The chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has commended the Nigerian rugby player, Maro Itoje, for being a good ambassador of Nigeria.
A statement by the head of media, public relations and protocol unit of NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Thursday, indicated that Dabiri-Erewa gave the commendation at NIDCOM liaison office in Lagos when she hosted Itoje and his parents to a reception.
The NIDCOM boss was particularly thrilled by the art exhibition Itoje had in London.
“With the History Untold exhibition, he tried to tell Nigerians and Africans generally about their history and for the younger ones to know their roots,” she said.
She added that NIDCOM would team up with Itoje in his future programmes.
“For us at the Commission, we would like to work with you, in every sense of the word. We have programmes like the Door of Return, which takes place in Badagry every year, the Diaspora Day, which is on July 25, among other numerous programmes.”
Responding, Itoje pledged to commit his time, resources and expertise to better the lives of the under-privileged in Africa and Nigeria, in particular.
He said he had never lost touch with Nigeria as he had been to the country on numerous occasions.
“My last visit to Nigeria was in 2018 and I am championing the African cause in England with my art. I organised an art exhibition tagged ‘History Untold’ recently and it was a huge success.
“All we have been told by Europeans about Africa has been negative. They tell you about slave trade, coups, diseases and so forth. So, the whole essence of History Untold is to celebrate the power of Black history, African history that has not been told to us. It is an attempt to tell that untold story, to tell the other side of the coin.”
Itoje pledged to commit his resources to the development of the country and was prepared to team up with the commission to add to the progress that had already been made.