It was a moment of pride and recognition as the Nigerian flag was hoisted in the New York town of Hempstead to commemorate the 58th independence anniversary of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian flag became the first flag of any African country to be hoisted at the Hempstead Town Hall, which houses the Council’s secretariat.
The event was organised by the Office of Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby in collaboration with the African Community Association of Long Island, New York.
Goosby, in her remarks, said it was a rare moment of pride and recognition as it was the first time in the history of the Council to hoist an African flag.
“United States and the town of Hempstead are more diverse and culturally rich because of the contributions of our Nigerian society.
“We are proud to celebrate those contributions here today,” Goosby said.
The Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, expressed joy and pride at the recognition and honour done to Nigeria by the town of Hempstead.
According to Okoyen, Nigeria is a great country, the ‘giant’ of Africa, a good friend and a respected member of the international community.
The Nigerian envoy said: “Nigerians are very industrious, respectful, resourceful, resilient, hospitable and friendly.
“It is, therefore, very symbolic and significant for Nigeria and her citizens as the town of Hempstead Flag Raising ceremony for Nigeria is being organised to honour her dear country today.
“It is more gratifying to note that Nigeria is indeed the first African country to be honoured by a city in the entire Long Island, New York.”
Okoyen thanked the town of Hempstead for the honour of raising the Nigeria’s flag in the city hall, adding it says a lot about the confidence and trust the town has in Nigeria and its citizens.
The Consul-General said: “We shall, therefore, continue to value this friendship and partnership that have existed between Nigeria and the United States of America.
“A relationship we believe will further provide access and opportunities for more of our citizens resident in this city and other parts of the country to participate in governmental activities at all levels.”
The event was attended by officials of the Council, staff members of the Nigerian Consulate in New York, members of the Nigerian community and school children in the Hempstead community.