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The Federal Republic of Nigeria
Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. The capital city is Abuja.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The Benue-Cross River area is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium AD.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world with a population of over 140 million. The country is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is one of the fastest growing in the world with the IMF projecting growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009
 
Early History
The Nok people in central Nigeria produced terracotta sculptures that have been discovered by archaeologists. A Nok sculpture resident at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, portrays a sitting dignitary wearing a "Shepherds Crook" on the right arm, and a "hinged flail" on the left. These are symbols of authority associated with Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, and the god Osiris, and suggests that an ancient Egyptian style of social structure, and perhaps religion, existed in the area of modern Nigeria during the late Pharonic period. In the northern part of the country, Kano and Katsina has recorded history which dates back to around AD 999. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem-Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa.
The Yoruba people date their presence in the area of modern republics of Nigeria, Benin and Togo to about 8500 BC. The kingdoms of If? and Oyo in the western block of Nigeria became prominent about 700-900 and 1400 respectively. However, the Yoruba mythology believes that Ile-Ife is the source of the human race and that it predates any other civilization. If? produced the terra cotta and bronze heads, the ?y? extended as far as modern Togo. Another prominent kingdom in south western Nigeria was the Kingdom of Benin whose power lasted between the 15th and 19th century. Their dominance reached as far as the well known city of Eko which was named Lagos by the Portuguese traders and other early European settlers. In the 18th century, the Oyo and the Aro confederacy were responsible for most of the slaves exported from Nigeria
 
Post Independence
On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom. The new republic incorporated a number of people with aspirations of their own sovereign nations. Newly independent Nigeria's government was a coalition of conservative parties: the Nigerian People's Congress (NPC), a party dominated by Northerners and those of the Islamic faith, and the Igbo and Christian dominated National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, who became Nigeria's maiden Governor-General in 1960. Forming the opposition was the comparatively liberal Action Group (AG), which was largely dominated by Yorubas and led by Obafemi Awolowo.
An imbalance was created in the polity by the result of the 1961 plebiscite. Southern Cameroon opted to join the Republic of Cameroon while northern Cameroon chose to remain in Nigeria. The northern part of the country was now far larger than the southern part. The nation parted with its British legacy in 1963 by declaring itself a Federal Republic, with Azikiwe as the first president. When elections came about in 1965, the AG was outmanoeuvred for control of Nigeria's Western Region by the Nigerian National Democratic Party, an amalgamation of conservative Yoruba elements backed heavily by the Federal Government amid dubious electoral circumstances. This left the Igbo NCNC to coalesce with the remnants of the AG in a weak progressive alliance.
 
Military Era
This disequilibrium and perceived corruption of the electoral and political process led in 1966 to several back-to-back military coups. The first was in January and led by a collection of young leftists under Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna & Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, it was partially successful - the coupists overthrew the embattled government but could not install their choice, jailed opposition leader Chief Obafemi Awolowo, General Johnson Aguiyi-ironsi, then head of the army was invited by the rump of the Balewa regime to take over the affairs of the country as head of state. This coup was counter-acted by another successful plot, supported primarily by Northern military officers and Northerners who favoured the NPC, it was engineered by Northern officers, which allowed Lt Colonel Yakubu Gowon to become head of state. This sequence of events led to an increase in ethnic tension and violence. The Northern coup, which was mostly motivated by ethnic and religious reasons was a bloodbath of both military officers and civilians, especially those of Igbo extraction.
The violence against Igbos increased their desire for autonomy and protection from the military's wrath. By May 1967, the Eastern Region had declared itself an independent state called the Republic of Biafra under the leadership Lt Colonel Emeka Ojukwu in line with the wishes of the people. The Nigerian side attacked Biafra on July 6, 1967 at Garkem signalling the beginning of the 30 month war that ended on January 1970. Following the war, Nigeria became to an extent even more mired in ethnic strife, as the defeated southeast and indeed southern Nigeria was now conquered territory for the federal military regime, which changed heads of state twice as army officers staged a bloodless coup against Gowon and enthroned Murtala Mohammed; Olusegun Obansanjo succeeded the former after an assassination.
During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria joined OPEC and billions of dollars generated by production in the oil-rich Niger Delta flowed into the coffers of the Nigerian state. However, increasing corruption and graft at all levels of government squandered most of these earnings. The northern military clique benefited immensely from the oil boom to the detriment of the Nigerian people and economy. As oil revenues fuelled the rise of federal subventions to states and precariously to individuals, the Federal Government soon became the centre of political struggle and the centre became the threshold of power in the country. As oil production and revenue rose, the Nigerian government created a dangerous situation as it became increasingly dependent on oil revenues and the international commodity markets for budgetary and economic concerns eschewing economic stability. That spelled doom to federalism in Nigeria.
Beginning in 1979, Nigerians participated in a brief return to democracy when Obasanjo transferred power to the civilian regime of Shehu Shagari. The Shagari government was viewed as corrupt and incompetent by virtually all sectors of Nigerian society, so when the regime was overthrown by the military coup of Mohammadu Buhari shortly after the regime's fraudulent re-election in 1984, it was generally viewed as a positive development by most of the population. Buhari promised major reforms but his government fared little better than its predecessor, and his regime was overthrown by yet another military coup in 1985. The new head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, promptly declared himself President and Commander in chief of the Armed Forces and the ruling Supreme Military Council and also set 1990 as the official deadline for a return to democratic governance. Babangida's tenure was marked by a flurry of political activity: he instituted the International Monetary Fund's Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) to aid in the repayment of the country's crushing international debt, which most federal revenue was dedicated to servicing. He also inflamed religious tensions in the nation and particularly the south by enrolling Nigeria in the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
After Babangida survived an abortive coup, he pushed back the promised return to democracy to 1992. When free and fair elections were finally held on the 12th of June, 1993, Babangida declared that the results showing a presidential victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola null and void, sparking mass civilian violence in protest which effectively shut down the country for weeks and forced Babangida to keep his shaky promise to relinquish office to a civilian run government. Babangida's regime is adjudged to be at the apogee of corruption in the history of the nation as it was during his time that corruption became officially diluted in Nigeria.
Babangida's caretaker regime headed by Ernest Shonekan survived only until late 1993 when General Sani Abacha took power in another military coup. Abacha proved to be perhaps Nigeria's most brutal ruler and employed violence on a wide scale to suppress the continuing pandemic of civilian unrest. Money had been found in various western European countries banks traced to him. He avoided coup plots by bribing army generals. Several hundred millions dollars in accounts traced to him were unearthed in 1999.[18] The regime would come to an end in 1998 when the dictator was found dead amid dubious circumstances. Abacha's death yielded an opportunity for return to civilian rule.
 
Recent History
Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 when it elected Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba and former military head of state, as the new President ending almost thirty three-years of military rule (between from 1966 until 1999) excluding the short-lived second republic (between 1979-1983) by military dictators who seized power in coups d'état and counter-coups during the Nigerian military juntas of 1966-1979 and 1983-1998.
Although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as unfree and unfair, Nigeria has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government corruption and to hasten development. While Obasanjo showed willingness to fight corruption, he was accused by others of the same.
Umaru Yar'Adua, of the People's Democratic Party, came into power in the general election of 2007 - an election that was witnessed and condemned by the international community as being massively flawed.
Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region (see Conflict in the Niger Delta), interreligious relations and inadequate infrastructure are current issues in the country.
There have been bogus claims of a Nigerian astronaut program that have made the news.
 
Government and politics
Nigeria is a Federal Republic modelled after the United States, with executive power exercised by the president and with overtones of the Westminster System model in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature.
The current president of Nigeria is Umaru Musa Yar'Adua who was elected in 2007. The president presides as both Chief of State and Head of Government and is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two four-year terms. The president's power is checked by a Senate and a House of Representatives, which are combined in a bicameral body called the National Assembly. The Senate is a 109-seat body with three members from each state and one from the capital region of Abuja; members are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. The House contains 360 seats and the number of seats per state is determined by population.
Ethnocentricism, tribalism, sectarianism (especially religious), and prebendalism have played a visible role in Nigerian politics both prior and subsequent to independence in 1960. Kin-selective altruism has made its way into Nigerian politics and has spurned various attempts by tribalists to concentrate Federal power to a particular region of their interests. Nationalism has also led to active secessionist movements such as MASSOB, Nationalist movements such as Oodua Peoples Congress, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and a civil war. Nigeria's three largest ethnic groups have maintained historical preeminence in Nigerian politics; competition amongst these three groups, the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo, has fuelled corruption and graft.
Due to the above issues, Nigeria's current political parties are declaredly pan-national and irreligious in character (though this does not preclude the continuing preeminence of the dominant ethnicities). The major political parties at present include the ruling People's Democratic Party of Nigeria which maintains 223 seats in the House and 76 in the Senate (61.9% and 69.7% respectively) and is led by the current President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua; the opposition All Nigeria People's Party under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari has 96 House seats and 27 in the Senate (26.6% and 24.7%). There are also about twenty other minor opposition parties registered. The outgoing president, Olusegun Obasanjo, acknowledged fraud and other electoral "lapses" but said the result reflected opinion polls. In a national television address he added that if Nigerians did not like the victory of his handpicked successor they would have an opportunity to vote again in four years.
Like in many other African societies, prebendalism and extremely excessive corruption continue to constitute major challenges to Nigeria, as vote rigging and other means of coercion are practised by all major parties in order to remain competitive. In 1983, it was adjudged by the policy institute at Kuru that only the 1959 and 1979 elections witnessed minimal rigging.
 
Law
There are four distinct systems of law in Nigeria:
 
* English Law which is derived from its colonial past with Britain;
* common law, a development of its post colonial independence;
* customary law which is derived from indigenous traditional norms and practice, including the dispute resolution meetings of pre-colonial Yorubaland secret societies;
* Sharia law, used only in the predominantly Muslim north of the country. It is an Islamic legal system which had been used long before the colonial administration in Nigeria but recently politicised and spearheaded in Zamfara in late 1999 and eleven other states followed suit. These states are Kano, Katsina, Niger, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Gombe, Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, and Kebbi.
The country has a judicial branch, the highest court of which is the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
 
Foreign relations
Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria made the liberation and restoration of the dignity of Africa the centrepiece of its foreign policy and played a leading role in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa; Nigeria's foreign policy was soon tested in the 1970s after the country emerged united from its own civil war and quickly committed itself to the liberation struggles going on in the Southern Africa sub-region. Though Nigeria never sent an expeditionary force in that struggle, it offered more than rhetoric to the African National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough line with regard to the racist regime and their incursions in southern Africa, in addition to expediting large sums to aid anti-colonial struggles. Nigeria was also a founding member of the Organization for African Unity (now the African Union), and has tremendous influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa, functioning as standard-bearer for ECOWAS and ECOMOG, economic and military organizations respectively.
With this African-centred stance, Nigeria readily sent troops to the Congo at the behest of the United Nations shortly after independence (and has maintained membership since that time); Nigeria also supported several Pan African and pro-self government causes in the 1970s, including garneringNigeria Paliament House Abuja support for Angola's MPLA, SWAPO in Namibia, and aiding anti-colonial struggles in Mozambique, and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) military and economically.
Nigeria retains membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, and in late November 2006 organized an Africa-South America Summit in Abuja to promote what some attendees termed "South-South" linkages on a variety of fronts. Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal Court, and the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was temporarily expelled in 1995 under the Abacha regime.
Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry since the 1970s, and maintains membership in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC which it joined in July, 1971. Its status as a major petroleum producer figures prominently in its sometimes vicissitudinous international relations with both developed countries, notably the United States and more recently China and developing countries, notably Ghana, Jamaica and Kenya.
Millions of Nigerians have emigrated at times of economic hardship to Europe, North America and Australia among others. It is estimated that over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the United States and constitute the Nigerian American populace. Of such Diasporic communities include the "Egbe Omo Yoruba" society.

Military of Nigeria
The military in Nigeria have played a major role in the country's history since independence. Various juntas have seized control of the country and ruled it through most of its history. Its last period of rule ended in 1999 following the sudden death of dictator Sani Abacha in 1998.

Taking advantage of its role of sub-Saharan Africa's most populated country, Nigeria has repositioned its military as an African peacekeeping force. Since 1995, the Nigerian military through ECOMOG mandates have been deployed as peacekeepers in Liberia (1997), Ivory Coast (1997-1999), Sierra Leone 1997-1999, and presently in Sudan's Darfur region under an African Union mandate.
Nigerian Troops with US C130Active duty personnel in the three Nigerian armed services total approximately 115,000. The Nigerian Army, the largest of the services, has about 99,000 personnel deployed in two mechanized infantry divisions, one armoured division, one composite division (airborne and amphibious), the Lagos Garrison Command (a division size unit), the Abuja-based Brigade of Guards and other regimental size units (e.g. artillery brigade). It has demonstrated its capability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain battalions in support of peacekeeping operations in Liberia, former Yugoslavia, Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sierra Leone. The Nigerian Navy (7,000 members) is equipped with frigates, fast attack craft, corvettes, and coastal patrol boats. The Nigerian Air Force (9,000 members) flies transport, trainer, helicopter, and fighter aircraft, many of which are currently non-operational, but there is an ongoing policy of reorganization, and the provision of a very professional armed forces with high capability. Nigeria also has pursued a policy of developing domestic training and military production capabilities.
Nigeria has continued a strict policy of diversification in military procurement from various countries. After the imposition of sanctions by many Western nations, Nigeria turned to the People's Republic of China, Russia, North Korea, and India for the purchase of military equipment and training.

 

Background Information 

Viewed from a philosophical point of view, something has got to happen for something to happen. One of the decisive moments leading to the creation of the National Association for Nigerians in Austria (NANCA) was the death of the Nigerian citizen Mr. Marcus Omofuma on May 1, 1999, an asylum–seeker who died on board of a Bulgarian Aircraft enroute to Nigeria in the hands of the Austrian police force, while he was being deported. Mr. Omofuma had been allegedly maltreated, bundled and plastered around the mouth and chained to his chair on the aircraft, to hinder him from protesting during his deportation to Nigeria. He died of suffocation before arriving Sofia.

The desire for a national Organization was further fostered by the fact that the Nigerian community could not respond to the rage that followed. The necessity for an all encompassing Organisation for all Nigerians across the ethnic borders became apparent, as there were only ethnic oriented associations at the time, beside the National Association of Nigerian Students in Austria. This was best exhibited by the fact that there was no organisation to organize or coordinate any response of the  Nigerian community to the then attitude of the police that was increasingly becoming violent towards the Africans and the Nigerians in particular.

In view of this general mood and frustration of the Nigerian community, Dr. Jones Edobor thought something had to happen and telephoned Dr. Walter Ajaegbu and urged him to kindly assist in arranging a meeting of all Nigerians to discuss our response to Mr. Marcus Omofuma’s death and also about putting an Association in place to take care of issues of common interests to all Nigerians in the future. This led to the arrangement and a call for a meeting at the Afro-Asian Institute. The All 

Nigerian National Meeting took place on 6th of May 1999, at the seminar hall of Afro-Asian Institute. This meeting was chaired by Dr. Jones Edobor. The meeting had 8 Agenda points, and the meeting was attended by over three hundred Nigerians and other Africans. 

The 7th point on the agenda was whether “there is a need to have a Nigeria body to represent the interest of Nigerians?” After a long deliberation, there was a unanimous decision for the creation of such a body, after which a committee comprising of the following ten eminent Nigerians was elected: 

The names of the persons are as follows:

  •  Dr. Jones Edobor was elected as the chairman of the committee. 
  •  Dr. Walter Ajaegbu 
  •  Arch. Dipl. Ing. Remi Ofoedu 
  •  Mag. Dr. Adedeji Aganga-Williams 
  •  Dr. Francis Oguegbulam 
  •  Dr. Camillus Konkwo
  •  Dr. Chibo Onyeji
  •  Mag. Zachie Falasinnu 
  •  Mag. Phill Samuel Ogbonna 
  •  Mr. Sylvester Odiase

The minute of the meeting was taken by Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna who also later functioned as the secretary of the committee. For the record, it is necessary to note also that shortly after the inauguration of the committee Dr. Francis Oguegbulam relocated to London, whilst Dr. Camilus Konkwo and Dr. Chibo Onyeji left the committee. 

Furthermore, the tasks of the committee were as follows:

  •  To fight for the legitimate right of late Marcus Omofuma, based on the available laws, organize demonstration and officially bring the matter and complain to the Government of Austria,
  •  To organize a requiem service for the late Mr. Marcus Omofuma as a last respect and lastly, 
  •  To work out a framework for the establishment of an umbrella organisation for Nigerians in Austria, as none was in existence at the time.

In accordance with the defined tasks, the committee organised a demonstration to protest the violation of the human rights of the late Mr. Marcus Omofuma, informed the Nigerian Government of the sad event and launched our disapproval with the Austrian authorities, while demanding for adequate compensation for the family of lateMr. Marcus Omofuma. 

The Committee requested and audience was granted, and visits were made to the following highest government organs in Austria with protest letters on behalf of Nigerians in Austria:

  •  The president of the Republic of Austria late Dr. Thomas Klestil
  •  The President of the then Austrian Parliament Dr. Heinz Fischer, 
  •  The President of the then Austrian Police Force Dr. Peter Stiedl (Präsident des Bundespolizei Direktion in Wien) just to mention but a few.

Finally, the committee organised a memorial service for late Mr. Marcus Omofuma, in the Votiv Kirche (Votiv Church) at Schottentor in Vienna. The requiem service was well attended by different people from all works of life and from far and wide within Austria. At some point, the Committee received unofficial information that after several legal battles involving one Austrian Non–Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Republic of Austria, the Austrian Government made what could be termed a token compensation to the family of late Mr. Marcus Omofuma. At the conclusion of the task relating to Mr. Omofuma, the committee directed its resources to working on the frame work of a new Organisation. The committee decided that a structure encompassing the following should be realized:

  •  The national association should involve all the regions in Austria,
  •  That a constitution should be produced and finally,
  •  That the national association should be officially launched

Tackling the first task of calling for a protest rally to demonstrate the unacceptability of the treatment of late Mr. Marcus Omofuma, the committee was faced with some legal challenges that made it apparent for the committee that the provisions of Austria's law restrain unregistered associations from conducting mass protests. It thus became obvious that in other to better represent the interest of Nigerians by going to Austrian authorities and to raise money for the inauguration, the organisation had to be legally registered with the appropriate authorities as this was pre-condition for any financial support. This lead to an internal distribution of roles for individual members of the committee, for the sole purpose of achieving the set objectives.

The exercise produced the following results as the protem leadership Committee of the association:

Dr. Jones Edobor, Chairman,

Dipl. Ing. Arch Remi Ofoedu, Vice Chairman,

Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna, Secretary

Mag. Zachie Falasinnu Assistant secretary.

Dr. Walter Ajaegbu, Financial secretary,

Mag. Dr. Adedeji Aganga-Williams, assistant financial secretary,

Mr. Sylvester Odiase as the Social secretary.

The committee also visited the regions in Austria to intimate them with the intention to form an umbrella association and also called for coordinated efforts from the regions. Hence, on Monday 11th of 

December 2000, Dr. Jones Edobor on behalf of the committee made a trip to Tyrol.

It is worth noting that all activities of the committee were presented to the General Assembly of all Nigerians and were debated and agreed upon. The draft constitution was also presented and all the articles were agreed upon on a “one by one basis”. On completion, the final draft was adopted in a general meeting called for that purpose. To understand the selfless service of the members of the committee, as the meetings had to be held after work hours, they normally dragged into late hours of the night. The committee meetings were held twice weekly, many of which lasted for over six hours. This stretching for a period of about 2 years. The group had two hundred and eight (208) meeting sessions covering about one thousand two hundred and forty eight hours (1,248) hours. 

In addition, eight (8) General Assembly Meetings were conducted and Two (2) Emergency General Assembly Meetings, bringing it to a total number of ten (10) assembly meetings. The committee spent all in all twenty four months and two weeks working.

The registration was officially done on 29.09.2000 and the Organisation was formally launched on 27th January 2001. The grand launching organised by the above committee was attended by all eminent 

Nigerians and some African Ambassadors in Austria, including the Nigerian Ambassador Mr. Rindap, Dr. Riwalnu Lukmann, General Secretary of OPEC, Former Federal Minister for Petroleum/Foreign 

Service/Energy and Dr. S.Y. Abdulahi, Director General of OPEC Fund, just to mention a few.

Also on attendance were many personalities and representatives from the Austrian Government and Institutions. As a matter of fact, the list of dignitaries was endless. At the General Assembly Meeting of 20th May 2001, an electoral Committee was elected with the mandate to organize an election of officers for the organisation and with that the work of the initial committee came to an end. 

The electoral committee comprised of the following members:

Dr. Med Samuel Nzokurum, Chairman,

Mrs. Atinuke Aganga-Williams, Secretary,

Mr. Patrick Odionikhere, LLB Hons,

Mr. Chukwudi Ndokwu,

Mag. Godwin Erhunse.

After screening, short-listing and campaigning the committee eventually presented two prominent Nigerians for the office of the president namely Dr. Med Michael Isima and Mag. Dr Adedeji Aganga-Williams

Finally, on the 1.07.2001, the first general election of the association took place, voted and elected for the first time, directly the Nigerian National Executive Committee Members of the National Association of Nigerian Community in Austria.

Mag. Dr Adedeji Aganga-Williams, National President,

Mrs. Doris Ajaegbu, Vice President,

Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna, Secretary General,

Ing. Mag. Olakunle Parkinson, Asst, Secretary General,

Mr. Solomon Akhigbe, Financial Sceretary,

Mrs. Angela Domansky-Ujah, Treasure,

Ing. Oluyemi Ogundele, Social and Welfare Officer,

Mag. Jacob Godwin, Public relations officer,

Mag. Jude Onyeyiriuche, provost and 6

Mr. Godwin Nwafor completed, Ex-Officio.

The 1st National Executive during the periods 2001 – 2203

The Implementation, Structural and Operational methodology and development This phase of the association was led by the then national president, a well known personality in Austria, Mag. Dr. Adedeji Aganga-Williams with Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna as the secretary general respectively. During this period, the association witnessed amongst other issues:

The first celebration of the Nigerian Independence day under the leadership of the newly established umbrella association;
The first conference of the "Nigerian Ethnic Nationals" made up of Nigerian cultural and social organisations was established;
The finance committee as a "standing committee to sort out and canvass for finance" for all Nigerian Organisations led by the then secretary general Mag. Phil Ogbonna was called to live,
The association in addition, organised the first national conference in Austria which was attended by prominent personalities across the continent of Africa – Europe - America, namely, H.E Abdul Rimdap, The Ambassador of Federal republic of Nigeria, H.E Seyd Abdulahi, DG OPEC Fund, Distinguished Senator Dr. Femi Okunrounmu , and Prof Omo Omoruyi Former DG, just to mention a few The regionalisation of the chapter started during this epoch, the executive committee travelled to some regions (Tyrol, Salzburg, Steiemark etc) for consultative meetings and later establishment of the regional coordination committee followed.

  •  The first national conference took place during which the first national executive committee of the association was established involving the regions in Austria and this exercise put the umbrella association in a good and befitting structure,
  •  Produced Identity Cards (ID) for members and finally to mention jut to mention but few,
  •  Held Press Conference on late Marcus Omofuma week.

Finally, they staged a befitting send off party for the then Ambassador Adul Bin Rimdap Ambassador and permanent representative of the federal republic of Nigeria to Austria and also the United Nations. 

By so doing, Mag. Dr. Adedeji-Aganga-Williams and his crew democratically practiced the provisions of the constitution, laid structures 

and operational methods of the association. 

Furthermore, they also proved to the public that the efforts of the founding fathers were not in vain and that the dream of the Nigerian 

Public has been realised. Many people will continue to remember this era as the of “Era of Pragmatism” 

The 2nd National Executive during 2003 - 2005

The Solidification Period 

The National association elected the following people as the electoral officer to conduct election for the second legislative period in accordance with the constitution;

The names of the electoral officers were as follows;

Mag. Godwin Erhunse, Chairman

Mr. Patrick Odionikhere, LL M Hons Secretary,

Mr. Benson Ogbubele, Member

Two prominent Nigerians were short-listed as candidates for the office of National President namely Dr. Chibo Onyeji and Dr. Chucks Okoye.

After a fierce battle and campaign, Dr. Chucks Okoye defeated his opponent by just a single vote.

The National Executive comprises the following officers:

Dr. Chucks Okoye, National President,

Mr. Uyi Davidson Omorodion Vice President (now late), later replaced by 

Engr. John Egbor as Vice President,8

Ing. Mag. Olakunle Parkinson, Secretary General,

Mr. M.C. Ofoha, Assistant Secretary General,

Mr. Solomon Akhigbe Financial Secretary,

Engr. Philips Eggough, Treasurer,

Mr. Jude Ejidoh Public Relations Officer (Late) later replaced by Mr. 

Ibukun Talabi as Public Relations Officer,

Madam Doris Ajaegbu, Social and Welfare officer,

Madam Angela Dommanski-Ujah as the provost and

Dr. Med Menakai Amadi Nna as the Ex-Officio. 

The leadership under discussion witnessed some turbulent periods. 

Shortly after the election and in fact after the first executive committee meeting, on the same day, the community witnessed the death of its vice president Mr. Davidson Omorodion. This sad event shocked the newly sworned in executive and they had to gather strength to continue their task. Just as the community was coming to terms with the demise of its vice president, the community was again confronted with the death of its public relations officer Mr. Jude Ejidoh. The death of Jude Ejidoh a promising young Nigeria shook the community to its foundation. 

As a result of all these unforeseen circumstances, the national executive was basically pre occupied by consoling the community who was bearded.

Notwithstanding these bad situations, the national executive was able to continue some programme that were of importance to the community.

The first National Women day was done during this executive 

stewardship period. 

Conclusively, the second national executive under the leadership of Dr. Chucks Okoye and Ing. Mag. Olakunle Parkinson should be commended for showing leadership for Nigeria community and for given befitting burials to two of its late members. Precaution was the symbol and style of the tenure.

The 3rd National Executive during 2005 - 2007

Consolidation Period

The association elected the following people as electoral officers:

Mr. Owe Naps Agbonkpolor Chairman,

Mr. Osaro Osayi Secretary,

Mr. Sunday Agbah,

Mr. Steve Noghama,

Mr. Benson Ogbuebele,

The electoral committee short-listed two prominent candidates namely;

Mag. Godwin Erhunse and Mr. Felix Okoro.

After a hard fought battle and campaign, Mr. Felix Okoro won a land slide victory against his opponent.

Please find below the names and offices of the following officers:

Mr. Felix Okoro, National President,

Ing. Mag. Olakunle Parkinson, Vice President,

Mag. Dominic Aghaizu, Secretary General,

Engr. Philips Eggough, Asst. Secretary General, 

Mr. Luis Azusu, Financial Secretary,

Dr. Chike Charles Chiemeke, Treasurer,

Mr. Charles Ofoedu, Public relations Officer,

Mr. Peter Ogbevoen, Social and Welfare Officer,

Madam Celina Otseme, Provost and

Mr. Godwin Nwafor, Ex-Officio member

The national executive under the leadership of Mr. Felix Okoro and Mag. Dominic Aghaizu as President and Secretary General respectively, was characterised by legal battle between the defeated president candidate Mag. Godwin Erhunse and the Incumbent President, Mr. Felix Okoro, who is challenging among other things the qualifications of the president and the PRO.

These challenges although unprecedented, let to the establishment of a Constitution committee,

This committee comprises of following members

Mag. Dr. Adedeji Aganga-Williams, Chairman,

Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna, Secretary,

Dr. Med. Michael Isima,

Dipl. Ing. Arch Remi Ofoedu

The committee after a through work submitted its findings to the general house for their information with copies sent to the Nigerian embassy and to the court of law for their attentions.

Conclusively, the petition was defecated in the court of law.

In addition to the legal battles, the national executive introduced amongst others the following:

  •  The Nigerian Health Awareness Day. This seminal offer Nigerians and friends of Nigerians the opportunity to asked questions about all sorts of dieses and preventive measures that could be taken,
  •  Held seminars of other kinds, extended invitations outside Austria,
  •  Made some efforts to re-established contacts with the regional chapters of the association and to call a national conference of the national executive committee but eventually failed,
  •  The period under review conducted a befitting sent-off party for the then Ambassador of Nigeria to Austria Mr. Diodun Owoseni . 

In summary, this period to some extent, was distracted from its original intentions, visions and missions of continuing with the policy style of the first period of the life of the association. Nonetheless, the executive committee was steadfast and carried out their policies. This event also showed that the National association was strong enough with the support of overwhelming Nigerians, to withstand the legal challenges.

The 4th National Executive for the Period of 2007 – 2009

Solidification and Consolidation continued Process 

The association elected the following people to conduction an election in accordance with its ´constitution:

Madam Doris Ajaegbu, Chairperson,

Dipl. Ing. Festus Imarhiagbe, Secretary,

Mr. Fidelis Osaghale, Member.

However, on the day of the general election, the following people were also appointed as electoral officers:

Mrs. Adaora Ofoedu-Asuzu, Mr. Peter Chinaemelu and Mr. Okungbowa Enoma Vosper.

This election was extra ordinary in nature because for the first time in the life of the association the office of the presidency was not contested. 

Either by accident or by nature, one person stood out as the sole candidate for the position of National President. 

The following people were elected into the executive committee:

Mag.Pharm Dominic Agbahizu, National President,

Mr. Owa Naps Agbonkpolor, Vice President,

Engr. Philips Eggough, Secretary General,

Mr. Dennis Agba, Asst Secretary General,

Mr. Francis Egogo Financial Secretary,

Madam Angela Domansky – Ujah Treasurer,

Mr. Olatunde Oloyede, Social and Welfare Officer,12

Mr. Sunny Akpan, Public Relations Officers,

Mr. Edwin Nwaka, Provost,

Mag. Leonard Obiegbwu Kazie, Ex-Officio member.

According to overwhelming opinion of the members of the community, the association under the leadership of Mag. Pharm Dominic Aghaizu as the President and Engr. Philips Eggough, as Secretary General, witnessed the rekindling spirits and the visions of the founding fathers of the association. 

Within the shortest time in office, the administration has passed many bills and constituted some Adhoc Committees namely:

The social and welfare committee,
The regional coordinating committee,
The finance Committee,
The information and Mass Media committee,
Conflicts Resolution Committee,
The constitution review and amendment committee.

Furthermore, tribute should be given to this administration for organising the second National Executive Committee conference in the eight years of the association’s history. The National Conference of the National Executive Committee was first and last held in the year 2003 and thereafter none was held till 2008. The importance and merit of such 

conference lies on it’s involvement of the regions in Austria where a branch of the association has been in existence and also encourage the establishment of new chapters in regions where none is in existent.

It is also a platform for the association to deliberate on matters of national concern and vital issues affecting Nigerians generally in Austria and beyond. By so doing, the president has demonstrated once again that he is the national president. He has also repositioned himself as the commander in chief of the Nigerian Communities in Austria and has brought back the “missing link” in the immediate past two legislative periods of the association before his tenure.

The national colour of the association has started flying once again in Austria. To cap it all, the Website project of the association started by the first legislative government, which was regrettably abandoned by the second and third tenures without obvious reasons, has been reactivated or rather a brand new one placed on World Wide Web (WWW). 

Also very essentially to mention is that this leadership for the first time in the history Nigerians in Austria organised “A Football Fan Club” to render 

moral support and gear up the “Nigerian Flying or rather supper Eagles” in a friendly football-match between them and the national team of the 

host nation. The association provided two luxurious buses from Vienna to Graz, other regions joined in the exercise. 

Furthermore, the regime organised a warm and befitting reception to welcome Ambassador Dr. Jerry Sunny Ugokwe to Austria on his assumption of office as Ambassador and permanent representative of the federal republic of Nigeria to Austria and the United Nations. A one and half (11/2) minutes of standing ovation the incumbent president received after delivering his welcome speech during the occasion was an absolute testimony of his charisma and quality leadership of his nature. That was fine. 

Finally, it should be hoped that the momentum right now (at the time of going to press) in the administration and management of the association under the pivot of good leadership of president Mag. Pharm Dominic Aghaizu and his crew will continue and by the time their tenure will be over the final solidification and consolidation of the association will be realised. 

Fundamentally, after eight years, one can confidently and comfortably, proudly and conclusively say that the association has come to stay. The National Association of the Nigerian Community in Austria (NANCA) lives on and the Nancanisation of the association will continue for years ahead!

                                                              >> Mag. Phil Samuel Ogbonna (Msc. Mass Comm, Pol Sc) [1]

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[1] Stand: In Vienna - Austria, August 2008

 

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Austrian footballer of the year 2011 David Alaba was born of a Nigerian father and a Philippine mother, David started playing football at a very tender age, his club playing days started with age nine when he played for SV Alpern. He was then picked up by a Vienna based Austria football club called Vienna FC for his talent; they brought him into their youth academy. David Alaba is one of the biggest young talents in the German football system. The 20-year-old Austro-Nigerian also represents the biggest hope of the Alpine nation Austria.
The future looks bright for David Alaba as the 20-year-old left and central midfielder his already a regular player in the Austrian national team and qualified for the Champions League final with his German club Bayern Munich.

Multicultural Family:

David Olatokunbo Alaba was born on June 24, 1992 in Vienna, Austria, to Nigerian father George and Filipino mother Gina. His father earns his salary as a DJ, musician and rapper. His mother is a nurse.
David Alaba raised quickly in Vienna's youth ranks, playing for their U-17s as a 14-year-old. As a 15-year-old he played with the U-19s and in April 2008 he was on the bench with the Austria Vienna professional club.
Daivid Alaba is the youngest national team player of all times, he inter the Austrian history book when played in the Austria's 2010 World Cup qualifier against France on October 14, 2009 - at the tender age of 17 years, 112 days, beating Hans Buzek's previous mark of 17 years, 161 days.
David was drafted into the senior team at a tender age to prevent him from playing for other nations since countries like Nigeria, Philippines and Germany were reportedly interested in having him play for their national teams.

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