Furious members of the UK based Muslim Association of Nigeria (MANUK) have blasted the Nigerian High Commission and two other Diaspora organisations, claiming they were forced to scale down their Nigerian independence celebration because more than £30,000 promised to them has failed to materialise.
Hajia Arowolo, who is treasurer at MANUK and a steering committee member for Nigeria 50, told The Voice that they had hoped to do more to celebrate Nigeria’s 50th independence on October 1 but they were left disappointed when they did not get the £30,900 promised to them by the Nigerian High Commission, which should have come through the Nigeria in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) and umbrella group, the Central Association of Nigeria in the UK (CANUK). “Nigeria at 50 is over now.
We did not receive a penny,” she said.
Alhaji Tajudeen Salami, who is the Association’s Imam, backed Arowolo’s claim. “A member from CANUK and another from NIDOE- Nigerian In Diaspora Organisation Europe and a representative from the High Commission came to us to organise the activity for the day two months before the date.
We asked for £30,900 and till today we didn’t get a penny.”
Salami, who is also the Amir of the Council of Nigerian Muslim organisation (CNMO), added: “The second vice president of the CANN, Toyin Ibrahimo-Igbo asked us to establish a committee, which we did.
After we made all the necessary arrangement and preparation Mr Igbo disappeared. They didn’t show up and we don’t know why,” Salami told The Voice during the scaled back independence celebrations last Friday.
Alhaji Garba, CNMO’s vice president, said he was “disappointed and disgusted, knowing there has been money released and it didn’t come to where it should have.”
He said when “the promised money was not received” the event was then funded by the CNMO. Arowolo said: “There was food but (it was) not as elaborate as we planned.”
The Voice tried to get responses from the Nigerian High Commission, Toyin Ibrahimo-Igbo from CANUK and NIDOE but none of them had responded up to press time.