Tag Archives: USA

MARGARET ITAUMA: PERSEVERANCE PAYS BACK

27 Aug

By Dr. Inyang Oduok

Margaret Itauma - AKISAN President

Margaret Itauma  – AKISAN President

 

Those of us familiar with her fighting spirit knew she wasn’t going to give up. She is not a quitter. Defeat may test us, but it needs not stop us. If at first we don’t succeed, we should try again. For every obstacle there is a solution. Nothing in the world can replace perseverance. There is no failure except in no longer trying. The greatest mistake is giving up. Margret Itauma’s victory is a living testimony.

Being around her you know she is for real. She is not a feminist you would say, but her take on the plight of Ibom women’s civil and political liberties is a serious business.   

Her support for the various organizations, visit to the sick members of Ibom families, funerals, driving miles for graduation ceremonies, weddings, writing checks and assisting in raising funds for various organizations in various states is fervent. She has never missed one medical mission to Ibom State since its founding. Where you are committed to a cause, you go where the need is.  

Yes, you did not vote for Margret Itauma’s Presidency. Fine. But join her in doing the right thing for the good of our people rather than staying back to find false and criticize.

I have learned, as the years have passed that there is nothing to be gained from regret. It changes nothing, leaves us melancholy and in perpetual pain.

Throughout her private and public life, she has recharged herself as much as others try to sideline her or take her down or create barriers on her way.

A night before the balloting,  the author could not figure out why Margret Itauma after grabbing the Presidency would not leap with joy as one could have expected,  but told the author in his dream that it was not just about wining AKISAN presidency, it was about the clean -up  job that was to follow.

She rode the clean-up truck, equipped with paints, brushes, dry leave wreck and her heart all by herself from Arizona to Texas.  Margret Itauma to AKISAN is a gift from God. Her Presidency is rooted in spirituality.

Margret Itauma, ladies and gentlemen, a critical healthcare provider, EDC President Emeritus  was not born to a sovereign who reigns over a vast kingdom or a political dynasty or a privileged background as the daughter of a renowned minister but to a father and mother with a simple and humble beginning.

Her election victory is a testament of her role in the lives of our people.

FOR OUR STATE, FOR OUR PEOPLE. FOR US ALL IN AKISAN USA. INDEED FOR OUR NATION, Congratulations to Margret Itauma. May the Good Lord pilot you on.

 

Dr. Inyang Oduok.

Atlanta Georgia.   

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President #MargaretItauma, May God Bless You and Protect You From The Monkeys and Scorpions

21 Aug

By Clayton Udoh

Margaret Itauma, AKISAN President

It is time I addressed something and I say this without mincing words .

If you are not happy for a person when they do well and climb, God will close the road when your turn comes too !

I looked in the forums and the congratulations to the new President of AKISAN; Margaret Itauma,can be counted on my fingers. There are men of repute that are Doctors, Professors etc. There are women of repute. There are people who run their mouths in this forum all day long. They suddenly are found absent and do not feel that this woman deserves any congratulations.

With the eye of a scientist, I watch the old boys club unable to hide the sexism that has been the foundation of our society from the mist of time.

So, therefore, I step forward to congratulate this woman for her bravery and courage and fortitude.

I congratulate President Margaret Itauma for taking on this task with an Organization that is not in its best configuration. Anybody would think it wise to concentrate on their life and stay away from something that will add more stress to their life and maybe controversy to their name but she has decided to do something about it. A very courageous Lady.

I may be a bit elusive in my existence but I am passionate about Diaspora and the fact that when we do well we do not forget about home. Moreover, I believe that AKISAN is our thing on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

With the recent political monkey business of the likes of Senator Akpabio and the slew of highly corrupt politicians in either party, we cannot overemphasize the relevance of AKISAN.

It would be good to have AKISAN become as powerful as other any other Indigenous Lobby in the United States ! It would serve as a buffer and many other things I do not want to get into today .

Let’s not forget that it is not the politics of women that have run Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria into the ground but rather the politics of men!

That brings me to the next point. It could be expected and not strange to see the men act like the new President of AKISAN is beneath them because she is female. Nonetheless, the most stupid display of injudiciousness on earth is a fellow Akwa Ibom woman in Diaspora that brings down her counterpart in a world that women are questioned in positions of leadership.

There are some people by nature that if they are not in the limelight they will bury you alive because they feel they should be the only ones that matter!

The picture of President Margaret Itauma after her victory with the medallion on her neck could be interpreted as anybody’s daughter and she represents them all.

My advice to President Margaret Itauma is that with the madness of the upcoming Gubernatorial elections and manifestations of all the “recycled” politicians and their supporters in Diaspora that she remembers she has seen this movie before. That she stands firm and protect the dignity and integrity of Diaspora and that when the storm is over she will still have AK

ISAN to improve in a way that her name will be remembered.

I also pray that everybody will rally behind her and show her support and love and challenge her intellect in a good way to operate at a higher level than previous administrations.

Once again, congratulations President Margaret Itauma. May God bless you and may this be the beginning of a long and illustrious career of service to the people of Akwa Ibom State in the diaspora and beyond.

Clayton Udoh, San Antonio, Texas

#FAKEJOBS, #FAKECHECK: SCAMMERS ON THE LOOSE

22 Jun

#Share before reading!  #GFK #Secret #Shopper

This is a new trend of which fraudsters claim to give you job to work at home.

They will send you a check and pressurize you to cash it and buy a gift card and send to them. They ask you to keep about $350 as commision.
After cashing the check and withdraw it, the bank will tell you the check was a fake and bank will withdraw money from your account and you will be penalized for that.
Another method these scammers use is to hide under the faces of politicians, ie use politicians name on Facebook, to chat with you and gain your confidence. Then they will ask you to buy a something for them, like a house, computer, phones, etc.
They have already defrauded hundreds of people using companies like GfK – Secret Shopper and others.
Don’t accept advance check or collect a check to buy any product.
Ask to chat with them on Whatsapp-video, Facebook-video or Skype. They will run.
Share this now.Secret shopper 1Secret shopper 2Secret shopper 3Secret shopper 4

An Open Letter To A Nigerian-US Fraud Called Clement Ikpatt

21 Jun

From the archive! First Published October 6, 2011

Senior Special Assistant to the Governor

 

I will start this email with a quote from a famous Bob Marley Song in which he said,” Your best friend can be your worst enemy and your worst enemy can be your best friend”. I really do not care where you will classify me at the end of this letter but one thing for sure is that the readers of this letter will know where to put me.

There is also a famous proverb from our area in which the simple translation is that” The observer of the game sees the loopholes better than the players themselves”.The Ghanaians have one too that says,” The dancer thinks he is dancing straight but the person behind him sees the flaws in the dance”.

I would like to call your attention to how I perceive your position.

I will put it to you that there may be no position like yours in other states in Nigeria, I have spoken with a lot of my friends from other African countries and they have not heard of such a position given to one man before. They were amazed. In fact, there may not be a similar position as yours in any other African state.

In speaking with friends from most of the United States, South America, Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia etc. They have not heard of such incursions of the local state Government into the affairs of the citizenry in foreign lands. Some received my revelation with suspicion of the motives of Akwa Ibom State and some felt it was a novel idea.

However, I feel you are in a position to make history(I would if I were you). On the other hand, you could end up failing miserably and this position could be a mockery. Why do I say so?

Firstly, it is what we may call “a position in experimentation“. It never existed before and may not have had a prepared job description. It is up to the first occupier of this office to define what the office duties will and could evolve into in the future. In such a position the first occupier can fail miserably if he or she does not identify the pros and cons and resources and lack of resources thereof at their disposal. Also, his/her mindset could defeat the purpose of the office in question.

So let us examine the resources at your disposal that I already feel that you are underutilizing. You are in charge of Diaspora worldwide, you have no counterpart created for the other continents. This means like in the United States you should be in talking terms with every single Son and Daughter of Akwa Ibom State in the 51 states of the USA. These should be your connections from Engineers in Intel to Engineers in Apple to Engineers in Microsoft(I have met them before) to Plastic Surgeons to Professors in Universities to Medical Doctors to Nurses to Teachers to Business People to Pilots and the amount of people you can connect with in this regards is just mindboggling. In every field, every person (if approached the right way) will not hide from you the question of how their industries work and how their fields are enhanced to create maximized output. In every state, you should have teams breaking into every sphere of influence in every state including the much coveted private sector, teams that are helping you connect with every Governor in the 51 states that you should link up to his Excellency the Governor. Teams that are “secretly penetrating to learn how we can make the system work for our state. Please do not forget that the Governors here are accessible by the common man and that all you need is a call to get the protocol needed to get Akwa Ibom State connected as a “Sister State’ to all these states and there are trade agreements and programs to that effect. There should have been a team already created to do a “feeling” of Wall Street and the investors there and possible trade agreements that would change the landscape forever.

Do not deceive yourself, as a rule, if our industrialization program does not involve trade we will watch the industries die a natural death all over again. That is why trade agreements is big news in this part of the world

Chinese volunteer scientist in the same vein took nuclear weaponry secrets back to China from the USA and those in Wall street took the secrets of the trade to China and now they own 85% of the loan notes of the USA.

I know you will say that you have committees that have been created,I do not need to explain to you the good committees have done Nigeria for the past 51 years. It is one of those things we inherited that waste a lot of time and nothing gets done.

In other words, you should be helping in solving the investor problem that we are talking about with the vast resources you have which are; Akwa Ibom State indigene in every part of the World !!!!!

However when I read the tone in which you write in this forum you are still just someone that relays information from Akwa Ibom State to the internet or you step in to “crack the whip “at whosoever you feel does not stay in line.

Respectfully, I just wonder if you have any idea of what you could do with the resources at your disposal. It would be such a pity if you think that the direct interpretation of your position is that of “Disciplinarian For Diaspora”. That would be such a bastardization of your office. It would be such a sad mistake. Someone who is always out to just show how stupid someone’s statements is when you do not agree with them. Nobody in the Diaspora deserves that kind of treatment, it is totally unacceptable. Even the Oyinbo and all their racism do not address us that way. You may receive a pat on the back from people back home like,”You really put them in their place” but it will be such a failure of the office when you look at the kind of resources at your disposal. I doubt if you even know your people residing in Nevada or Idaho or Wyoming or Nebraska.

If I asked you today about your people in Iceland, got any idea ???????

Sometimes in companies, I have worked for , when a new CEO is brought in, he sends an email asking everybody to write a short email to give him an idea of who you are.I thought it was a joke until you come across him at the Meet-and-Greet ceremony and to your surprise, as you begin to reintroduce yourself he cuts you short and tells you more about yourself. It makes you feel a certain level of loyalty when the guy at the top recognizes you.

I would have thought that immediately your appointment is confirmed that you would have sent a mass communique in which you would love people to write in and share their lives and experiences with you. Not to act like the people back home that when given political appointment they act as “gods” in which we see you from a distance and kneel. In the process of reaching out you would lose nothing and you would with the right attitude receive emails from as far as Australia etc. Reaching out with Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, My Space and harnessing the power of the Diaspora. A true Godfather.

I would define a Godfather as a man that is such a statesman that people scramble to help him for nothing. Not just his crowd (AIDN) but people from every walk of life. People scramble to associate with him because he represents the ideals that they long for.Associating with the person brings an excitement like no other, it’s like associating with the future and not a refined form of the status quo.

Let’s get one thing right, I am not a big fan of his Excellency Chief (Dr) Godswill Akpabio. I do believe he was destined to be Governor and that is why he is there and that is all that is needed for him to have my help if he asks for it. On the other hand those who wish him to fail also are wishing eight failed years for Akwa Abasi Ibom State and that is just unthinkable. Hence we must pray for him to succeed. However, I have seen (Like in my subsequent emails) that subordinates can make the Chief Executive look really bad. Sometimes the Chief Executive may not even know what is being done on his behalf on the streets, press, internet etc. It is up to people like you to create policy that will make a lot of people to soften towards his Excellency and join hands and work to make Akwa Abasi Ibom State a wonder.

Either you figure this out or you lash out on me cuz you really do not know how to go about it. Everything should not be the guys in Uyo trying to tell us how to go about bringing the investors that are living next door to us. Would they die if they rather got info on how to go about it from you? Info that you got from the Diaspora?

You want world-class hospitals, Diasporians work in the world class hospitals over here but we should shut up and have someone in Uyo tell us how to implement world class medical healthcare. Our children are graduating from Colleges of Engineering but we should not be seen as trying to force the system to “use them” so we should shut up and because the guys back home are clueless they call in a foreign company and after Quid Pro Quo execute the contract and then the glory goes to the State Government. So if you really do not want to use the Diaspora until they are “submissive” to you. Whats the use ?

I can also buy your argument that Diasporans duped the Government and did this or that (We can count so much that Diasporans have done that we should cease giving them any form of respect)

Let’s call a spade a spade,I would expect you as the bridge, to also brief back home on how to deal with Diaspora without hushing them down and making them feel “stupid”. It is a waste of time. It is a serious breakdown of communication of an administration with his people when things come down to bets.

A common member of the citizenry spreads rumors about the State Government. It should not entail the system being so pressed that they must fly into the territory to prove a point against a common citizen. The fight against opposition should not be personal;they are still citizens of Akwa Ibom State !!!! I will put it onto you that your present rhetoric and schematics changes nothing in the relationship between Diasporians and back home.

A leader must have a certain level of respect for the subjects he leads and he should give them the benefit of the doubt.Not every move is a publicity stunt against people back home(Baby arm amputated) or a smear campaign or an attempt to overthrow state government and every statement is either “clueless” or “stupid” or people are “disgruntled” or involved in “spinmeistering”. Sometimes with the kind of words that have been used on Diaspora, you wonder if they really want to work with them. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better off if Diaspora had just minded their own business and left home alone.

With all due respect you have a lot of work to do and right now I do not see the difference between you and Ata Ikkideh. Why? Ata is already doing a good job of spreading info on the internet be it Real or False and stepping into frays. In fact, he claims he is the Info Consultant for the forum.

So please correct me if I am wrong but it will be nice if you could enlighten us on your job as the point man of the Diaspora. The forums are open for you to wing it in that regard.

Finally, my point is that I wish you success in this position but I hope you do not diminish the true power that you could harness as an elder statesman in the position you hold.

Goodluck

 

Clayton Udoh, Mesa, Arizona

 

AKPABIO & THE HUNGRY ABAK BOYS.

6 Jul

By Clayton Udoh.

Godswill Obot Akpabio

Nobody had the guts to oppose Akpabio, everything he said or did was law , so what is his reason for not building one single viable project in Abak?  The people of Abak are so scared that they will thank those that killed their loved ones , so let people like me ask,” WHAT DID AKPABIO BUILD IN ABAK?”Airport ? Seaport? Stadium ? University ? Federal Polytechnic ? Industry?
Now that 2014  has reached the half year mark and we are going to 2015 . Let Godswill Akpabio show me one solid project he did for Abak.
I am fucking pissed off and really really angry. Enugu boys here in Phoenix, Arizona are spending money like water and enjoying their life courtesy of Unoma Akpabio and my question is simple: minus Aniekan Umanah and Enoidem and a few crumb eaters who has Akpabio really empowered in the Abak axis ? By the way Enoidem is not from Abak!
We hear about Onofiok Luke and others he has empowered and lifted up and other numerous Ibibio boys ( interesting that Ibibio has nothing good to say about Akpabio after the fact).
Where are all the Abak boys who use to fight me over rice and crumbs they were given ? They formed fictitious stories about me , photoshopped my pictures and hacked into my email accounts and other private property .  Have they seen now that all I said was correct and Akpabio did nothing for Abak and rather came and took the Senate seat from slugs like you?
All that a tout from Abak understands is money that is given to them to put in their pockets while the rest of the state is being developed .
Some of you God forsaken Abak people even combined with Essien Ndueso and Anieite Ekong and others to try and destroy me . All I am asking  today is a simple question, what was created for Abak? Millennium Hospital?  The new Hilton which is to be built ? E-Library ? Ibom Power Plant?  Le Meridien ?
You thought that it was OK? to run Dr Ime Umanah into exile so show me what was built in Abak!!!!!!!!!!!.
At this point Abak is the laughing stock of Annang.
In a million years ABAK can never dream of taking a Senate seat from Ikot Ekpene-Obot Akara-Essien Udim axis .
When touts represent a place what do we think will happen ? You guys want money right?
Money finishes , project lasts for ages ,so what project did he do in Abak that can employ people like at least the Airport ?
Look my life is good enough , no matter what sycophants like most of you did to destroy me . In the end , I could have said , to hell with Abak” and enjoy my life in the USA. I cannot do that because Abak is my ancestral land and the roots of my origin . However when I think of Abak , it makes me real sad because no Governor has ever executed a Major project in Abak since the inception of Akwa Ibom State.
Nonetheless, how can any person take Abak serious when they will take lunch with the killer of their sons and daughters just for crumb money?
If there is a way , they should kill Idiongo Clayton Udoh for talking nonsense against Governor or kill Dr Ime Umanah and destroy all resistance against Governor, kill them all and then my reply would be,” After you sang and danced for him what major projects did he establish in Abak?”
You guys are ready to die for Akpabio and kill everybody on his behalf and I ask when you kill take that blood and sprinkle it on the major project Akpabio built for Abak.
Tell me it will be an Ibibio governor that will endorse a major project for Abak like the ones in the past have done ? Right?
The wisdom of collecting money to put in your pocket because of hunger is one thing , the wisdom of holding your dignity so that someone does not take you for granted is another!
The next governor who  will be Ibibio will be very busy but nobody will take Abak that is full of sycophancy with political praise and worship seriously.
Abak is yet to have a governor who brought something as close as Alscon that was built in Ikot Abasi to Abak.
In fact thank your God, I am not Akpabio because I would have taken the turn for House of Representative and given it to my Nephew since you guys are such cowards and full to the brim with stupidity.
I am speaking loudly to both the Witches  and wizards in Diaspora and the homefront . The uneducated baboons that have never taken time to study how governments work and therefore want a King or a one party system . After you destroyed all resistance to the present administration like in the proverb called Abak what were you left with?
A government that ignored you because it knew it could get support from you even if they killed all of your most valuable citizens ! They do not even need to lift a finger because you would kill them yourselves !

Clayton “Bane” Udoh
Mesa, Arizona

Breaking! 4 Best Graduates At Dillard University USA Are all Nigerians.

11 May

*Michelle Obama tells Dillard University graduates hunger for education creates future geniuses

The Associated Press

Senior class president Nicole A. Tinson takes a selfie with first lady Michelle Obama during Dillard University’s commencement ceremony in New Orleans, Saturday, May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Associated PressMay 10, 2014Leave a Comment SHARE

By CHEVEL JOHNSON, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A hunger for education should continue beyond graduation and should be used to guide and inspire “the next generation of geniuses,” first lady Michelle Obama said Saturday.

In her commencement address at Dillard University, the first lady described the 226 graduates of the historically black college as a “sea of young geniuses” and told them they have opportunities and skills that their parents and grandparents never could have imagined.

“Imagine the impact you will make,” she said. “You have no excuses to stand on the sidelines. Education is still the key to real and lasting freedom. It’s up to us to cultivate that hunger for education in those coming after us.”

 

Mrs. Obama noted how people “scrape and claw” their way to an education, acknowledging the parents who work three jobs to give their children a shot at a better life.

“This is the realization of the dreams of so many who came before you,” she said. “You should be so proud and so happy and so excited, but you shouldn’t be satisfied. Ask yourselves, ‘What about all those geniuses who’ll never get this chance?’ … When people fall behind in school, they fall behind in life.”

She pointed the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were recently kidnapped “for wanting an education and wanting to go to school,” and 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who survived a gunshot to the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for advocating education for girls.

The first lady ticked off statistics about the high rate of unemployment and poverty in the black community and the number of people from that community in prison or who are victims of violent crimes.

“You may be thinking those numbers are terrible, but I’m not a part of that problem … but folks like you and me, we can’t afford to think like that ever, because we’re the lucky ones.

“We got here today because of so many people who toiled and sweat and bled and died for us … people who never dreamed of getting a college education for themselves but who worked and saved and sacrificed so that we could be here today. We owe them. We owe them. And the only way to pay back that debt is by making those same kinds of sacrifices and investments for the next generation.”

She encouraged the graduates to start small, such as through volunteering as a tutor or by rallying their communities to start a mentor program, but she didn’t reject the possibility of larger contributions, such as serving on a school board, in Congress or as president.

“Let’s turn that pipeline to prison into a highway to college,” she said.

“I want you all to keep raising your bars,” she said in closing. “Let the next generation know that there is no greater investment than a good education.

Obama also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the university as did U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who joined Obama for a meeting later Saturday with spouses of veterans at an event at the National World War II Museum.

The top four Dillard graduates all coincidentally come from Nigeria. The 20-year-old valedictorian, Merrilyn Akpapuna, who comes from the southeastern corner of Nigeria, plans postgraduate study at Western Michigan University in the fall.

Proud To Be An American—I Wish I Could be as Proud to be a Nigerian.

11 May

By Thompson Essien

If I were to be confronted with a choice of having to decide on what countries I would have to live, I would pick two; Nigeria, the country of my birth, in which I have my roots and which I really call “home”; and America, my adopted country, which has given me the opportunities to advance myself, plan towards my future, in ways I never envisioned when I arrived here more than 30 years ago. The two countries laid the foundations for me as a child to become the father of the man.American flag

Unfortunately, the attitudes of those that run the political and economic affairs of the country of my birth country (Nigeria) have put me in situations in which I would occasionally have to wonder about my loyalty to and my pride for the country. Every time I read about the corrupt practices of officials, and the kidnappings of citizens orchestrated by politicians on the people with whom they are supposed to protect, I would cringe.

Every time I read about the run-down schools, the hospitals that are in dilapidated conditions with no medicine, the elephant projects created by officials as a conduit for money laundering, and all the rest of the vices, I would wonder why God made the ruling elite of the country of my birth (Nigeria) to behave in the manner they are—corrupt, wicked, mean, greedy, uncaring, arrogant, murderous, and vicious.

This is not to say that my adopted country, America, is without its own problems. Of course, America has its own social maladies. But America, unlike Nigeria, has the mechanisms in place to deal with such maladies.

The other day, the governor of the State of Illinois was arrested for insinuating over a telephone conversation over the possibility of offering  bribes. He did not actually give the bribe or received any. All he did was to discuss with one of his assistants on the possibility of offering bribes. That discussion led to his arrest. A few weeks later, he was driven out of office and now faces the possibility of serving a long prison sentence.

A few weeks ago, one of the richest men in America, Mr. Bernard Madoff, was arrested for fraud. And who can forget the impeachment of President Clinton for kissing a woman in his office. We can even go way back into history, when an American President (Nixon) was forced to resign for lying about the existence of a break-in. Yes, that is America; it knows how to deal with its problems. Here in America, they say, “no bulls..t” when it comes to the matter of violating public trust.

As an individual, from the very day I landed in the country, the American society has really made me feel like I matter, and the fact that there are nearly 300 million others to deal with is irrelevant. As an individual, I am accorded my rights and no one dare violates them; not even the police officers who are mandated to protect me. The police can be arrested, charged, and sent to prison for violating my individual rights; in fact, many police officers have actually been sent to prison for violating the rights of other individuals.

As an individual, I am made to feel that my single vote really counts. During the period of campaign for election into public offices, I would be bombarded with all sorts of promotional leaflets, television commercials (advertisements), yard-signs, telephone calls, and all other things from those who run for public office—all to persuade me to cast my vote for them. At the end, no words can express the feelings of knowing that a candidate for political office actually won the election because I voted for him or her.

Every time I travel beyond the shores of America, just for being in possession of an American passport, other countries would treat me with respect and dignity. Many years ago, I traveled with a female partner to France, en route to Nigeria. Both of us wanted to cross into the gift shop for browsing. I was allowed to enter the shop because I had an American passport, but my female companion, who was in possession of a Nigerian passport, was refused entry. And the fact the the female companion was my wife did not matter—we were citizens of two different countries—married or not.

Prior to the incident in France,  there was another one at the Heathrow airport in London. I was also en-route to Nigeria at the time. The immigration officials took my American passport and stamped “entry—permitted to stay in Great Britain for six months…employment not allowed.” I protested. I told them I was just changing planes to Nigeria. Well, that was the “official policy because America is a member of NATO Alliance and every citizen of NATO member-nations is automatically granted a six-month visa to stay in Great Britain.”

America is the only country on earth where an immigrant, who left his country of birth in penury, would within a few years, be able to obtain a university degree, buy a brand-new car, buy a house, get married and have children—it is called an American dream. In America, an immigrant who is willing to work hard can never be a hungry man or woman. It is a country where the doors of opportunities for economic self-sustenance are open for anyone who is willing to put in his fair share of the efforts towards helping self.

In America no one has to be rich in order to attend a university. In fact the system is designed in such a way that the poor are the ones with greater chances for admission. Many schools even have funds set aside from endowments as grants and loans for the benefit of poor students. Governments also have assorted financial aid programs to help needy students. Any student who qualifies will be given the money to attend school till graduation.

In America, the individual is paramount—not tribal, religious, or ethnic affiliations. There are highways to take me to eternity, with police officers everywhere available for protection against danger, and in case I am in distress, cameras are installed at major intersections of the highways for authorities to send help quickly. Here in America, there are no check-points to harass citizens, no armed robbers on the road, and any one who goes on a long journey by automobile, will find convenient rest-stops located everywhere for relaxation and easement. Only in America!

Ever since I arrived in America nearly 35 years ago, I have never experienced power-failure, except on a-once-in-a-while situations where a few minutes or hours of interruptions would be made for repairs of malfunctioned equipment. Even then, notices (with apology) would be sent to me in advance as a warning that such interruptions would occur.

In America, as an individual, I always feel as if I am the only one that matters. Those in power are afraid of my complaints—they would wish I never have to complain about services they render out of my tax money.

If I walk into any privately owned business, whether it is a grocery store or furniture store, I am made to feel like a king, and treated as such. I would be, literally, pampered, escorted around the store, and shown around for all kinds of discounted deals. A store employee will be there, just for me, to make me feel as if he or she really needs my business and my money.

Not too long ago, my 19 year old, who is attending a college in the state of Oklahoma, called to tell me that she was having breathing difficulties. When I asked her for possible cause of her problem, she said one of her roommates has a habit of turning off the heat in the room because of her problem with heat flashes. Immediately, I placed a telephone call to the school, which is located more than 2,000 miles from where I live, and registered my complaints. Within three hours, there was a solution to the problem. Only in America!

The other day, a contributor, I think in Ibom Forum, asked to know what is in America that everyone wants to die for. To that contributor, I say there are plenty of reasons in America for anyone to die for; you just have to come here to experience it.

America is a great country. And I am very proud of it. I have been in situations where I have to challenge those who say America is not a good place to live. I have always recommended that such people should take a hike and move to somewhere else that is better than America. So far, none of them has taken my offer. Sometimes, I wish I could be as proud of Nigeria as I am proud of America.

Written by

Ikpafak Thompson Essien

The Voice of the Poor Masses

Defender of the Oppressed

A native of Ibibio nation of Ubium Republic extraction, now living in the safe and beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, where no AKPF, ADUMA, ADV, and Akwa Ibom State politicians can reach.

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