Thursday, 13 June 2013

News Release: Nigerian-American Leadership Council Opens Offices in Washington

(Plans To Partner With US And International Agencies To Tackle The Boko Haram Menace)

The Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC), a non-partisan association of Nigerian-born professionals, community leaders, and institutions, in the United States and in Nigeria, has opened its offices in Washington, DC. 

NALC is founded in part to serve as a think-tank, to facilitate good Nigerian-American relations; ensure good governance in Nigeria; address the emerging Boko Haram security issue in Nigeria; facilitate commerce and business relations between Nigeria and the United States; and ensure the full integration and participation of Nigerian-Americans in the United States socio-political process.

NALC was founded by veterans of the Nigerian Diaspora activist community, including former Howard University Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Edward Oparaoji. Oparaoji is a stalwart of the “National Democratic Coalition (NADECO)”. NADECO fought fiercely to wrestle power from Nigeria’s former military government, under General Sani Abacha.  Oparaoji is currently Chairman of NALC.

At a recent stakeholders meeting in Washington, DC, Prof. Oparaoji said, “As we approach the 20th anniversary of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Nigerian presidential elections, by the then Military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida, and the subsequent resistance by Nigerians to that act; we are mindful that the ideals for which we fought and died have not yet been fully realized.  We intend to use this platform to continue to advocate good governance and equity for Nigerians everywhere. 

Okechukwu Mbonu, the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of NALC, is a former Housing Commissioner in suburban Prince George’s Maryland, and also a former president of the “All Nigerian American Congress (ANAC)” in Washington, DC. Mbonu has served in public policy and related roles since graduation from law school in Washington, DC.  He has significant exposure to US public policy, as a former government official, and as a political consultant.

NALC’s Washington, DC offices, located at 1702 Pennsylvania, Northwest, Washington, DC, is literally a few blocks from the Whitehouse at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  NALC’s physical location in Washington signals that the Nigerian-American community has matured, and is ready to play the intricate power games of Washington, DC, where it matters.

The Council plans to take a frontal approach on the fluid security situation in Nigeria, especially the “Boko Haram” debacle, which is threatening to tear Nigeria apart, or by default bring Nigeria’s fast-rising economy to its knees.

NALC’s other co-founders, the Board of Directors, and the Advisory Board, is comprised of United States professionals who bring various expertise and career accomplishments in the academia, law, public policy, and business.  Some members of the Council bring 27 years of in-depth Washington experience, including stints in US Institutions. 

The Council knows it has its work well cut-out for it, given the heavy-lifting needed by the Nigerian-American community.  However, the Council feels it has what it takes to pull off the mission, while acting as a bulwark for solid friendship between the United States and Nigeria; based on mutual interests. 

In the short-term, the Council plans to commission a study of the “Boko Haram” security issue, from inside and outside Nigeria; the Council will utilize its local Nigerian ties, language and cultural proficiencies, and also an international insight; to tackle the “Boko Haram” problem, and proffer credible and realistic solutions.

The Council understands that if unabated, “Boko Haram” could tear the entire Sub-Saharan Africa apart, and decimate much needed investments into Nigeria and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, given “Boko Haram’s” reach into not just Nigeria but also Mali, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and other possible locations. 

Signed:
Ingrid Megan
Media Spokesperson, 
Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC),
1702 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006 Washington, DC.
Tel: (202) 379-2848


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