It is mourning time again for members of the Abuja circle remembering their member, Dr Titi Ogiri who died on the morning of December 5th, 2017 shortly before she could undergo a surgical operation in Abuja, Nigeria. The late Dr Ogiri who has become the signifier for this nationwide circle of friends enjoyed a solemn moment from members of the closely knitted circle December 5th, 2018. An unsigned mourning note sent to Intervention reads: Today, we remember our friend and sister, Titi Omeche Ogiri, PhD, who left us to relocate to Heaven a year ago today! We remember her, with love, as fun loving, witty, brilliant, hardworking, builder-up and mentor of others, faithful and true friend, confidant, strong, end-of-year letter writer, an achiever and more! Rest with the Lord”.
The circle as captured in an old picture stretches from names such as Debrah Moyeni Ogazuma, Julie Ade Cole, the late Ogiri, Zainab Saab, Asma’u Joda, Chermaine Peireira and Hannatu Ali Akilu, among others. Mostly culturalists, scholars, civil society and development activists, there are hints of the circle expanding into more and more charity interventions with particular reference to unheard privations and screams of the girl child. Apart from the identity diversity of this circle, Titi Ogiri is also remarkable for living beyond 25 that most sicklers are said to hardly exceed. Described as a brilliant and lively personality by members of her group, Dr Ogiri courageously battled Sickle Cells Anaemia all through her 67 years on earth.
At her death last year, Intervention reported how she was born a sickler September 10th, 1950 to the family of Chief Ogiri Okoh, the first Och’Idoma of Idoma, 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 race-related violence in the USA.
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.