Irish President Michael D. Higgins may visit Nigeria soon. This is part of the outcome of the presentation of the letter of credence by Nigeria’s new ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Dr. Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike in Dublin. The new envoy told President Higgins that he shared a lot in common with President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly in integrity and passion to develop their countries. She also told Higgins that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa.
Ambassador Emenike indicated that with the biggest population on the African continent, with one in every five black persons in the world, Nigeria’s investment potentials are enormous. Nigeria, according to the Ambassador, also has a youthful population, where over 60 percent is under 35 years. With these attractive features of the economy, she added that Irish investment in Nigeria is guaranteed present and future profitability.
She said the opportunities which Nigeria offers would be greatly enhanced by diplomatic engagement of both countries at the highest level of leadership. She informed President Higgins that in line with the principle of reciprocity in diplomatic relations, it would be splendid for the Irish President to pay a state visit to Nigeria since a Nigerian leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo had visited Ireland in 2002.
Higgins promised to give her suggestion a serious consideration. He went further to trace the history of relationship between both countries, pointing out that both countries established diplomatic relation immediately after Nigeria gained her independence from Britain in 1960.
President Higgins said the relationship between the two countries were deep because of the work of Irish missionaries during the colonial era. He was particularly happy with the efforts President Buhari’s government has made to contain the menace posed by Boko Haram just as he applauded the work of over 40,000 Nigerians who live, work, or study in Ireland. He wished Ambassador Emenike a successful tenure and pledged to support any initiatives that would further boost relations between both countries.
These remarks were made before an impressive and color guard of honor parade as part of the ceremony marking the presentation of Ambassador Emenike’s letter of credence to the Republic of Ireland.
The well-choreographed ceremony, which took place at the official residence of the Irish President, was attended by officials from the Nigerian Embassy in Dublin and also High Chief Ikechi Emenike, the husband of the Ambassador, and their four children. Many high-ranking Nigerians who came from all over the world, ambassadors, and other foreign dignitaries were treated to a reception afterwards.
Ambassador Emenike, who holds a doctorate degree in Foreign Relations, an experienced, diplomat used the opportunities offered her by the reception to raise the profile of Nigeria and market her country’s huge economic potentials to the world. Ambassador Emenike stated that, among other important functions, she regarded herself as the chief marketing officer for Nigeria in Ireland. She promised to not only improve the ongoing good relation between Nigeria and Ireland, but also to increase the participation of Irish capital and expertise in the economic development of her country.
She also met with various Nigerian citizens and groups in Ireland and assured them of the commitment of the President Buhari, the Federal Government and the whole country to their wellbeing. She also told them that each and every one of them is an ambassador of Nigeria in their own right and they must always respect the laws of Ireland, exhibiting the highest level of integrity in dealing with the host country, her institutions, and her citizens. She pledged that herself and the other officials of the embassy will be available to serve them.
Ambassador Emenike, a woman with sharp mind, her character always highlighted by patience and integrity, her long career undergirded by firm commitment to high ideals and learning, is set to make her mark as a great ambassador. Her career started with Nigerian foreign services in 1987 and many who have worked with her respect her prodigious intellect, honesty, professionalism, and oratorical skills.
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