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 Nigerian asylum seeker first black mayor in Ireland

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Elite Baiter

Joined: 24 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Just a reminder that not all Nigerians are shitty scammers. Good luck to him.

Asylum-seeker from Nigeria becomes the first black Irish mayor
By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
Published: 30 June 2007

A Nigerian who fled to Ireland as an asylum-seeker has just become the country's first black mayor, in what is seen as a landmark in multicultural relations.

Rotimi Adebari, who was elected Mayor of Portlaoise Town Council, received a standing ovation amid scenes of celebration. He declared: "This is not just a country of a thousand welcomes, but a country of a thousand equal opportunities."

Elected by six votes to three, those councillors who voted against him apologised, citing party tradition. One of them said to him: "You seem to radiate happiness and joy. I'd love to know what you're on. We need a bottle of it over here."

Mr Adebari, who is married with four children, arrived in Ireland seven years ago after fleeing religious persecution in Nigeria. He had a difficult start but has since established himself as a councillor and as an activist promoting community relations and integration. He set up a consultancy to train companies and educational institutions in multicultural awareness while completing a masters degree in intercultural studies at a Dublin university.

He has also hosted a weekly radio programme dealing with issues of social inclusion, and has won awards for his work and for "the creativity and commitment he has applied to creating an integrated intercultural society".

The importance attached to his own successful integration into Irish society was highlighted by the attendance at his election meeting of representatives of the Nigerian, South African, US and Indian embassies. Ben Amobi, chargé d'affaires at the Nigerian embassy, said: "Rotimi is an honourable ambassador for his country and for Portlaoise. We feel so proud at this moment."

Many tens of thousands of immigrants have arrived in the Irish Republic over the past decade. The influx posed problems and challenges for the country, but the general sense is that the new arrivals have been accommodated reasonably well.

The "new Irish," as they are sometimes called, have helped keep up the numbers at Catholic churches, which have suffered from falling attendances. One Dublin church holds nine Polish Masses each week.

Even in Northern Ireland, which is often regarded as a less hospitable destination, many immigrants have established themselves. There the picture has been more troubled, with a wave of sometimes vicious racial attacks on newcomers, but a Chinese-born woman, Anna Lo, successfully stood for election to the Belfast Assembly earlier this year.

Mr Adebari, in accepting his new office, said: "History is being made today, not by me Rotimi, but by the people of Portlaoise.Who would ever have thought when I first came to this country seven years ago that I would ever be elected first citizen of the great town of Portlaoise? In my own country today I don't think I'd be accepted in the way I am here today."

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Elite Baiter

Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 1702

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well done to him, its good to see people overcome the odds and excel at things there good at.

If only we could get lads to realise if they put as much effort into real work, they would make much more money than scamming - this guy had nothing he fled his country but instead of turning to crime he made use of the available resources - the results speak for themselves he is now established in a new place and will do well for a long time to come.

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Agi Hammerthief

Joined: 12 Mar 2006
Posts: 668
Location: .de

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Dionysius wrote:
...not all Nigerians are shitty scammers...

I agree with the statement in general...
but let me remind you, that you are talking about a politician here Razz Wink

[edited to de-fuse and clarify my opinion on the subject]

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The Terminator
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Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I hear his cousin will be the town treasurer ....
All town finances will be handled through Western Union .... Shocked

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Baiting Guru

Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5893
Location: Planet X

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My dad was from Laois. Next time I speak to the folks back in Abbeyleix, I'll get some more info. Smile

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