According to eyewitness...
Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora spoke to Nigeria Canadians in Toronto through a town hall meeting organized by the Nigeria Canadian Association (NCA) on September 8th, 2016. The acting Nigeria high commissioner was there too with his entourage.More:
Abike Dabiri as you may know was a radio host at Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and because of this, she was a familiar face when she arrived in a very simple dress typical of North American leaders. Canada being the most secure country in the world, you can walk around with free mind. Most attendees of the town hall meeting were expecting to see Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information and culture at the event but was instead represented by Abike Dabiri.
We would guess that either because of the timing of the town hall meeting or the lack of interest in Nigerian affairs , most Nigerians in Toronto could not attend the event thus leading to lots of empty seats at the venue. Kudos to the NCA president, Chidi Nwanwanwu for sticking through thick and thin to organize the event.
Just before the opening speech started, members of the Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB stormed the venue with their placards moving to and across the high table where the dignitaries were sitting. The acting Nigeria High commissioner sitting next to Abike Dabiri developed a cold feet. You could see him speak to one of his aids to call for security. You would also expect that Abike will fall off her chair but she summoned enough courage to address the Biafrans in the most pacifying voice that made the difference the rest of the evening.
“Gentlemen, please sit down. Put your placard away, I understand how you feel, I promise you we will discuss all issues in detail tonight” She said.
The IPOB members that attended were not expecting any accommodating statement from a Nigerian paid government official given ongoing Biafran killings in the South East Nigeria and the position of the Nigerian government on Biafra issues and the quest for Biafra referendum. From the look on their faces (IPOB), you could feel that they were prepared to disrupt the event of the evening but alas, Abike’s manner of approach melted their intentions and they accepted to take their seats.