All hail Uzokwe’s Nigeria: Contemporary Commentaries and Essays
Recently in faraway Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States, the formal presentation and signing of the book titled Nigeria: Contemporary Commentaries and Essays took place. Written by Alfred Obiora Uzokwe, the book is a collection of some of the author’s published and unpublished critical commentaries about Nigeria’s triumphs, her travails and the way forward.
The MC, Ms Theresa Adigwu, a director of nursing and president of Nigerian Association of Central Pennsylvania, reiterated the reason for the gathering and talked about some of the essays in the book. Speaking during the event, the chairman, Mr. Andrew Onwudinjo, an attorney in Pennsylvania, noted that he could personally relate to many of the commentaries in the book, especially the ones dealing with prostate cancer because it hit home not long ago with the affliction of a relative. He urged all men to always get tested for prostate cancer.
Speaking later, Mr Uzokwe noted that he was aware that as an engineer, people wonder what got him into writing essays and commentaries about Nigeria. He said that he wanted to continually hold elected and public officials accountable through his writings. He catalogued the ways that years of military dictatorship stagnated Nigeria’s development but noted that for the past 16 years, Nigeria’s democracy had started thriving, rubbishing the prognostication of those who thought the country would disintegrate by now. He said that Nigeria had produced so many people distinguished in their areas of specialty and pointed to the fact that vehicles were now manufactured in Nigeria as well as computers.
He enumerated some of the articles he has written over 14 years about Nigeria and noted that as the time of writing, he had written more than 2000 pages of commentaries. He said that Nigeria’s problem was not the absence of smart people, resources or smart ideas but the absence of accountability by public and elected officials. He urged citizens and those with the power of the pen to continually demand accountability from public and elected officials as a way to advance Nigeria’s democracy.
The book which was later formally presented, consists of diverse topics including politics, aviation, infrastructure, health, welfare, economy and general interest. Mr Uzokwe noted that it will make a great reference material for those who want to keep abreast of developments in Nigeria as well as those conducting research about the country. It will also serve as another tool for Nigeria’s policy makers in their everyday quest for better decision-making.
During the event, many speakers extolled Mr Uzokwe’s ability to capture Nigeria’s problems in his writings and urged him not to relent.
Alfred Obiora Uzokwe is also the author of the book, Surviving in Biafra: The Story of the Nigerian Civil War. The book is the story of the Nigerian civil war seen through the eyes of Alfred who was seven years when the war started in 1967 and turned 10 in 1970 when the last shots were fired. He is an architect and engineer trained in both the United States and Nigeria and is the director of Facility Design and Construction for an agency in Pennsylvania. In that capacity, he directs the work of more than 60 professionals in the design and construction of roads, bridges, culverts, buildings and several other infrastructure.