Igbo Union Hungary celebrated its 2010 end of the year party last Sunday. Founded in 2008, the Union is two years old. It was started as a mutual gathering among people that passionately believes it has something in common ÔÇô most especially culture.

With the formation of this Union, a group of people with common interest has been able to identify and establish themselves in a foreign land. If well managed, these people can achieve many feats in this Danube area. Their action is what is known as: Togetherness We Stand.

African News Hungary salutes the efforts of both the founding and executive members of Igbo Union for creating a forum whereby a people can show complete unity and agreement with each other. It is particularly a boost to the Union by inviting non-Igbo to such occasion where Nigerians in great numbers mingled and partied together.

ANH believes such permanent solidarity can be a vehicle by which the Igbo would ride to become a force to be reckoned with in Hungary. It all depends on the aims and aspirations of the Union ÔÇô including but not limited to good and visionary leadership which sadly is missing in our dear country ÔÇô Nigeria.

Every established and influential union often starts with a step like this. It is highly necessary especially in a foreign country where minorities are believed to be treated like second or even third class citizens. The emergency of solidarity can provide emotional and spiritual protection.

Meanwhile thisUnion seems to be clever by saying it is operating under the Nigerian Union Hungary which is existing only by name. However, the existence of Igbo Union Hungary is against what Ambassador Yomi Akintola echoed in 2001 when he cajoled the executive members of Yoruba Union Hungary to dismiss the idea and instead form a Nigerian Union. Interestingly as time passed by, Edo Union operated side by side with Nigerian Union.

Mr. Akintola may have had good intentions but his idea is as hypocritical as is impractical. Of course, there could be Nigerian Union in addition to Ethnic Unions. Unless we prefer theory over pragmatism, every Nigerian considers him/herself an Igbo or Hausa or Edo or Yoruba and so on before Nigerian.

Nigerian different ethnic groups in Nigeria still mistrust each other hence the transportation of such sentiment to a foreign land. Perhaps this explains why Igbo or Yoruba or Edo Union for example may succeed where Nigerian Union fail.

Therefore ANH would not like to point accuse fingers in part because, Nigerian Union Hungary apparently serves as a reflection of what transpires in Nigeria as a whole where the so-called leaders often pretend to prefer ONE NIGERIA whilst surreptitiously dividing the country by their nefarious and cunning acts.

Despite the civil war that lasted three years from 1967 to1970, Nigerians would have truly reconciled and united through WAZOBIA, a common language proposed in the 80's. But politicians' personal aggrandizement killed such knowledge and hope.

Nigerians born in the 80's even twenty years earlier would have been able to speak WAZOBIA perfectly by now. What a shame!

Lastly, let each ethnic group in Hungary shows us that it can manage its association well, and then such successful experience can be used to transform into a larger union. It is on this note that ANH salutes and welcomes Igbo Union Hungary.

Hakeem Babalola, Managing Editor, African News Hungary