The formation of the Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF) and the Great Nigerian Movement (GNM) will not be complete without mentioning the Nigerian Stakeholder Forum’s (NSF) WhatsApp group organized by Chief Gabe Okoye on August 24th, 2016. Chief Okoye is a highly passionate community and international leader, formal NiDO Secretary/Chairman, and Chairman of Democratic Party, Gwinnett County, Atlanta, GA.
Although many groups emanated from the Stakeholder Forum, Dr. Elusoji championed the establishment of the Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF), which aimed at transforming group chatting and deliberations into visible actions on various issues relating to Nigeria development, good governance, accountability and the rule of law. Dr. Elusoji was greatly inspired by circumstances that made him to relocate his family to the United States after several years of turning down such advice from friends, business associates and relatives.
He proposed the formation of the Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF) and the Great Nigerian Movement (GNM) to a group of Nigerian professionals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates. He explained that although there were many diaspora associations, most of them were not adequately structured to contribute meaningfully national development and rendering support to resolving numerous challenges facing our country. He explained that the NDF should operate as a non-political and non-governmental global platform for all Nigerians to collaborate in finding solutions and build our nation. After a good deliberation regarding the root of problems in Nigeria, it was agreed that tremendous efforts should be placed on quality education. NDF will, therefore, seek the creation of a new Nigeria by enlisting the support of Nigerians, particularly in the diaspora, to contribute and invest in world-class education, medical services, mechanized agriculture, among others.
On May 9, 2018, the Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF) was formed by a group of prominent and responsible Nigerians led by Kayode Elusoji, Chukwuemeka Obiora, Danjuma Babayaro, Adetunji Adeleke, Emmanuel Chinedu, and Johnson Adetayo. Others include Lekan Martins, Sunday Adebiyi, Danladi Ibrahim, Raphael Opeyemi, Adamu Ahmed, Stephen Obogun, and Alamu Josiah, Uche Mokwunye.
NDF, whose membership is open to all Nigerians aged 18 and above, has been positioned to be the largest, well-structured and functioning Diaspora inspired organization with a clear mandate to harness a global pool of knowledge toward the repositioning of Nigeria among the leading countries of the world.
Welcome Address By The NDF Executive Director, on November 10th 2018 During The Formal Launching of The Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF) At 205 West Wacker Drive, Chicago IL 60606 U.S.A
On behalf of the Global Board of Advisors, Global Board of Trustees, Country and Continental Coordinators, Officers at the City, State, and National levels, and the members of Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF), I humbly welcome everyone to this epoch-making event.
To many of us, it is pointless to explain the situation of our Country. We all know the answer – the main reason why a huge number of Nigerians left their country for foreign lands in search of a better standard of living. And most disturbingly, thousands, if not millions, still struggle daily to follow the same route. The issue is, for how long shall we continue in this direction, as a nation? How long shall we continue to develop other nations of the world while ours remains gasping for a breath of survival?
Isn’t it high time we collectively focused our efforts and decided to create a New Nigeria for ourselves and the generations to come? Fellow Nigerians, the time is now, we cannot afford to wait any longer; we must begin the process of changing the course of action in our country. The truth is this, if we are to apportion blames, it is unlikely that any one of us will be exonerated from the present ruin and decay. From parents to judges, lecturers, police officers, public servants, marketers, religious leaders; all of us have contributed, in our different capacities, to the ruin. We all created the Nigeria we are witnessing today, and we must collectively do the needful to salvage our country. It is time to take a cue from countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea, they used to be on par with Nigeria in terms of development index. It is regrettable, however, that all of them have left us far behind because they made conscious decisions to create a better place to live. They have moved away from poverty and misrule, through conscious national efforts, adequate planning, and deliberate investment in education. Note that all these national achievements were orchestrated by citizens’ strong resolve to elect responsible and honest leaders.
Fellow Nigerians let us begin the process of nation-building; let us create a better country for our children and the unborn; let us harness the global skill, capabilities, wealth and resources of Nigerians to create a place we can truly call home. I have the uncommon privilege of informing you that this is precisely what the Nigerian Diaspora Foundation stands for. NDF is a canopy for all Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to collaborate for the singular purpose of building a new and progressive nation. The focus of NDF is quality and affordable education for all. Hence, NDF is embarking on a global crusade to salvage our educational system, and at the same time, we shall design, plan and execute projects that will bring direct impact on the governance, the rule of law and make our leaders become more responsible and accountable for their actions. Please note that NDF is non-political and non-governmental!
Let it be echoed from North to South and from the East to the West that we are on a mission to build our Nigeria. We can do better in our country rather than allow our youth and productive workforce to obtain visas and become slaves in foreign lands or die in the Mediterranean Sea in their search for greener pastures. NDF is ready to drive the process! We are ready to work and remove the barrier that has kept us divided, unorganized and wasteful. Nigerians are performing well all over the world, and with oneness of mind, Nigeria can rise and shine. Enough of ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry! Let us embrace proven structures that conserve our resources and allow for judicious execution of developmental projects. We must have uninterrupted power, our health system and education must be revamped, our road must function, and the safety of lives and properties should not be negotiable. Join NDF now, invite your friends and relatives to join the train; bring up suggestions toward the realization of this hallowed goal; serve as a unit, community, city, or state leader. Together we can! Be ready to use your professional skills to assist our fatherland. NDF belongs to all. We should join hands to contribute ideas, knowledge, and resources toward executing projects that will bring positive change to Nigeria. We should plan and execute projects that make our people more accountable, and above all, improve the quality of education, which is the foundation of real development. NDF welcomes any government that is genuinely interested in fighting corruption and reducing the huge cost of governance, which is crippling the nation. A government that is ready to serve the people honestly without ethnic and religious bias and address undue marginalization.
Our general election is approaching. Now more than ever is the time to decide the Nigeria we want to have. Therefore, we must ensure that the candidates we vote into power truly love Nigeria. We are confident that Nigeria will reach the Promised Land: a new nation free from economic, social and political hardships.
Let us begin to rebuild now! Long live, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you, and God bless.
Dr. Kayode Elusoji
Executive Director, Nov.10th 2018
This Nigerian Diaspora Foundation (NDF) is open to all Nigerians aged 18 and above living within or outside our country and who have a clear vision and determination to join hands in creating a new and prosperous nation where every region of Nigeria is empowered to succeed without tribal or religious hinderances.