People and Places

Meet Blessing, a young female mechanic in Abuja.

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Meet Blessing, a young woman in Abuja who is earning a living in a male dominated profession in Nigeria as a female mechanic. She is a secondary school graduate who decided to progress her life by becoming an apprentice mechanic for 4 years and is now managing a mechanic shop repairing cars.

blessing-the-mechanic

Kudos to Blessing and others like her. She is an inspiration to other young women out there to use their talents rather than their bodies to earn a living. Watch the video in Pigeon English coutesy and video/picture credit by Ocheni Raymond Oche

Meet Blessing the mechanic

Paramount Chief Okuku Assiak of Ikot Ekpene AKS Celebrates 85 Years

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By Dr. Tom Okue
Date: August 1, 2016

On behalf of the family of Late Udo Udo Okure of Nto Umoton Abatekpe family of Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, we congratulate and wish the Paramount Chief and his Royal Highness Okuku Engineer Assiak of Ikot Abia Idem a very happy 85th birthday celebration today.

Paramount Chief Asiaks 85th birthday Pics1We join with his children, family and all the people of Ikot Ekpene local government of Akwa bom State of Nigeria to wish Chief Assiak good health, wisdom and prosperity so that he can continue to provide good leadership and guidance for the continued economic development and prosperity of Ikot Ekpene and its inhabitants. May God grant Chief Assiak peace and happiness as he celebrates his special day.

History of African Paramount Chiefs

A paramount chief in the African context is used to describe a very powerful chief of the highest order. A paramount chief unlike that of a local chief has power which extends over an entire region. In British Colonial times, the term was used to designate the highest level political leader in a colonial regional or local polity or country administered politically with a chief based system. Such a ruler had great authority which transcended multiple chiefdoms or the rulers of exceptionally powerful chiefdoms that have subordinated others. The title of Paramount Chief was a convenient formal title established and used by the British colonial administrators during the 19th and 20th-century in Africa, India and Asian colonies to describe very powerful local rulers equivalent to “kings” in Europe. The term was coined and used as a substitute for King in order to highlight that only the British monarch was entitled to be called King.  Since the title of chief was frequently used to describe local rulers and by British district and town administrators, it became necessary to add Paramount Ruler to a very powerful regional Chief in order to differentiate such a ruling monarch from a local aristocracy.

The video and pictures are courtesy of Hon. David Essien and Ekerete Assiak.

https://www.facebook.com/ekerete.assiak/videos/10208909969660198/

NIGERIAN CAMPAIGN POLITICS AND POLITICIANS: Who Exactly is Femi Fani Kayode

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February 24, 2015
By Tom Okure, PH.D

Who Exactly is Femi Fani Kayode

If you are confused while watching these videos and the speaker Femi Fani Kayode (A Nigerian Politician), You Are Not Alone… Who Exactly is Femi Fani Kayode….Watch, Read and Learn about him:

APC NEWSALERT:…BREAKINGNEWS: Buhari on sick bed in LONDON

 

Channels Television:
Politics Today: Fani-Kayode Says He Saw Evil, Monster In The APC Part 1

The Campaign Director of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential Campaign, Mr Femi Fani Kayode, says the monster, darkness and evil that he saw in the All Progressives Congress made him leave the party when he left the party.

Learn More About Femi Fani Kayode

Follow These Links

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, is in Nigeria for talks with President Goodluck Jonathan and his leading challenger Muhammadu Buhari.

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2015_9JA_JohnKerry3
Kerry in Nigeria for talks with  leading PDP and APC presidential candidates

Mr. John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State is visiting Nigeria to meet with the leading presidential candidates of PDP and APC in Nigeria’s elections. According to the State Department, he will hold separate talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and his leading challenger, former army Gen. Muhammad Buhari.

Kerry plans to persuade the presidential candidates and their supporters to avert violence after the result of the upcoming February 14, 2015 election is announced. One may recall that in 2011, President Jonathan’s disputed election victory was followed by riots in the northern region of Nigeria which resulted in over 800 people being killed.

Read more….http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/svisit_2015.html

Former President Obasanjo blames the Jonathan administration for depleting Nigeria’s reserves and for the deteriorating economic situation in Nigeria.

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Former Nigerian President Obasanjo.
Former Nigerian President Obasanjo.

Nigeria’s former President Obasanjo blames the Jonathan administration in Nigeria for lack of foresight and fiscal mismanagement of the nation’s reserves which has resulted in the adverse economic situation Nigeria is facing due to the collapse in world oil prices.

He made several accusatory allegations against the Jonathan government while hosting the South-West women leaders at his residence in Abeokuta Monday.

Excerpts

“Our economy should not have been this bad. When I was leaving office about eight years ago, I left a very huge reserve after we had paid all our debts. Almost $25billion we kept in what they called excess crude. The excess from the budget we were saving as reserve for the rainy days. When we left in May 2007, the reserve was said to have been raised to $35billion,” ~ Olusegun Obasanjo {former President of Nigeria)

“But today, that reserve has been depleted! Today, that reserve has been depleted. The reserve we left when we finished paying all our debts, our debts that was about 40billion dollars, that is including debt forgiveness, the remaining debt was not more than $3billion…… “That is why the Naira has been falling against the dollar. What would now happen, I learnt if you want to buy a dollar now, it’s about N192 or N195. What it means is this, what you have been buying at N150 to a dollar, now you need N192 or N195 to buy it. That is the real situation. Is there any remedy? There is, but it does not come overnight because it means we have to give up all the bad things we have been doing,”

“In the profession I know very well, the military, what we normally say is that there are no bad soldiers but bad officers. If you see a situation where the soldiers are not doing well, we need to examine the officers in charge. So it is in the family, the community, the town and the country,” ~ Olusegun Obasanjo {former President of Nigeria)

“Good governance comes from voting, from selection of leaders. It is now left to you to decide who you cast your vote for because if you throw away your votes and tomorrow you are saying good governance, once you throw away your votes you have lost out. That is one. Find out the track records of achievements of those you want to vote for. What have they achieved in the past and not what they have said” ~ Olusegun Obasanjo {former President of Nigeria)

“Truly, the price of crude has fallen, but anyone who is wise enough should know that since we depend on just one resources, and since we have no control over its pricing, we should be planning for this type of situation and the way out of it. Our inability to have reserve has brought us into this economic quagmire” ~ Olusegun Obasanjo {former President of Nigeria)

Read More …. http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/174294-obasanjo-attacks-jonathan-accuses-president-squandering-oil-savings.html

Biography of Udo Udo Okure Jr.

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Born: September 26, 1958
Died: September 13, 2014

Udo Udo Okure Jr. was born in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria on September 26, 1958 and was the third son, and the last child of five children of late Hon. Chief Udo Udo Okure, B.A; O.B.E who was a Public Service Commissioner in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria (1960-67).

Late Udo Udo Okure (College Years)

Udo Udo Okure Jr. (commonly known among his childhood friends as OCK or Original Captain Kid), was of Nigerian Annang tribal descent. He grew up with his brothers and sisters at 11 Park Lane in the government reserved area (GRA) suburbs of Enugu, the capital of the then Eastern Regional government of Nigeria. He attended All Saints’ nursery School in Park Lane, Enugu and continued his primary education in WTC Practicing School, Enugu. He then proceeded to the well renowned Government College, Umuahia where he finished with good grades.

After completing his high school education in Nigeria, he gained admission to study Architectural Engineering at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas in the United States of America. Upon the death of his mother Mrs. Umo Essien Okure in 1980, he relocated from Manhattan, Kansas to Albany, New York in order to be close to his brother Dr. Tom Okure and to continue his academic studies in Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY, Albany and obtained a bachelor’s degree.
After completion of his studies, he worked for a number of private engineering firms in New Jersey and the New York State Capital region including Foit-Albert Associates and engineering firm, Laberge engineering etc. He held many positions in the private engineering firms but was really excited about his work as a computer-aided drafting (CAD) specialist. The intensity and insecurity of working for private engineering firms combined with his health challenges led to his decision about seven (7) years ago to start a new career with the New York State government at the Department of Transportation (DOT) in Albany, New York. He was steadily employed and satisfied with his career at the DOT Design Quality Assurance Bureau, Engineering Technology Section in Albany, New York until his sudden life expiration (death) on Saturday September 13, 2014, just thirteen days shy of his birthday on September 26, 2014.
Udo Udo was married to his wife Suzanne Scott of Rochester New York on October 16, 1984. The couple lived together for some years in Lagos, Nigeria and later relocated back to the United States where they divorced. They had no children.
UdoUdo_AtWork1Udo Udo had many friends; he loved life, enjoyed cooking and playing competitive electronic chess games in the internet with friends around the world. He had many health challenges all through his live including polio at the age of two (2), diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Despite his health challenges, he was always happy, smiling and very optimistic about the prospect of a long life and future. Udo Udo a/k/a OCK will be dearly missed by close friends and family members. He is survived by his immediate siblings, Mrs. Helene Nne Bassey (or Nee Okure who resides in Abuja Nigeria), Engr. Christopher Umoton Okure (Manchester, UK), Dr. Tom Udo Okure (Albany, New York ), and many other cousins, nieces, nephews and relatives in The USA, UK and Nigeria.
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Autobiography and Narrative Attribution: Mrs Helene Nne Bassey (Sister, Abuja Nigeria) and Tom U.U. Okure, Ph.D (Brother, Albany, New York USA).

Sewing Nigeria back together

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Sewing Nigeria back together

Source ThisDay (Nigerian Newspaper)
Date: June 11, 2014
By Atiku Abubaka  (Nigeria’s former vice-president)

Atiku Abubakar (Nigeria's former Vice President)
Atiku Abubakar (Nigeria’s former Vice President)

Nigeria is at a crossroads, entombed within a growing quagmire shaped by chronic apathy and an institutionalised disregard for human welfare.  A once promising nation, Nigeria was a beacon of hope for African development, education, security and economic prosperity. Today, however, we find ourselves the victims of extreme insecurity resultant of lackadaisical policy implementation and enforcement, coupled with the persistent neglect of the needs of the Nigerian people.

Due to insecurity, a broken economy and increasing environmental misfortunes, Nigeria has become a collection of fragmented pieces, loosely held together by a common history and identity. Roughly six million Nigerians have found themselves homeless after relocating to unfamiliar lands after violence and insecurity, insufficient economic opportunities or uninhabitable environments took away their livelihoods, homes and loved ones. 3.3 million Nigerians are internally displaced within Nigeria, while the remaining 2.7 million have found themselves scattered across the globe. Often times, the improvement brought by the move is minimal at best as combinations of prejudice, poor economic conditions and insecurity provide for widespread instability across Nigeria.

In a recent report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), it was discovered that “the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria is approximately a third of the IDPs in Africa and 10 per cent of IDPs in the world.” According to the report, approximately “470,500 persons were displaced in Nigeria in 2013 alone placing it as the country with the third highest number of displaced persons in the world. Nigeria is only ranked behind Syria with 6.5 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and Colombia with 5.7 million IDPs.”

I find this news devastating and unacceptable. For decades, earnest Nigerians at all levels of society have made efforts to change the wave of negligence and dishonesty that have fuelled the rash of insecurity, violence, instability and economic misfortune, but their efforts have been disjointed, tenuous and in vain.

Change does not happen in a vacuum full of individuals acting independently of one another, but takes the conscientious, collective effort of an entire community. Together Nigerians must recognise the underlying problems that have ushered in Nigeria’s current problems, and develop sustainable solutions to reverse the downward trends of apathy, insecurity, unemployment and intolerance. In order to resolve these mounting issues, it is necessary for Nigerians to implement a multi-level, unified effort, incorporating a steadfast government policy and enforcement programme coupled with grassroots attention to local conditions and needs.

Nigeria’s journey towards recovery will require unprecedented focus and perseverance. Violence, insecurity, and the multitude of maladies that have caused millions of Nigerians to relocate will take time and the dedication of our leadership and our people to resolve, but there are a number of proactive steps that can be undertaken to alleviate some of the pain of relocation in the interim. There are two primary tiers of action involved in addressing internal displacement of Nigerians.

The first tier addresses the immediate concerns of displaced Nigerians, by appointing a government body in charge of guaranteeing the safety, protection and economic vitality of displaced persons. A former Minister of the Niger Delta, Dr. Sam Ode, recently called for a constitutional provision that would ensure the security and resettlement of displaced persons while providing shelter, clothing, and food. In tandem with a federal body tasked with overseeing and protecting displaced persons, local agencies will need to be established to develop localised solutions to the needs of the displaced persons, while serving as the main distributors and monitors of the identified goods and services. Key areas of services will include vocational education and job training, health assistance, access to clean water and cooking fuel, and more.

The second tier addresses pervasive and damaging apathy of governing bodies while simultaneously confronting the current instability, insecurity, intolerance and insurgency in Nigeria that have arisen from deep-seated avarice. Together, Nigeria can make kidnappings, bombings, disenfranchisement and intolerance a thing of the past.

I see a future Nigeria free of oppression, insurgency and widespread indifference – a Nigeria where its people are unified in an effort to bring criminals to justice and pave a safe path upon which Nigerians can return to the comfort, safety and familiarity of their homes.

Change is constant and unpredictable, but even uninvited change can be transformed to represent a new beginning with new opportunities for Nigeria’s future. Nigeria has been presented with an opportunity to cleanse itself from its bleak past, and to unite once and for all as a Nigerian people who will no longer withstand the intolerance, violence, apathy and economic volatility of yesterday, but join together with a single goal of creating a better tomorrow.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.