The Manitoba government has introduced a bill that would commemorate Nigerian Independence Day and celebrate the dynamic community of Nigerians here in Manitoba, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara.

“This is something that has been spoken about in the Nigerian community for a long time,” said Asagwara. “The importance of having Nigerian Independence Day recognized formally through legislation helps to make Nigerians feel seen and our history as a people valued in a province which has welcomed our community.”

The proposed act would designate October 1 as Nigerian Independence Day. On that day in 1960, Nigeria freed itself from decades of British colonial rule.

“This day is very significant. Today, we are thinking of all the elders in the community who sacrificed so that the future generations could thrive in Manitoba,” said Asagwara. “This bill uplifts all the those in the community who advocated so we can be where we are today and to inspire future generations to be proud of who they are.”

There are more than 7,000 Nigerians living throughout Manitoba, the minister noted.

“This bill would create awareness for all Manitobans to learn about Nigerian Independence Day, what Nigerians have overcome and the significant contributions they have made to our province as a whole,” said Asagwara.

The minister is the first and only Nigerian member of the legislative assembly.