By Fortune Abang
Abuja, Oct. 21, 2020 The Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA) on Wednesday extolled Mr Godwin Adama, the outgoing Consular General of Nigeria High Commission, for selfless services rendered to them in that country.
The President of NICASA, Mr Ben Okoli, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone during a send off for Adama.
Okoli said that though the Nigerian community in South Africa had sojourned in that country since the past three decades, most achievements were recorded under the Consular General’s tenure.
He noted that successes recorded were in line with Federal Government’s protection against stereotypes, xenophobic attacks by the locals, police high handedness and general abuse on Nigerians.
According to him, successive Consul Generals were sent to Johannesburg to bring about the needed change and to confront challenges faced by the Nigerian Citizens in South Africa.
Okoli said: “Most Consul Generals posted to Johannesburg made their impact in different ways and left us with great impressions that formed diverse judgment and opinions on precedents they left behind.
“Our eyes finally set on Adama; he has left on the sand of time some great achievements and a big shoe that may be difficult to fill by his successors.
“Adama opened up the services of the Consulate to the Nigerian community; he demystified the seeming mystery that had characterised the services of the Consulate before his arrival.
“His positive actions offended the very few beneficiaries who had captured the Consulate and turned it into a personal enterprise to the detriment and pain of other Nigerians.
“The attacks, the vilification and the threat that followed was concerted and taken to another level, however, the good will and prayers of Nigerians for the never seen before positive changes prevailed.”
He listed other achievements to include provision of effective service delivery, convenience, chairs, heater to keep warm during winter and turnstile gate with access control built toward courteous entry into the Consulate.
Okoli said Adama provided an electricity generator to give uninterrupted power supply for efficient service delivery to Nigerians amid recent load shedding experienced in South Africa.
“He also built a state of the art Library at the Consulate to provide avenues for research and promotion of the Nigerian history and knowledge to everyone.
“During xenophobic attacks against foreigners, especially Nigerians, Adama made efforts to evacuate distressed Nigerians from South Africa.
“The orderliness and transparency that characterised the evacuation of distressed Nigerians was unprecedented and a commendable feat.
“He provided accommodations and feeding for those who ran from their homes and businesses for fear of their lives and had nowhere else to go,” he said.
He said Adama was quite exemplary and commendable, especially in show of compassion to ensure Nigerians were well catered for during the xenophobia era.
Okoli said the outgoing Consul General restored Nigeria’s pride and dignity by his action to sustain the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.
He commended Adama’s contributions to the development of NICASA which brought about the establishment of a permanent official office of the association in that country.
“Nigerians in South Africa are truly blessed to have worked closely with Adama at the point when he served, where the need to change the narrative and reposition our people is high.
“Our prayers and support are with him now and in his next assignment, our appreciation will not fade; NICASA leadership indeed enjoyed working with Adama.
“We want more of your time of service here; you will leave us with great memories of your selflessness, wisdom and sound judgment which is most needed in very critical issues,” he said.
The send off attracted members of the diplomatic corps clerics, leaders of Nigeria social-cultural organisations and Nigerian professionals in that country.