The former US President Bill Clinton was in Nigeria for THISDAY Teachers achievement awards. Speaking on the economic development and advancement of Nigeria, the former president emphasized the employment of Nigeria’s brain powers living abroad. President Clinton understood the dynamic and trigonometric of trained skills, advanced education and intellectualism in the advancement of a nation.
On the issue of advance education and specialized skill, Clinton gave a powerful recognition and glowing tribute to Nnamdi Asomugha, a Nigerian American footballer, who has worked closely with the former president‘s Foundation and who has become a helping hand to less privilege communities in United States of America. Asomugha, although is a professional footballer, chose to lay emphasis on educational empowerment of a society. Clinton describing Asomugha as a wonderful human being, said:
“He (Nnamdi) does great work in America for poor kids in Arkansas City and he became a friend of mine. Both his parents have Ph.Ds, his sister has a Ph.D. He often says ‘I’m the failure in my family and I only have a university degree and I play football. My point is there are Nigerians who are like this all over the world. What you have to figure out is how to keep those people in Nigeria and how to ensure their success leads on into the rest of the country. So, I think solving the economic divide that is in your country will help the political divide; making better use of your resources.”
Former US president Bill Clinton further said, “There has to be a way to take the staggering intellectual and organizational ability that Nigerians exhibit in every country in the world in which they are immigrant and bring it to bear here so that the country as a whole can rise. One of the people on my trip with me today who unfortunately could not come up here because he had to go to visit his family is a young Nigerian-American, named Nnamdi.”
Nnamdi, as Clinton referred to him played for NFL football fields, and became an All Pro cornerback for the Oakland Raiders. Nnamdi Asomugha was born in America and his both parents are from Nigeria.
“Asomugha was born in Lafayette, Louisiana to parents of Igbo descent and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, California and Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, California before transferring to and graduating from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, playing high school basketball and football. Asomugha is of Nigerian descent.
Asomugha attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he finished his career with 187 tackles, three sacks, 19 stops for losses, eight interceptions, three touchdowns, 15 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 41 games as a free safety. In addition to football, Nnamdi also proved highly intelligent in the classroom. Asomugha stayed all four years at University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Degree in corporate finance. Asomugha often cites the important role both his parents education played in his life, citing their doctoral degrees in engineering and pharmacy as motivation for his own studies.” (Wikipedia)
“Nnamdi Asomugha created the Asomugha Foundation to provide a positive impact on the disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and the underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa through education and empowerment.
The Asomugha Foundation has two focuses. OWIN, Orphans and Widows in Need in Nigeria, where Asomugha is from, and ACTS, Asomugha College Tour for Scholars. Asomugha takes high school students on college tours to encourage them to peruse a higher education. Asomugha, who played football and basketball at Narbonne high school and went on to play football at Cal (Berkeley), emphasized education when he was a student,” as reported by Jason Lewis, Sentinel Sports Editor.
On the importance of advance education, Nnamdi Asomugha once said, “When you have a college degree, that always helps with the people that are hiring you, they know that you were determined and that you were able to get that degree while being active in other things. That speaks volumes to a lot of business owners and people who are hiring.”
Clinton acknowledged that Nigeria has a great potential and said “When I became President, my Secretary for Commerce did a lot of work in Africa before he was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1995. I told him to make the list of the 10 most important countries in the world for the 21st century and Nigeria was in the list. Imagine the future of the entire continent if Nigeria fails or South Africa fails. So, you are a country of great potential.”