Posted by News Express | 16 February 2018 | 3,873 times
Nigeria’s Hon. Sam Okey Mbonu has been honoured as one of the most accomplished Nigerians in the United States. The star-studded held on February 12, 2018, at the “Airforce One Boardroom at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California, USA, featured Hollywood Stars, business executives, and professionals, including notable Los Angelenos of Nigerian descent.
Mbonu is the first African leader to be honoured at a reception at the famous “Airforce One Boardroom at the Ronal Reagan Presidential Library”. Mbonu’s recognition was preceded by a reception for the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on the same day and in the same venue, thus underscoring a shift in global leadership to a newer generation.
Mbonu in his remarks decried the depth at which Nigeria had descended, due to a leadership vacuum at the centre. He stated that in a globalised world, any failures in leadership in a large country like Nigeria, would be apparently glaring at the world stage.
Mbonu invoked the spirit of Ronald Reagan, regarded by some as America’s greatest president of the 20 Century, who once declared: “The future does not belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave”.
Mbonu stated that the brave in any given society were those who have the courage to confront systems that held people down, and to restore the dignity of humanity when societies fall short. He also called for the new generation of Nigerians to hearken unto the words of immediate past US President Barack Obama, who once said that the new generations were “the ones we’ve been waiting for”.
Mbonu recounted his rise from a humble childhood, having been reared by parents who were educators in Nigeria, and his life of public service from a young age, to his accomplishments in the United States, as a Washington DC Policy Advisor, Consultant, and Media Analyst, who provides strategic advisory to US institutions; including the US Congress, Organization of American States, various US institutions, and the media; on Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa matters.
He regretted that in recent times, the world had watched as Nigeria slowly and hopelessly descended into, strife, chaos, and gory images of murderous religious-fanaticism, on international television.
Mbonu said that based on the situation in Nigeria, he had formed a “presidential exploratory committee”, to offer solutions to Nigeria’s current problems of chronic under-development and strife.
He stated that his public service in Nigeria would focus on two main areas, “Electric Energy” and the provision of sufficient “Water Resources” across the country.” Mbonu stated that he would centre his public service in Nigeria on what he called “the Power & Water Agenda”; he believes that once electric power is created, the Nigerian economy would quadruple and strife would be reduced to insignificance.
“Some of us have been tried and tested in the most rigorous environment in the world, the United States. We have integrity, we are clean, we are fresh, and we do not have corruption charges on our neck, anywhere in the world,” Mbonu further said.
He admonished Nigerians, especially the youth, that: “We must all strive to make a difference, and in the immortal words of America’s greatest civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward,” because, the river only flows in one direction: “FORWARD”!
Mbonu added: “We are the one’s Nigeria has been waiting for, we are the 21st Century, we are the digital age, we are the incorruptible, we are global citizens, we have seen the world, we have seen the light, and we are not going back to darkness!”
Mbonu is co-founder of the Washington-based Nigeria and Africa focused Think-Tank, the Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NAL Council). He had previously served as a Commissioner for Housing & Community Development in Maryland, United States.
In 2015 he was designated a “powerful voice on US-Nigeria matters” by the US media giant MSNBC.
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