In celebrating Nigeria, Her People and Her Successes over the last 100 years despite her many challenges, as well as her role in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Democracy Initiative in partnership with GLEEHD Foundation, ROSTRA Consulting & Amandla Consulting organised a chain of events in London to celebrate the success of Nigeria as a United Nation.
GLEEHD Foundation's Nigeria Director, Dayo Israel led the Nigeria Delegation to the Commonwealth Day Observance Service and Nigeria's Centennial Celebration in London.
The London events commemorated Nigeria's centenary, her active role in the commonwealth, and the economic growth of her state, while also creating an opportunity for a renewed partnership between Nigerian Government/Business Leaders and their European counterparts.
GLEEHD Foundation for Leadership and International Development is an international organisation Headquartered in the United Kingdom (Reg: 07665576) with an African Secretariat in Nigeria (CAC: 44037) established to promote the Development of Africa. GLEEHD is an independent, not-for-profit international organization which seeks to promote Africa Renaissance by fostering Good Governance and Democracy, Advancement of Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, Promotion of Human and Children’s Rights, and Advocacy for Youth Development and Participation in Africa. GLEEHD works to achieve this mission by working in partnership with Africa public institutions, civil society and regional and international development partners. www.gleehdfoundation.org
Highlights and Successes:
- Nigeria’s participation at the Commonwealth Memorial Service in Honour of the war dead of World War 1 with wreath laying on behalf of the Nigerians who died in World War 1 by General Yakubu Gowon.
- Interaction with Eminent British/Commonwealth Leaders including Sir John Major; UK Foreign Secretary William Hague; Alan Duncan – Minister of State for International Development; Commonwealth Secretary General - Kamalesh Sharma and Wife; Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and other leaders.
- One to One meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh by some of the delegates.
- Over 75 Nigerian Government and Business Leaders participated at the Commonwealth Day Observance Service at the Westminster Abbey with our Former President – General Yakubu Gowon, Governor Oshiomole and Governor Uduaghan (represented by Chief Ighoyota Amori) sitting in the Heads of Government area in front of the Queen, and others seating by the Altar.
- A Private Lunch at the House of Lords in Honour of Nigeria hosted by Lord Watson of Richmond – Chairman of the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative – and with Eminent Nigerians in attendance including Governors and representative of Governors from Edo, Delta, Osun, Oyo, Kwara, Bauchi, Dr. Onyeka Onwenu, Africa’s Director of GLEEHD Foundation – Mr. Dayo Israel, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – Foluso Phillips, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Chairman of the A.D King Foundation – Dr. Mrs Naomi Barbar-King, M.D of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry – Dr. Evelyn Oputu, Representatives of the Ooni of Ife – Their Royal Highnesses Oba Adeyemi Adediran the Owa Omiran of Esa Oke and Laroka of Wanikin Oba Kole Ojutalayo , HRH Otunba Adekunle and Dame Ojuolape Ojora, Rev Joe Beasly of the Rainbow Push Coalition Atlanta, CEO of Rostra Consulting – Mr Tony McMahon, Senator Gbenga Obadara – Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Gyang Pwajok, Chief Ighoyota Amori – SA to Governor Uduaghan, Dr. Charles Akinola, Mr. Olu Jacobs and Ms Joke Silva, H.E Mrs Onari Duke – Member of GLEEHD Foundation’s Advisory Board and Former First lady of Cross River State and other eminent leaders.
- Private High Level Business and Investment Meeting with HRH Duke of York Prince Andrew and His team at Buckingham Palace
- A High Level Business Roundtable at the British Institute of Directors in London with attendance by over 5 Nigerian Governors including Yuguda of Bauchi, Oshiomole of Edo, Uduaghan of Delta; and Representatives of the Governors of Kwara State, Osun State, Oyo State and Plateau State; Baroness Lynda Chalker – Chair of the Honorary International Investors' Council; Lord Alan Watson of Richmond and Chair of the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative; Mr. Tony McMahon CEO Rostra Consulting; Mrs Onari Duke – Member of the GLEEHD Foundation’s Advisory Board; Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria – Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Mr. Dayo Israel – Director in Charge of Africa at GLEEHD Foundation; Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – Foluso Phillips, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Chairman of the A.D King Foundation – Dr. Mrs Naomi Barbar-King, M.D of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry – Dr. Evelyn Oputu, Representatives of the Ooni of Ife – Their Royal Highnesses Oba Adeyemi Adediran the Owa Omiran of Esa Oke and Laroka of Wanikin Oba Kole Ojutalayo , HRH Otunba Adekunle and Dame Ojuolape Ojora, Rev Joe Beasly of the Rainbow Push Coalition Atlanta, CEO of Rostra Consulting – Mr Tony McMahon; Senator Gbenga Obadara – Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation; Senator Gyang Pwajok; Dr. Charles Akinola; Mr. Olu Jacobs and Ms Joke Silva, Former President of Nigeria General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s Minister of Power – Prof Chinedu Osita Nebo; Mrs Eniola Fadayomi – President of the Nigerian Institute of Directors; and many others.
Guest from the UK included Private Investors from various corporation, Vice Chairman of the Business Council on Africa – Clive Carpenter; Representatives from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; UK Members of Parliament; Members of the House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group on Africa; Simon Walker – Director General of the British Institute of Directors and many others.
The Business Roundtable also included a Gala Lunch which was highly attended by British Economic Leaders.
- A Gala Award Night that recognised the contribution of Eminent Nigerians and Nigerian Emerging Leaders at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London which had the participation of all the above listed individuals and Nigerians in Diaspora including friends of Nigeria.
- A Special Event at the Islington School of Art and Media which saw some of the VIP Guests from Nigeria address over 250 students and young leaders.
- A Roundtable Investment Meeting at the UK House of Lords with Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Africa.
Individual Event Summary:
Marlborough House Reception by HM the Queen:
Nigerian Government and Business Leaders visiting London at the invitation of GLEEHD Foundation, Rostra and the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative attended a Reception at the Commonwealth Secretariat (Marlborough House) being hosted by H.M The Queen and the Commonwealth Secretary General as part of the activities organised to celebrate Nigeria’s Centenary and Commonwealth Day Observance Service in London. During this event, which was attended by H.M the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Commonwealth Secretary General and Wife, UK Cabinet Ministers and Leaders from across the Commonwealth; the Nigerian contingent led by GLEEHD’s Africa Director – Mr Dayo Israel, former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon and Member of the GLEEHD Advisory Board/Former First Lady of Cross River State – Mrs Onari Duke interacted with British and Commonwealth Leaders on British/Nigerian Economic Relations.
As part of the activities to Celebrate Nigeria’s Centenary in London, GLEEHD Foundation in partnership with the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative and with the support of the A.D King Foundation and Rostra Consulting organised a Gala Award Night at the luxurious Sheraton Hotel in Park Lane Mayfair London to honour Nigerian luminaries and other exceptional Nigerians.
This award aims to Grace the lives and achievements of Eminent Nigerians and Nigeria’s luminaries of the last 100 years, leaders who have shown exceptional imagination, foresight or resilience in a number of key fields - especially leaders that have reversed trends, shaken of traditional limitations, and acted as an example and inspiration to others. During the evening, the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative (CDI) and other partners recognised the achievements of Nigerian Government Leaders, Eminent Nigerians and Emerging Nigerian Leaders with awards endowed by the CDI, the A.D King Foundation, NIRMA (Nigerian International Merit Award), GLEEHD Foundation and other international partners. There was also a special recognition of the way in which Nigerian Government Leaders and State Governors have guided Nigeria to economic success, with some of the Governments representative being awarded.
The Gala had the presentation of various categories of awards to eminent Nigerians including Governors, First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, Ministers, Eminent Nigerians including Chief MKO Abiola and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Friends of Nigeria and Nigeria’s Emerging Leaders. The evening also saw the presentation of the “Keepers of the Flame” Award to young inspirational Nigerians; Nigerian of the Century Award to General Yakubu Gowon – Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo; and the Outstanding Contribution to Women and Youth through Governance to a joint recipient of President Goodluck Jonathan and Dame Patience Jonathan.
Speaker of the House of Representative – Rt. Hon Tambuwal and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were also recipient of the A.D King Prize for Courage in Leadership; while Senate President David Mark and The National Assembly of Nigeria jointly received the CDI Prize for Outstanding Contribution under Exceptional Circumstances for their roles in the last days of President Yar’Adua and for introducing the Doctrine of Necessity to save the nation from collapse.
Wreath laying ceremony – Memorial Gate:
During the weeklong activities organised by GLEEHD Foundation/Rostra Consulting/Commonwealth Democracy Initiative to celebrate Nigeria’s Centennial Anniversary in London as well as the Commonwealth Day Observance Service – Visiting Nigerian Business and Economic Leaders participated in the wreath laying ceremony at the Commonwealth Memorial Gate in London. The ceremony had in attendance Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major; Eminent Commonwealth Leaders and Senior British Leaders. During the event, General Yakubu Gowon was invited to lay the wreath on behalf of Nigeria – in memory of the Nigeria war dead of World War 1.
Commonwealth Day Observance Service at the Westminster Abbey:
The visiting Government and Senior Business Leaders from Nigeria were led by GLEEHD’s Africa Director – Dayo Israel, Rostra Consulting CEO – Tony McMahon and Chairman of the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative – Lord Alan Watson of Richmond to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Observance Service which was attended by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Phillip, HRH Prince Charles and HRH Camilla The Duchess of Cornwall, HRH The Earl of Wessex, HRH The Countess of Wessex, Commonwealth Royalty, Government Ministers, High Commissioners, State Governors and VIPs.
The event was also attended by Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban. At the event, the Nigerian contingents were given special recognition with Former President General Yakubu Gowon, Governor Oshiomole and Governor Uduaghan (represented) processed in behind the flag formally into the service. Over 75 other Nigerians were also seated right in front, by the Altar at Westminster abbey with a good view of the service and Her Majesty the Queen.
During the event, Her Majesty spoke emphatically on Team Commonwealth and the values of a United Commonwealth’s family. “The Understanding that we belong together, and are able, through teamwork to achieve far more than we could do alone, has always been at the heart of our approach. ….. I am delighted that in this, the year of “Team Commonwealth”, we will be working to build a brighter, united future in which every one of us can play a part and share in its reward”, she said.
As part of the activities to Commemorate Nigeria’s Centenary Celebration in London, the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative, Rostra Consulting and GLEEHD Foundation hosted a Business Roundtable in Honour of Nigeria at the British Institute of Directors. The event was co-chaired by the Lord Watson of Richmond CBE and General Yakubu Gowon – Former Nigerian Head of State; with Director General of the Institute of Directors – Mr Simon Walker as the main host and was moderated by Dayo Israel – GLEEHD Foundation’s Director and Tony McMahon – CEO Rostra Consulting. The event was attended by British Leaders, Lords, MPs, Government and Business Leaders from the UK and Nigeria, Journalist from the Economist and African Diaspora Media Houses including NTA International, Channels TV, BEN TV and NAN.
The event brought together various private investors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from Nigeria and to meet their public and private sector counterparts in the United Kingdom. It also offered a unique opportunity for our business communities to engage each other in a series of plenary and breakout sessions which covered major issues, including challenges and opportunities in UK-Nigeria Investment and Trade.
Some of the participants include over 5 Nigerian Governors including Yuguda of Bauchi, Oshiomole of Edo, Uduaghan of Delta; and Representatives of the Governors of Kwara State, Osun State, Oyo State and Plateau State; Baroness Lynda Chalker – Chair of the Honorary International Investors' Council; Lord Alan Watson of Richmond and Chair of the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative; Mr. Tony McMahon CEO Rostra Consulting; Mrs Onari Duke – Member of the GLEEHD Foundation’s Advisory Board; Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria – Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Mr. Dayo Israel – Director in Charge of Africa at GLEEHD Foundation; Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – Foluso Phillips, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Chairman of the A.D King Foundation – Dr. Mrs Naomi Barbar-King, M.D of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry – Dr. Evelyn Oputu, Representatives of the Ooni of Ife – Their Royal Highnesses Oba Adeyemi Adediran the Owa Omiran of Esa Oke and Laroka of Wanikin Oba Kole Ojutalayo , HRH Otunba Adekunle and Dame Ojuolape Ojora, Rev Joe Beasly of the Rainbow Push Coalition Atlanta, CEO of Rostra Consulting – Mr Tony McMahon; Senator Gbenga Obadara – Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation; Senator Gyang Pwajok; Dr. Charles Akinola; Mr. Olu Jacobs and Ms Joke Silva, Former President of Nigeria General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s Minister of Power – Prof Chinedu Osita Nebo; Mrs Eniola Fadayomi – President of the Nigerian Institute of Directors; and many others
A VIP Gala Lunch was also held during this session which was attended by representatives of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British MP’s, UK Business Leaders, Investors and members of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Africa.
His Royal Highness the Duke of York met with the visiting Leaders from Nigeria as part of the GLEEHD Foundation/Commonwealth Democracy Initiative's event to celebrate Nigeria's Centenary and Commonwealth Day Observance in London.
The High Level Discussion which held at Buckingham Palace was attended by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Former Nigerian President General Yakubu Gowon, Director of GLEEHD Nigeria and co-organiser - Mr Dayo Israel, HRH Otunba Adekunle Ojora and Dame Ojuolape Ojora, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group - Mr Foluso Phillips and others.
During the meeting, participants from both sides exchanged views on the British - Nigerian Economic relationshipship and the need for Britain to take a more aggressive role in Investing and Doing Business in Nigeria. The Prince promised to visit Africa soon with a Business delegation and hinted Nigeria would be on his list of nations to visit.
Other delegates in the weeklong meeting includes the Governors (and representatives) of Edo, Bauchi, Osun, Kwara, Plateau, and Oyo; DG National Center for Women's Development Mrs Onyeka Onwenu, Nigeria's Minister of Power - Prof Chinedu Nebo, Representatives of the Minister of Information, GLEEHD Advisory Board Member and Former First Lady of Cross River State Mrs Onari Duke, Senator Gbenga Obadara, Senator Pwarjok, Mr Keem Belo Osagie, Legendary Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva, MD of Nigeria's Bank of Industry Dr. Evelyn Oputu, and the Ooni of Ife who was represented by 2 Royal Fathers from the State of Osun, among others.
Africa Director for GLEEHD Foundation - Mr Dayo Israel led the delegation to Buckingham Palace for the meeting which was arranged by the Foundation as a way of boosting British Nigerian Economic Relationship.
A Special Event at the Islington School of Art and Media which saw some of the VIP Guests from Nigeria address over 200 students and young leaders:
GLEEHD Africa Director – Dayo Israel led a delegation of Eminent Leaders from Nigeria to the Islington School of Art and Media as part of the activities to celebrate Nigeria’s Centennial Anniversary in London.
The visiting leaders had the opportunity to address the over 250 students waiting in the hall representing various Commonwealth nations. During the session, GLEEHD Director – Dayo Israel encouraged the student to aim at the best. “You cannot allow your age to determine your success and achievements, you must never allow anyone despise your youth or tell you that you are too young to make a difference. This is your time and this is your chance to leave your foot print on the earth” He said. Other speakers included General Yakubu Gowon, Mr Foluso Phillips and Dr. Charles Akinola from the Osun State Government.
Welcome Reception at the House of Lords:
The visiting Government and Senior Business Leaders from Nigeria were officially welcomed by Lord Watson of Richmond and other members of the House of Lords at a Lunch Meeting at the House of Lords.
Investment Meeting with Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship
In rounding up the weeklong event, the Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship – Lord Ahmed and Baroness Uddin hosted the delegation at a Lunch meeting at the House of Lords during which opportunities for partnerships between UK and Nigerian businesses were discussed. The session was moderated by GLEEHD’ Director Dayo Israel.
This visit to London played an important role in promoting the Image of Nigeria abroad. It also played a major role in Nigeria’s relation with Great Britain. The visit is highly valuable as it helped broaden bilateral relations and exchanges among people.
Photo credit Sync Photos view more here: syncphotosonline.com
Vivacity PR for GLEEHD Foundation