In the aftermath of the euphoria generated by Prime Minister David Cameron’s appearance at the RCCG’s Festival of Life, I believe that the highly influential Pastor Agu Irukwu – Chairman of the RCCG UK, might like to consider taking advantage of the current “romance” (I use this word lightly cos we all know that the last thing the Tories have in mind is the BME interest) to forge a closer link with Downing Street and backed by the sheer number of Nigerians in the UK, establish a representation that will speak up for the over 2 million of us.
The presence we have in Westminster at the moment do not seem to be interested in doing that. Our number is far greater than the Sikhs that Cameron also visited but his visit to their temple is getting a lot more coverage in the national press. This is because the Sikhs and the Muslims – believe it or not – have close ties with Downing Street and have regular sessions and functions with the PM and are therefore more important to the British media.
The hundreds of thousands of hard working, law abiding and tax paying Nigerians that have been living in the UK for decades but have no legal status is one of the issues we face as a major BME that could be raised on this platform.
Not too long ago, I was at a meeting held by an organisation advocating for Nigerian parents having their kids taken from them due to child abuse (in some cases, mild corporal punishment) I raised the issue of the need to educate the establishment and the judiciary on the Nigerian culture of discipline (within reason, of course) and taking this into consideration while determining such cases. I was point blank told that the establishment will not change the law of the land to accommodate the culture of others. Bigamy is a criminal offence in this country. However many muslims from Asian countries live comfortably and legally in this country with their multiple wives…… hate preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri is a good example.
Our people are yet to understand that group (not individual) pressure, lobbying and excellent group representation can influence the government especially if they need to curry our favour through our numbers which we now have.
We need a louder voice and clearer presence in Westminster and in Downing Street – and maybe we have that right candidate in the person of Pastor Agu…….