Advances in Homeland Bring a Show of Support by Nigerian-Americans

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Elections in Nigeria are nearly two years away, but for a group of Nigerian-Americans, it’s not too early to lay the groundwork of support for their current president, Goodluck Jonathan. They credit Jonathan for bringing stability to advances in democracy in Nigeria as well as improvements in the economy.

Election laws in Nigeria prevent official campaigning until all candidates are declared, so as members of the National Support for Jonathan and Sambo Presidency -USA Chapter gathered in LaFayette Square across from the White House Saturday afternoon, they called the gathering a show of appreciation by thanking their homeland’s president for changes his administration is responsible for.

According to the organization’s president and nearby Maryland resident, Curtis Daramola, those changes include the rehabilitation of Nigeria’s railway system, the dredging of critical waterways, an increase in the available mega-wattage of electricity, the removal of ghost workers from the federal payroll and an increase of direct investments by outside investors.

“This president has done a lot for the people of Nigeria,” stated Daramola. “A lot of people don’t know the many things that he did. So we are here today to let Nigerian people know that this is a wonderful president and we have been very grateful to God to have him as President of Nigeria.”

Chief Temitope Ajayi traveled from San Francisco to show her support. She is founder and CEO of Nigerian-American Agricultural Empowerment Programme (NAAEP) Ltd and Honorable Chair for Global Connection for Women Foundation at NAAEP.

“We all need to come together as one body and embrace this government so that he will excel,” Chief Ajayi said. “Unity is what we need now. When we unite, we will be able to move mountains.”

President Jonathan is not without critics. A recent crackdown by the military against Islamist in the heavy Muslim populated areas of Northern Nigeria has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians according to reports, and many fear that the violence will only escalate in coming months.

The support by those gathered in Washington on Saturday is unwavering.

“We have 30 million [Nigerians as part of the diaspora] all over the world,” Chief Ajayi stated. “Our unity is supporting the president. We will move mountains. That is what is happening right now.”

“There is something I like about our president,” Chief Ajayi continued. “He’s a listening president. He listens. He’s very passionate. He has the love and the interests [at heart] of Nigerians at home and [in the diaspora].”

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