equally sorry to hear of the further frustrations you had to face on reaching Imo State last September. I can assure you that my Office will see to what needs to be done and I’ll relay your concerns to my Boss, Sen. Hope Uzodinma”.
It was gathered that, after the visit, within a couple of days, arrangements were made for the Returnees to be fast-tracked for Jobs.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Diaspora, immediately provided the South African Returnees, one of their offices, office equipments and one of their highly trained staff was also dedicated to a group for ease of compilation of names and documents so as to beat the tight deadline for the job application process.
The SA Diaspora acknowledged as well as her Boss, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s support; Rt. Hon. Abike Dabiri the Boss of NIDCOM (Mama Diaspora) was also on hand to guide the Imo Diaspora Office on quite a few technical issues.