Nigerians in the US recently celebrated Ambassador Samson Itegboje, who just completed his tenure as Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Itegboje was celebrated with a farewell reception that was hosted by the US chapter of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation in collaboration with Nigerian professional bodies in the country.
Itegboje was deployed to the UN in 2017 and he is leaving a mark of meritorious service at the UN under Nigeria’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Tijani Muhammad-Bande.
Itegboje represented Nigeria as Chairman, Special Committee on Peacekeeping; Interim coordinator, Alliance for Poverty Eradication; Joint chair, Committee on Illicit Financial Flows and in other capacities.
He will go back to Abuja to serve as Director of International Organisations in Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The reception was virtually held owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and was attended by Nigerian diplomats, leaders of communities and professional bodies.
Those in attendance described Itegboje as a quintessential diplomat and patriotic Nigerian, who loves identifying with the Nigerian community.
They also spoke his love, mentorship and regular presence at Nigerian events, even the notice given to him is short.
While extolling his virtues, Muhammad-Bande disclosed he enjoyed an intimate and harmonious working relationship with Itegboje, who he described as very loyal, patriotic and exceptional in his service at both the mission and to the Nigerian community at large.
He labeled his outgoing deputy as a hardworking officer, and a bright example of excellence that is highly respected by Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The Permanent Representative urged Nigerians in the United States to be good ambassadors and that they should always endeavour to celebrate Nigeria’s achievements.
In the same vein, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Benaoyagha Okoyen, extolled the virtues of Itegboje and described him as one of the best in the diplomatic service.
Okoyen said: “Comments made by other speakers about him are not flattery. They are a true reflection of the man. He a good man, an achiever, a team player and reliable diplomat, who has done well for Nigeria.”
The former Chairman of NIDO US, Patience Kay, talked about Itegboje’s mentorship and fatherly character to many Nigerian organisations.
Also, Kay described him as a great friend, father, Nigerian and pillar of support who always put other engagements on hold in a bid to identify with the Nigerian community.
In his response, Itegboje thanked NIDO USA and other organisations for the honour and display of love.
He said: “I enjoy meeting with Nigerians wherever I find myself. It is my passion. I have particularly enjoyed working with NIDO USA.
“I have always held the view that the Diaspora is an integral part of the Nigerian project. I agree with you that we all have a role to play in making Nigerian great.
“We hold the ace to the economic and technological leapfrogging of our dear country. That’s why we don’t joke with invitations from NIDO whose members show passion and love for their home country.”
He urged Nigerians abroad to keep faith in their fatherland and keep on working make Nigeria great.