The Nigerian Missions in the United States and Nigerian diasporas on Saturday converged on the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington DC to reconcile factional groups in the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA).
The reconciliation followed earlier separate meetings with NIDOA Board of Trustees (BoT) and NIDOA USA Board of Directors (BoD) at the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.
An expanded joint meeting was called for Saturday between the warring parties and the three Nigerian Missions in the United States.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a major cause of the disagreements between the two parties included whether the step taken by NIDOA USA to register the national body in the United States where it operated was in the right direction.
Whether the move by NIDOA USA to adapt the NIDOA bylaw to suit its operations in the United States was against the provision of the NIDOA bylaw was also an issue of contention.
Another issue in the conflict was whether the step by NIDOA USA BoD to appoint a Legal Adviser for NIDOA USA as applicable in NIDOA Canada and NIDOA Brazil was against the provision of the NIDOA.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Justice Sylvanus Nsofor (rtd) chaired the meeting, and was supported by the Deputy Head of Mission Amb. Hassan Hassan, the Nigerian Consul General in New York, Benayaogha Okoyen and the Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Mrs Aishatu Musa.
Welcoming the officials of the three diplomatic missions and representatives of NIDOA to the meeting, Nsofor appealed for understanding and unity among the Nigerian diasporas.
The ambassador said these were necessary in order to promote the growth and development of our country and called on both parties to come with clean minds in the peace process.
The Consul General in New York briefed the meeting on the conflict between the NIDOA BoT and NIDOA USA BoD, based on the peace talks he initiated with both parties towards the resolution of the conflict.
Flowing from Okoyen’s briefing, both parties were invited to speak on the issues and Mrs Patience Key, spoke on behalf of the BoD of NIDOA USA as Chairman, while Mr Obed Monago spoke on behalf of the NIDOA BoT as Chairman, and thereafter, participants contributed meaningfully to the discussions.
After extensive discussions among the parties and the participants, the parties in conflict agreed to adhere to the outcome of the peace process.
The parties also agreed on the need for unity, peace and stability among all NIDOA entities in the United States in order to avert the recurrent crisis in NIDOA’ BoT and NIDOA USA.
The meeting observed that the current NIDOA bylaw as composed had certain ambiguities and lacuna, which was responsible for the current leadership crisis between the BoT and the BoD, and thus a review of the bylaw at the next NIDOA Annual General Meeting (AGM) to address the contentious issues.
The meeting agreed that in the interim, the “status quo ante” be maintained, implying that the composition of the BoD for NIDOA USA and that of the NIDOA BoT pre-January 13, should be restored forthwith pending the outcome of the next NIDOA AGM.
NAN reports that it was the meeting of January 13 where Key outlined the NIDOA USA goals for the year that the dispute arose, leading to the BoD removing Monago and his Vice Chairman, Mr Victor Ubani, while the BoT subsequently also claimed that Key removed herself as Chairman, BoT of NIDOA USA.
Based on the overwhelming recommendation and support for the registration of national and local chapters for administrative and operational convenience as well as fiduciary responsibilities, the meeting recognised the legal imperatives of such registration.
The three Nigerian missions called on NIDOA to always put the corporate interest and image of Nigeria uppermost in all its policies and actions.
NAN reports that the heads of the three Nigerian missions and Chair of the NIDOA BoD signed the declarations, however, the Chairman, BoT of NIDOA declined assent, which the Nigerian missions’ heads and other participants in the peace process regretted.
However, Monago informed the meeting that he needed to consult with his group and present the declarations before them.