The Ama Ibi Gosé Project

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The Ama Ibi Gosé Project

I come from a little Island situated in southern Nigeria, located less than two miles from two of the country’s oil refineries – a major source of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. In spite of this and the fact that the Wakirike (people of Okrika) have produced 1000s of successful professionals in almost every field of endeavour, a lot still needs to be done to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable in our communities – our women, children and the elderly.

My friend, Dr Abiye Hector-Goma, (YouTube video) is the UK co-ordinator of the Wakirike Development Coalition, their main project being The Ama Ibi Gose Project; he shares my passion for reaching out to the less fortunate in society, which is what this project is essentially about. This is what he has to say…

An aerial photograph of part of Okrika mainland and island taken from one of the two refineries located nearby.

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Feel free to peruse the 2011-2012 annual report (click on image below), where you’ll discover how donations received during the period in review have been disbursed and very successfully utilised, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr Abiye Hector-Goma, his wife Modupe, and the rest of the Coalition.

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Click on image to view

Your donations will be utilised effectively as seen from the table below, which I have copied from the report.

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A bit of Wakirike music; enjoy 🙂

‘Iyowuna Tamuno’

‘Seki, Siki’

Thanks a lot for your anticipated support.

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Sotonye Afiesimama

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Sotonye Afiesimama is passionate about personal development; he is also a Day Trader, internet marketer, blogger, multi-instrumentalist, and Graphic Designer. His artwork of a Combine Harvester was shortlisted to be included in a United Nations publication to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1995. Sotonye has now helped 100s of business owners from around the world utilize attraction marketing principles to build their businesses.

 

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An old adage states that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Check out this interesting article by my friend, Dr Abiye Hector-Goma, reproduced here by his permission.

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Health: An Ambulance or Fence? Adding Years to Life or Life to Years

AbiyeHector-Goma

A little over 16 years ago while sitting in a Health Promotion lecture at Leeds Metropolitan University, I heard the retelling of Joseph Malins’ 1895 poem, “The Fence or the Ambulance” (The Ambulance Down in the Valley). It is a poem well worth reading, as it talks about two important interventions – building a fence to prevent people falling off a cliff, or buying an ambulance to transport them to hospital after they had fallen. All over the world, when matters of health are discussed, we still lay focus on buying an ambulance instead of building a fence.
In September 2000, I had an opportunity to participate in a presentation in the House of Commons, London and I discussed with the MPs, Lords and Baronesses who came by my exhibition and likened heart health to a multi-storey building.
The foundation is invisible when the building is completed but it is the most important part and represents the broad determinants of health: a place to live, a place to work and a place to love (and feel valued). The ground floor represents the lifestyle – healthy eating, being active, being happy and not smoking. The first floor represents health screening and checks – blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, glucose. The next floor represents the warning bells before heart health fails – drugs to treat hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol. At the third floor is the theatrical razzmatazz of failed heart health when, following a heart attack the siren of the ambulance drowns the cacophony of voices as it speeds to the Coronary Care Unit and Catheter laboratories where clot busters and angioplasties save precious lives. Of course, the roof of the building is the front page news of cardiac transplant and related complex surgeries.
Which brings us back to the poem. If you have to build the house of heart health, where will you put your money first?
In the ideal world, we should have sufficient resources to buy an ambulance and build a fence. Where resources are limited, it is always better to invest in prevention / health promotion, then health screening before talking about basic and more complex screening.
I have seen many outstanding clinicians who at their valedictory lectures talked not about their scientific discoveries or medical procedures but one and all, they talked about education, employment and the broad determinants of health as the best way to ensure the health of our nation.
As we meet to discuss the Health of the Wakirike Nation, let us remember to build the fence first before we buy an ambulance.
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Bill & Melinda Gates: “Giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done”
There are very few people who I admire as much as Bill and Melinda Gates. The simple reason – intelligent giving. Wisdom nuggets aplenty.

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Mission To Okrika‘ is an excerpt from an insightful and balanced article by Niyi Egbe. Click here for the full version.

I had hunches that one story wouldn’t adequately narrate the sights of Port Harcourt, describe its residents and afford a commentary of its politics. 

Two destinations were high on the mind. First, Okrika, the hometown of our President’s Dame – our all too familiar First Lady, Dr Mrs Patience Jonathan. Then, Eleme, site of the famed Eleme Petro Chemical Plant. The trip was more compelling especially upon learning that both towns are geographically close.

I was ardent at seeing Okrika the town that has been well advertised by our First Lady, Madam Dame Patience Jonathan. No doubt, the town folks of madam first lady should be a humble lot. Much as cross-cultural marriages are beneficial – at least for the biological gain in heterosis. A town that released a precious daughter to a man whom the oracle must have revealed as been so poor and was shoeless at cradle deserves commendation. They were noble in placing a premium on substance rather than the frivolities.  They took a gamble and gave Patience to Goodluck. Imagine what fate has bequeathed them, when Patience and Goodluck make part of a cauldron, the unimaginable happens, one of them making it to the Nigerian seat of power at Aso Rock.

I set for Eleme and Okrika from Woji through the Old Refinery road at Apajo. Happily but for one thoroughly dilapidated portion of that road, most of the trunk b road was okay. This road links a broader expressway that took us to destination Okrika.  We drove for about thirty minutes without hitches before eventually detouring leftwards towards Okrika.  It was a relief that this road leading to the economic jugulars of the nation was largely okay.

I was taken aback on realising that the nation’s premier petroleum refinery is sited at Okrika. I imagined that proximity to Port Harcourt has had most people deem Port Harcourt as the site of the refinery. The premises of the refinery were relatively kempt. Expectedly, needed security was provided at the entry point by the Nigeria Police. At the background, there were two well-worn chambers towering above other structures. A look at the state of the miserable looking nooses of the chambers adequately relayed the often told tales of the sorry state of our refineries. The chambers also spoke volumes of our legendary inability sustain infrastructural facilities and institutions. Simple maintenance and expansion for the future would have saved the nation billions that are frittered away through importation of fuel.

As we made our way out, I couldn’t help but feel for the little town that has had its challenges with poverty and neglect. For a town that has been taking the toll of industrialisation, one would have expected some reprieve – good roads, well-built homes, high quality livelihood evident in the citizenry. These were visibly missing.

No doubt, the ordinarily quiet Okrika town set amidst transitory forests of mangroves and Elias guinnesis dotted rain forests has lost it innocence. The town is raped by smokes belched from the refinery plant and noisy intrusion of its ambience by industrial plants and vehicular movement.  This painfully is a price that the community and others in similar throes have to pay to satisfy the quest for the black gold. 

 

 

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