By David F. Effiong
“I was invited to Lagos during the celebration of America’s 241st anniversary. There, I met Nigeria’s top politicians, writers, diplomats and journalists. The American government did make sure there was enough food to eat and enough drinks. What was quite surprising, yet interesting, was that this was a gathering of Nigeria’s top guys who saw themselves AS Nigerians. No one talked about Arewa, Oduduwa, Militants or Biafra. We all met ourselves as Nigerians. One should then be amazed why the younger generation is not wise enough…”
(Photo: With Dr Edward Obi, Msp in his office).
These were Edward Obi’s words (paraphrased) in a discourse with him in his office in Port Harcourt.
Dr. Edward Obi, MSP is the National Coordinator at National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND). He is also the Executive Director of Gas Alert for Sustainable Initiative (GASIN). His Doctoral dissertation on Social Ethics (published in the Faculty of Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2009) was titled “Oil Corporations’ Private Ownership in South-south Nigeria in Light of Universal Destination of Goods,” sought to bring Participative Ownership into Global Public Good Discourse. He has a Masters Degree in Moral Theology from the above named University. Dr. Eddie has also worked as a Missionary in Botswana, South Africa and .
(Photo: His Doctoral dissertation in Leuven).
Last year in Abuja, I met Mr Reuben from Amsterdam, UK, who introduced himself as an intern working with Dr Eddie in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. While taking about Reuben with him on table, Dr. Edward told me he is also expecting three interns from the UK. Only a few Nigerians have been privileged to work with him, I must say.
(Photo: The GASIN plague in his office).
Having heard Dr. Edward Obi MSP speak on several occasions, I cannot but be awed by his intelligence. I am elated and challenged by his input thus far in Nigeria. I am even more excited that his dissertation in theory has been embraced in practice. He tells me of that story of a Nigerian whose academic pursuits in a foreign land was translated into a viable international organization at the heart of it all -Port Harcourt. Dr. Edward Obi’s story is a story of a sublime belief in the power of our theories, especially when brought alive!
Photo credit: Asuqwo Duke, Msp; cwcnog.com
My name is David Francis and the nature of my engagements include:
Philosophy (University of Jos, Nigeria); Researcher (St. Albert’s Institute, Fayit-Fadan, Kaduna, Nigeria); Editor (Sapientia African Leadership Formation Programme, e. V Address: Badenstedter Street, 99 30453, Hannover, Germany); Literature (S. E. M. S. Nassarawa State, Nigeria); Former Associate Editor, “Periscope Magazine,” Abuja and Columnist, “Seekers Delight Magazine,” Kaduna.
I simply try to question the ‘happy darkness’ by encouraging more hands to minimize ignorance. Just a dose of knowledge, is enough in training the mind, to conform to nothing except truth. Let’s ride this train together!
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