Amidst protests, Nigerians mark independence anniversary in New York
Nigerians turned out in their hundreds on Saturday in New York to mark the 59th Independence Anniversary of the country with a parade.
The annual event, which follows an October 1st celebration of Nigeria’s Independence from the United Kingdom, took place on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan.
The New York authority provided an enabling environment for Nigerians and citizens from other parts of the world to carry out a colourful parade, which started on 54th Street and terminated at Nigerian House at Kudirat Abiola Corner on 44th Street.
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The parade was led by the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prof. Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. Amb. Samson Itegboje, the Consul General, Ben Okoyen, the Nigerian Defence Adviser, Brig Ismiala Isa, among others.
Among those joining Nigerians to mark the day was a brass band from the Caribbean, afloat by Ghanaians resident in the United States as well as Nigerian professionals including officers from the US Correctional Department, Nigerian Nurses Association and church groups of different denominations, who all did a march past.
The occasion was however tempered by protests from members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and protesters calling for the release of the detained publisher, Omoyele Sowore.
Popular Nigeria female artiste, Teni, later entertained the crowd with a live performance.