The story of one person most determined to overcome adversities in life ended this morning at an Abuja hospital. Dr Titi Ogiri died this morning shortly before she could undergo a surgical operation, according to a circle of friends now gathered in mourning. What is remarkable about her is giving a lie to the medical claim that most sickle cell sufferers hardly live beyond the age of 25. Described as a brilliant and lively personality, Dr Ogiri courageously battled Sickle Cells Anaemia all through her 67 years on earth.
Born a sickler September 10th, 1950 to the family of Chief Ogiri Okoh, the first Och’Idoma of Idoma, Dr Ogiri attended Wesley Girls School, Otukpo and the Holy Rosary College, Adoka for primary and post-primary education. She was then at the Advanced Teachers’ College, Zaria from 1967-70 where she obtained the National Certificate of Education, (NCE) before proceeding to the University of Pittsburgh in the United States of America for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography, followed by a MBA and a PhD in Economics.
Back in Nigeria after the MBA, she taught briefly at St Edna’s Teachers’ College, Bassawa in Zaria in the early 70s, then the Northern Nigerian Development Company, (NNDC) which served as a technocratic training ground for young northerners. She was an Investment Executive. From there, she was at Phoenix Investment Kaduna under the late Dr Hamza Zayyad as Investment Executive.
She was back to the University of Pittsburgh where she worked and also married Frank Edwards Little, an Attorney, a marriage blessed with a son, Oche Frank Ogiri-Little. The son is, however, late and the marriage in abeyance. Oche Frank-Ogiri Little who had schooled in Nigeria up to secondary school at her mother’s insistence that he be sufficiently Nigerianised in terms of school mates up to a point before letting go of him was shot dead in 2004 in a typical case of violence in America.
Dr Ogiri who had relocated home finally in 2003 had been into consultancy, with a clientele stretching up to the World Bank. As CEO of Ap’ode Investments, Abuja, she ran several entrepreneurship training programmes, including community development projects for the Millennium Development Goals at Ado local Govt Area of Benue State.