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Nigeria's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States, Dr. Ade Adefuye has stated that Wal Mart stores will be opening several outlets in Nigeria very soon. "This will create thousands of jobs and strenghten the Nigerian economy" he stated. The ambassador made the revelation during his two day visit to Nashville, Tennessee which started on Thursday December 1, 2011.  He was accompanied by Ms. Martha Okpi, Minister Counselor and Chief of Protocol at the Nigerian Embassy.

During his visit, the Ambassador met with state and city officials, visited educational institutions and met with the business community.  The Ambassador was welcomed to the State by Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey who expressed optimism about the potentials of increased business relations between Tennessee and Nigeria. Dr. Adefuye also expressed identical sentiments. Tokunboh Omishakin, Tennessee's Assistant Commissioner for Transportation was also at the meeting. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Ramsey proclaimed  Dr. Adefuye as "Tennessee's Ambassador of Goodwill".

One of the highlights of the ambassador's visit was as a special guest at the passing out parade of new recruits of the Nashville Police Academy.  On introduction by Mayor Carl Dean, the Ambassador was given a thunderous ovation by the obvioulsy excited crowd who were pleased with the Ambassador's prescence. Later, Dr. Adefuye had a private one on one meetings with Police Chief Steve Anderson and Mayor Carl Dean respectively. Both Chief Anderson and Dr. Adefuye expressed interest in cooperation between the Nigerian Police and Nashville Police Department. Given the current security  situation in Nigeria, every help is welcome.

As a former Professor of history, Ambassador Adefuye still displayed his professorial touch during his visits to Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. At Fisk University, Dr. Adefuye was treated to a sumptuous luncheon where he spoke to Nigerian students and Professors and took questions. "My job is to make sure that the interests and rights of all Nigerians resident in the United States are protected to the fullest. We will not stand by, while the rights of law abiding Nigerians are violated or trampled upon", he told the students.  Nigerian Professors Umontuen and Justus Ike thanked the Ambassador for his visit and requested that the Ambassdor use his good offices to facilitate a partnership between Fisk University and a Nigerian institution.

At Meharry Medical College, the President Dr. Wayne Riley requested an MOU between the University of Lagos Medical School and his institution. He asked the Ambassador to use his good offices to speeed up the process. Dr. Adefuye was very excited about the potentials of such a linkage and asked Dr. Riley to send the relevant documents to him expeditiously. The Ambassador was also very elated to meet Dr. Joseph Arinze (brother of the future Pope Cardinal Francis Arinze) who was invited to  meet with the Ambassador during the visit.

Opryland Hotel also threw a very welcoming mat for Dr. Adefuye. He had a breakfast meeting  with the hotel executives and was given an extensive tour of the complex.  Dr Adefuye told the executives that he was amazed at the size of the complex and the efficiency exhibited in its operations. He stated that he will look into the possibility of a public/private partnership to build such a complex in Nigeria. "In order to attract more tourists and boost our tourist industry, we need such a hotel in our country. I will inform the President on what i have seen", he stated.  Dollar General Corporation will be next.

Nigerian hospitality was not found wanting either, as Reverend George Adebanjo and his wife threw a sumptuos dinner/reception for the Ambassador at their residence. Prominent amongst those who attended the dinner include Tokunboh Omishakin(from Oshun State) who is currently Tennessee's Assistant Commissioner for Transportation, Physician Afam Ikejiani, Attorney Jolade Moore, Council Woman Erica Gilmore, Catherine Wyatt-Morley, President of WOMEN(Hiv/Aids Center), and Reginald Pierre, President, Haitian Business Council.

One can say without equivocation, that Dr. Adefuye is not only an epitome of humility and compassion, but a highly capable, erudite and articulate diplomat. Certainly, one of the best and most suitable appointments of the Jonathan administration.

The Ambassador's visit was organized and executed by Dr. Leonard Madu, President of the PanAfrica Conference. He is also President of the African Carribean Center/Institute. 


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