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US State honours Nigerian diplomat



The US State of Georgia has honoured the Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Amina Smaila, for “efficient and unselfish dedication to public service to the state”.

The North American Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House of Representatives of the State of Georgia presented the honour to Ms Smaila on Thursday on the floor of the house.

The house, in resolution 647, obtained from the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta, stated that Ms Smaila had diligently and conscientiously devoted her time, talents and energy toward the betterment of the state.

The resolution, signed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, William Reily, spelt out the exceptional diplomatic skills of the Nigerian envoy.

“A distinguished Nigerian diplomat with more than two decades of exceptional service in the Nigerian Foreign Service, she currently oversees 16 southeastern states as well as Puerto Rico.

“Throughout her impressive career in public administration and policy development, she served in senior roles such as Minister at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York and acting Director of Policy Division under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Her outstanding service has earned her numerous honours, including delivering the commencement speech at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and receiving the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta.’’

According to the lawmakers, the Nigerian diplomat has given inspiration to many through her high ideals, morals, and deep concern for fellow citizens.

The representatives noted that Ms Smaila had served with honour and distinction, and her vision and unyielding commitment to excellence had set the standard for public service.

“It’s abundantly fitting and proper that the outstanding accomplishments of this remarkable and distinguished Georgian be appropriately recognised,’’ they noted.

Miriam Udeozo, Consul, Consulate of Nigeria, Atlanta, spoke on the extraordinary qualities of Ms Smaila that won her the honour by the State of Georgia and other honours.

Ms Udeozo said the Consul General had won the Phoenix Award by Andre Dickens, Mayor of the City of Atlanta, which was in recognition of her diplomatic work in reinforcing the ties between Nigeria and the United States.

According to her, the envoy has won Courageous Women Award by Courageous Women in Action, Atlanta, Georgia.

Under her leadership, Ms Udeozo said, the President of the City Council of Atlanta and all the State of Georgia, recognised 1 October as the Independence Day of Nigeria in Georgia.

They also made a “proclamation declaring May 25 as Nigeria’s Day for Art and Culture in the State of Georgia.

“This pronouncement came at the heels of the exhibition titled “Nigeria Speaks”, which attracted Atlanta, the entire United States and the world, to a navel cultural extravaganza, projecting Nigeria and African art in all of its diversity and beauty,’’ she said.


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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland



By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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BREAKING! Tinubu extends Abuja free train ride for six months



President Bola Tinubu has approved the extension of free train rides on the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also called the Metro Rail, for the next six months until the end of the year.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had announced free train rides for two months, to ease the burden of commuting for residents of the FCT.

Tinubu gave the approval during his address at the inauguration of the commencement of operations of the Abuja metro rail in Abuja on Wednesday, May 29.

The president appealed for the extension to offer hope to the people of the FCT and give them reasons to celebrate.

“Our dear landlord and his team, I heard you saying two months free ride. I appeal to you to make it till the end of the year. Since today you’re not going to charge me, that will give the people hope and reasons to celebrate,” Tinubu said.

Details shortly…

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