In the event of the dense scourge of pain, misery and saddness in Nigeria today, no politically conscious element is likely to be celebrating his or her birthday. Admirers and critics are, however, united in the belief that Ene Obi’s 60th birthday is an event in the Derridean sense.
She has weathered the most turbulent of the storms as a woman, as a student activist and as a gender face of the emergent civil society space in Nigeria today as Country Director of the international NGO – Action Aid International, (AAI).
Of these, her emergence as president of the University of Jos students union in the late 1980s remains symbolic for the radical rebellious industry as well as a statement in gender equity. This is particularly so that hers is only the second of such statement before then in northern Nigeria, the other case being that Najatu Mohammad at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria around the same era.
Ene Obi @ 60 is thus a moment for looking back so as to look forward, especially as relates to consolidation and course correction, the price everyone pays for being alive.