Special to USAfricaonline.com • USAfrica magazine, Houston. @Chido247
The doors of history and empowerment are continuing to open at the highest levels of the governmental financial leadership of the United States for the Nigerian, African and African-American communities. A major door was opened on December 1, 2020.
“I know that what the President-elect so often reminds us of is true. The American people can do anything when given a chance. And I’m honored to be a part of this talented team and to work with them and all the American people to build an economy that gives everyone that chance and turns our nation once again from crisis to hope”, were the optimistic and reassuring words of Joe Biden’s nominee for deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo.
He is an attorney and first president of the Obama Foundation. He will work with Janet Yellen, the nominee for Treasury Secretary. When confirmed, as expected in January 2021, Adeyemo will become the first Black person to serve in the role.
Yes; it’s a very big deal!
In my column for the first Friday of November, titled “The rise of Nigerian-Americans from November 2020 elections”, I expressed respect and appreciation for the facts that the November 3, 2020 presidential and congressional elections in the United States continue to show aspects of the beauty of its recent democratic traditions. Especially the opportunity it gives to recent immigrants — required to be citizens of the United States regardless of where they come from — to compete in the civic battle of ideas. Alongside many other candidates, 12 Nigerian-Americans and African immigrants joined in making history. One such person is Dr. Adeoye ‘Oye’ Owolewa. He is also a history maker, a barrier breaking example of the hard work and dedication of the Nigerian Americans who are working their way through the political leadership And overall professional excellence in the United States.
Today, we are all waiting for January 2021 when Adeoye Will become the first Nigeria Nigerian American to be sworn in as a member of the United States Congress — although he does not have the full weight of congressional voting. This has more to do with the fact that the district of Columbia (Washington DC) has not achieved full statehood and nothing to do with our younger brother!
There are several of us elected are appointed to important positions at other levels.
Especially, in the healthcare sector and the professional services level we have a galaxy scholars and researchers who are leaders in their various fields.
For example, a young Nigerian American scientist exam is one of the leading members of the group at Pfizer who produced the much-waited vaccine against COVID-19. His name is Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu. He is of Yale University and a specialist in infectious diseases. He graduated from the University of Calabar Medical School in Nigeria in 2003.
On the significance of the work against the coronavirus, Dr. Ogbuagu said the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine could be “the beginning of the end of the pandemic…. The vaccine would help us achieve immunity,”
Yes; it’s a very big deal!
Let me underline four additional, key points.
The first one is that all these are happening as products of individual excellence.
The second is that there are no quotas and preferential treatment as to who leads or contributes to areas of research in the dynamic battle for solutions to human problems.
The third point is that I do believe that on enabling environment is very critical, useful and facilitative of critical thinking, creative thinking and scientific inquiries. The enabling environment includes keeping students in school and actually teaching them as obtains in the United States and other stable societies and academies.
On the other hand, in Nigeria, it is very unfortunate and retrogressive to notice the fact the schools and universities stay more closed by the iniquity and incompetence of their various governments at all levels and by all political parties! Yes; it’s a very big shame!
My fourth point is: Who would have thought that the insulted and assaulted Nigerian youths are the same ones who are bringing the highest global recognition to the same country that treats them with so much disregard?
The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind….
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the January 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247