NIGERIA’S diaspora community in Britain is now several organisations stronger after the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) recently welcomed seven new members into its ranks after they met its stringent membership criteria.
Founded in 2005 to serve as the umbrella body of every Nigerian organisation in the UK, Canuk is set up to embrace all manners of associations, be they cultural, state-based, regional, student, sporting, alumni associations or professional. As part of this drive to bring every Nigerian in the UK under one tent, Canuk’s current executive committee has set about recruiting associations with a gusto.
At its recent November monthly meeting, the Canuk exco approved the membership applications of the Nigerian Students Union UK, the Nigerian Community in Essex, the Nigerian Community in Nottingham, the Egba United Society, the Nigerian Disability Association UK, the Association of Professional Wedding Engagement Coordinators of Nigeria UK Chapter and Hussey College Warri Old Students Association UK. All of them will now become full members once they pay their registration and annual membership fee.
Ayo Akinfe, the Canuk chairman, said: “When Canuk was formed, it was envisaged that there were about 200 Nigerian associations in the UK. We are looking to at least have 200 member organisations by the end of next year, so have embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive.
“These new members will be presented with official welcome letters at our end-of-year gala dinner on December 17 taking place in London. After they have been formally introduced to the Canuk family they will also have the privilege of taking pictures with his Excellency the high commissioner Ambassador Sarafa Ishola, who is just as passionate as us about growing our community.”
Taking place at the Regency Banqueting Suite in Tottenham, the Canuk three course dinner will bring together all the Nigerian associations in the UK. Hoping to draw a line under the hard times that characterised the pandemic lockdown, Canuk is hoping that this mega event will revitalise the Nigerian social and entertainment industry.
Chris Agbai, Canuk’s second vice chairman, added: “We are not taking this issue of membership lightly, so are delighted to have got our ambitious recruitment programme off t a flying start. We have a membership committee, whose job it will be to go out and recruit Nigerian associations wherever they are in the UK.
“Canuk is going to scour every nook and cranny of the UK in search of Nigerians, so we can reach out to everybody and represent them effectively. Our constitution says you need 20 members to qualify for membership, so once we can verify that these bo9dies are genuine, we will approve their applications.”
According to Doyin Owoeye, Canuk’s social secretary, the December 17 event is about Canuk reaching out to its members and celebrating what has been a difficult year with them. She added that during the course of 2022, new associations will be incorporated into Canuk’s activities as they join.
Princess Christian-Iwuagwu, the Canuk financial secretary urged everyone who wants to purchase tickets to do so by paying directly into the Canuk bank account. She added that they should do this pay making payments into the association’s Lloyds Bank account with the sort code of 301553 and account number 00224400.