The exchange program is to promote democracy building around the world. Take a listen to my interview with Hon. Adamu Enuto, Benue State, Hon. Udo Oluchi Ibeji, Abia State and Hon. Hassan Saleh, Benue State about the political atmosphere in Nigeria and change you can believe in!
Abuja, officially Abuja Municipal Area Council or AMAC, is the capital city of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Abuja is a planned city, as it was mainly built in the 1980s and officially became Nigeria’s capital on 12 December 1991, replacing the role of the previous capital Lagos. As of the 2006 census, the Federal Capital Territory has a population of 778,567.
In light of the ethnic and religious divisions of Nigeria, plans had been devised since Nigeria’s independence to have its capital in a location deemed neutral to all parties. The location was eventually designated in the centre of the country in the early 1970s as it signified neutrality and national unity. Another impetus for Abuja came because of Lagos’s population boom, that made that city overcrowded and conditions squalid. The logic used was similar to Brazil building its capital Brasília. Construction broke ground and was dedicated in the late 1970s, but due to economic and political instability, the city in its initial stages was not complete until the late 1980s.
The master plan for Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory was developed by IPA (International Planning Associates), a consortium made up of three American firms: PRC Corporation; Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd; and, Archisystems, which was a division of the Hughes Organization. The master plan for Abuja defined the general shape and major design elements of the city, however a refinement of this design was accomplished by Kenzo Tange, a renowned Japanese architect, along with his team of city planners at Kenzo Tange and Urtec company.
Most countries moved their embassies to Abuja and maintain their larger former embassies as consulates in the commercial capital, Lagos. In addition to a major governmental centre, Abuja is the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS. It also has the regional headquarters of OPEC. Abuja and the FCT have experienced a huge population growth; it has been reported that some areas around Abuja have been growing at 20 – 30%.
The members are participating in a three-week International Visitor leader Exchange Program entitled “Democracy and Good Governance,” September 6-23, 2011. They will explore the U.S. political process, in addition to the principles of transparency and accountability in government and business.
On Thursday, September 8, 2011, the group of eight newly-elected members from the Nigerian National Assembly had one-on-one exchanges with two U.S. Representatives and a U.S. Senator, Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) who gave them a good piece of advice: “always remember you are in office to serve the people, not to serve yourself.” While Representative Price (D-NC) elaborated on good governance stating the importance of capacity building and security in Nigeria.
Congressman Price, also emphasised the value of parliamentarian exchanges to promote democracy building around the world. In addition, the group were impressed by Senator Coons (D-DE) enthusiasm to support the political process and promote bilateral relations between the U.S and Nigeria. Kudos to democracy!
Nigeria Speaks ” The Road To Recovery” Special Edition was presented by AfriQtalk Show to help Nigerian Youths make informed choices and to engage them in the political process. Nigerians set out to vote on April 9, 2011. Although, reports of ongoing incidents during the election are with mix reviews, it hasn’t deterred people from casting their vote and activist around the country to ensure transparency, free and fair election.
Election is not about who wins or losses. The question is whether the hard work and patience of the Nigerian people is rewarded. It’s whether we can be about the much needed change that will put the country back not just a place on a map, but to once again be the Pride of Africa. With that being said, I dedicate this poem to the ordinary men and women of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria, who sacrifice selflessly, everyday for the good of country.
I have a dream Nigeria that there was a rebirth of conscience in our leaders, both the young and old alike came out of the wilderness in solidarity and became the new face of nation building.
I have a dream Nigeria that we were no longer defined by ethnicity, corruption, radicalism or religion but by heroism and patriotism.
I have a dream Nigeria that the tears and pains of our motherland gave birth to a new nation, our land flourished once again with resources, innovation and technology to heal, feed and provide for the poor, and destitute.
I have a dream Nigeria that the conscience of Nigeria returned back to Nigerians and that the oppressed and forgotten danced to the sound of freedom, equality and justice for all.
I have a dream Nigeria that change may not come easy, and will come at a cost or perhaps, may not happen in our life time, but because the young and old dare to dream dreams of a better tomorrow, Nigeria will wake up from its sleeping slumber by kiss of destiny, and that history is waiting on you to be written.
I believe like many Nigerians and friends of Nigeria that we must continue to move forward. Our dream of a better Nigeria is bigger than party, and bigger than politics. October 1, 2010, Nigeria celebrated 50 years of Independence from British colonial rule. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Mike Okeke, Publishing Editor, Ebony Pages magazine, TV Executive, host of African Treasures TV Show in Atlanta and Legendary singer, Mike Okri from Nigeria. Take a listen!
Dear Nigerians, elections will be held 04/2011 in Nigeria, how informed are you about the candidates? AfriQtalk Show will be presenting a special edition “entitled Nigeria Speaks “THE ROAD TO RECOVERY” with focus on Youth Development to discuss the following:
To engage Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in a Strategic Outcomes-Oriented Discussion in collaboration with local youth serving organizations, including nongovernmental organizations, government agencies, private businesses, and education agencies to provide resources for Youth Development Programs, and opportunities to enable grass roots nation building process with the premise that Government alone cannot solve all social and economic issues.
AfriQtalk Entertainment is committed to providing three hours a day, five days a week of air time to organizations who are interested in becoming a guest and/or presenter of Nigeria Speaks “THE ROAD TO RECOVERY” show. Also, the platform will be used to talk about their causes and/or vision for Nigeria based on the above range of topics, in addition to other topics of discussion.
Organizations or representatives will be contacted about available dates and time for the show. For more information, e-mail me at email@example.com. Please note that other availabilities is based on first come, first serve basis!
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