| Faza Suraj |
MORE than 200 guests attended a colourful cultural event marking the 54th Anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence which falls on October 1 every year. The event was held at Pusat Insani on Saturday, October 12.
Themed as ‘The King and His Music’, the event was graced by Hj Haris bin Othman, the Belait District Officer, accompanied by Janet Olisa, the Representative of the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Malaysia and Brunei and Ken Marnoch, the Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd. The event was attended by some 45 families from the Nigerian Section of Panaga.
The event began with the singing of the national anthems of both Brunei Darussalam and Nigeria; the ‘Allah Peliharakan Sultan’ and the ‘Arise, O Compatriots’.
This was followed by an opening speech by Emeka Obi, the Chairman of the Nigerian Section of Panaga. In his speech, he highlighted an important value of the Nigerians, which is to always give back to the society they live in. He said, “This year we have chosen again to partner with the SMARTER (Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training, Education and Resources) family. This autism centre has always shared the value we hold strongest.”
He also took the opportunity to speak about the Ebola virus which has invaded three countries in the West African region. He said that his country Nigeria was one of the victims of this deadly disease and many people fell ill in the months of June and July.
Emeka informed that Nigeria was declared Ebola free by the UN after 42 days, when no new infection case was found and also said, “The hard truth is that this Ebola disease is not just an outbreak. This is a social crisis, a humanitarian crisis, an economic crisis, and a threat to national security well beyond the outbreak zones.
If these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic, it will have profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.”
The Nigerian Section of the Panaga Club will be donating B$1,000 to Ebola eradication causes in Liberia through the Doctors Without Borders and we solicit the support of every Nigerian, African, well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to join this worthy cause.” He informed that Doctors Without Borders is a major group that helped their Lagos Ebola centre during the months when Nigeria was hit by the disease.
Throughout the event, the audience was entertained with dance performances by the Panaga Dance Club. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the performances as the children displayed their talents in the form of hip-hop dance. The ladies of the Nigerian Section of Panaga, performed Swange. It is a cultural dance by women in Nigeria performed during the Yam Festival, a popular holiday celebrated usually in August.
The event ended with the cutting of the anniversary cake and the presentation of a donation from the Nigerian Section of Panaga to the representatives of SMARTER.