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Ukemeabasi Esiet (Ukeme)
Christian, Nigerian, Grad Student, Blogger
Christian, Nigerian, Grad Student, Blogger

Ukemeabasi's posts

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I'm celebrating 7 years as a lender on today!

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Every diamond starts out as a lump of coal

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In this article +Jennifer Ehidiamen interviews Jacob Lief, the founder of Ubuntu Education Fund on his journey, on setting his own rules, and developing a striking model for community development (depth not breadth).

"There is a difference between touching a child's life and changing a child's life. When you touch a child's life, you provide a cup of soup or a computer class. When you change a child's life, you help them not only to survive but also thrive. You’ll give them the tools they need to thrive."

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Don't be sad your weekend's over - magically turn the fun you had (and food you ate) into #LocalGuides points! ➝
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This has been a big part of my NYSC service year in Sokoto State

The NYSC Freedom of Information Vanguard was established by order of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja in order to promote the public’s awareness and understanding of the Freedom of Information Act of 2011 and the rights it bestowed upon citizens in order to promote government transparency through increasing access to public records, reasonable protection of public records and information, and provisions protecting public officers who become whistleblowers.

History of the Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act began as the Freedom of Information Bill introduced to the National Assembly in 1999, during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was originally championed by members of the fourth estate as a tool to promote government transparency.

After 17 years of advocacy by journalists, who were supported by legal practitioners and other activists, the Freedom of Information Act was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on 24th May, 2011 and signed into law by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on 28th May, 2011 (Asomba, 2016).

Upon the Bill’s signing into law, the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors commended the Jonathan administration for expanding “the frontiers of press freedom for Africa’s most vibrant press” and “empowering citizens to participate in the governance of their own affairs” by “fighting corruption and closet government, and [confronting] the few who misappropriate our resources to themselves alone” (Agande, 2011).

NYSC and the Freedom of Information Act
The National Youth Service Corps embraced the FOI Act within a year of its signing into law. During a review of NYSC’s own compliance with the Act, the organization discovered that due to the lack of awareness of the rights bestowed upon them by the FOI Act, most Nigerians did not request for records or information held by public institutions like NYSC (Asomba 2016).

Thus, in August 2015, the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Johnson Olawunmi announced the approval for formation of the FOI Act club vanguards of corps members across Nigeria. NYSC management then proceeded with the sensitization of corps members in the 2015 Batches A and B during their orientation camp exercises.

Freedom of Information Vanguard in Sokoto State
In Sokoto State, the work of the NYSC Freedom of Information Vanguard began when the NYSC Sokoto State Head of Public Relations Unit, Mallam Sani Idris, appointed Olufunmi J. Olaosun (SO/15A/1641) of the Editorial and Publicity Group (EPG) and Hauwa F. Yusuf (SO/15A/2704) of Legal Aid CDS Group to serve as the Interim President and General Secretary of the Sokoto State Chapter of the FOI Vanguard.

After outreach efforts during the Orientation Exercises for Stream I and II of the 2015/2016 Batch B corps members, the first cohort of FOIV members were gathered to lay the foundation for the Vanguard’s sensitization and community service work in Sokoto State.

The first General Meeting of FOIV was held on 27th January, 2016 at the NYSC Sokoto State Secretariat on Kalambaina Road, Wamakko LGA. By the second meeting on 10th February, 2016, the interim Executive Council was expanded to include: Sim Williams (Public Relations Officer), Jimmy Ireke Anyanso (Provost), Ukemeabasi Uyem Esiet (Assistant General Secretary), Ivie Emokpae (Treasurer), Victoria Nkechi Ellah (Financial Secretary), Zongo Lawrence Nebanat (Advert & Publicity Manager), and Ijeoma Ugwu (Director of Special Duties).

First FOIV Committees and the FOIV Constitution
A committee was also inaugurated to develop the first Constitution of FOIV at the 10th February meeting, which included Barrister Huawa Farida Yusuf (SO/15A/2704) as the Chairman, Barrister Ivie Emokpae (SO/15B/2713), Barrister Victoria Nkechi Ellah (SO/15B/0692), and Taiwo Samson Elujoba (SO/15B/1572).

The first formal Induction Ceremony of FOIV members was held on 17th February, 2016 and on 24th February, 2016, FOIV welcomed Herbert Amodu (SO/15A/0047), the 2015/2016 Batch A EPG President, to address the FOIV Congress. Mr. Amodu commended the members for joining FOIV, provided guidance on the development of the FOIV Constitution, and encouraged collaboration between EPG, Legal Aid, and FOIV.

The first Electoral Committee was appointed at the 23rd March meeting and included Oladayo Akintunde Ojo (SO/15B/2630) as the Chairman, Sharhabilu Iyya (SO/15B/3318), Gbemisola Fashakin (SO/15B/0215), and David Okotie (SO/15B/2273). They were tasked with organizing the first election of Executive Council members of the CDS Group.

At the General Meeting on 30th March, 2016, the Constitution Committee presented the first complete draft of the FOIV Constitution, which was unanimously adopted by the Congress pending final review by the President and General Secretary. The Provost, Jimmy Ireke Anyanso suggested the FOIV Motto – “Information is Power” and the Advert & Publicity Manager, Zongo Lawrence Nebanat provided the FOIV Logo, in which the book represents the FOI Act; the ‘I’ stands for information; the red colour indicates that information is power; and the white colour indicates the peaceful transmission of information.

First Elected Executive Council
The first elected Executive Council was chosen during the General Meetings held between 6th April, 2016 and 20th April, 2016 and the process was monitored by the Electoral Committee. At the end of the elections, the following officers were inaugurated:

Jimmy Anyanso Ireke

Vice President (VP)
Ijeoma Angel Ugwu

General Secretary (Gen Sec)
Ukemeabasi Uyem Esiet

Assistant General Secretary (AGS)
Daniel Dauda

Financial Secretary (Fin Sec)
Isiyaku M. Dangana

Taiwo Samson Elujoba

Ayodele Solomon Akpor

Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Olanrewaju Seidu R.

Advert and Publicity Manager (APM)
Lawi Ajiya

Assistant Advert and Publicity Manager (AAPM)
Oto-Obong Sunday Umoh

Director of Special Duty and Welfare (DSDW)
Zongo Lawrence Nebanat

Director of Socials (DOS)
Sim Williams


Agande, Ben (2011, June 4) "FoI Act and You! How the Freedom of Information Act affects you." The Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved from

Asomba, Ikenna (2016, February 12) "NYSC inaugurates Freedom of Information Act Club in Lagos." The Vanguard Nigeria. Retrieved from

Osioke, please send the job description for the intern position to my WhatsApp. I want to try to knock it out in the next day or so.

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Living an intentional Christian life...
"When next you find yourself walking through the valley of the shadow of death, have faith that God will pull you out of it. But also be sure that you are not the one fanning the flame of darkness upon you and your loved ones..." Read my latest post on my thoughts on spiritual warfare: #shalom   #faith   #christianity  

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