Mercy Abang-Asu

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Abang Mercy (born Mercy Banku Abang in 1984 and now Mercy Banku Abang-Asu)[citation needed] is a Nigerian journalist, environmental consultant and social media expert. She has gone on several election observation missions on the West African sub-continent. She has an interview series, "Conversations with Abang Mercy", which has had guests such as Reno Omokri, Dele Momodu and Chude Jideonwo.

In 2012, she was named as one of 10 Young Nigerian Women to Watch.[1] She is currently a consultant with the Heinrich Böll Foundation,[2] and Managing Editor of the online newspaper Citizens Platform.[3] She hails from Boki, Cross River State, Nigeria.

Background[edit]

Mercy was born in Ogoja, a neighbouring town to Boki. Her childhood was divided between there and Abuja where her parents eventually moved to. She studied at Holy Child (Convent) Primary School and later at Holy Child Secondary School (Mount Carmel), both in Igoli- Ogoja.[citation needed]

After that, she moved to Abuja with her parents to continue at Gwarinpa Secondary School, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and later proceeded to the International Institute of Journalism to study Journalism, concluding with a Post-Graduate in Advertising and Public Relations.[1]

Recently, she studied Digital Story Telling at the Grimme-Institut in Bonn, Germany and had in the past studied Media in Peace Keeping Operations and Elections Observation at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Center in Accra, Ghana.[1]

Career[edit]

Mercy Abang is a freelance journalist from Abuja, Nigeria, with a decade of experience in television, magazine, newspapers and web journalism. She has written about topics ranging from Boko Haram, women’s health to politics and the environment. 

She travels across the states in Nigeria and most West African countries documenting mostly under -reported stories and capturing communities that rarely get media attention, she did an extensive reportage about the plight of Nigerian Journalists covering the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists group - she interviewed over 30 Journalists in the northeast region of Nigeria[4].

She played an importantly role in reporting the Ghanaian elections - covering various polling stations all over the country and reporting about the role of Ghanaian bloggers during the recently concluded elections[5]. She has also reported extensively about the activities of fulani herdsmen in Northern Nigeria, visiting communities in Niger state - bringing attention of the Nigerian people to the under -reported stories in Gbagyi communities[6].

She started her work on television – as a political correspondent with Independent Television and Radio, Abuja – at a very young age, saddled with the responsibility of covering the political parties and the electoral commission. She became knowledgeable in Nigeria's politics and election matters. At ITV Abuja, she worked as a non-linear editor, presentation director and producer. One of the programs produced was This Morning on ITV, a breakfast show.

In the past, she has worked with her fellow African youths and civil societies organisations in lobbying and advocacy, organisations like Oxfam GB Nigeria, West African Civil Society Forum, Heinrich Boell Foundation amongst others. She has also been a stringer for the Associated Press and a fixer for the Sunday Times of London, the BBC World Service Trust amongst others.

In the course of her work with Heinrich Boll Foundation, she has done articles and presentations on Nigeria's environmental situation and postulations for the future[7][8][9][10][11] in several Nigerian cities including Lagos, Abuja[12] and even internationally, in Berlin and London.[13][14][15]

At age 20, she represented Nigeria alongside other influential Africans lobbying against the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union and the African and Caribbean Countries (ACP) in Senegal and the Gambia.

Mercy worked as a media assistant to then Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, during his presidential campaigns on the platform of the Donald Duke Campaign Organization.

In 2014, she was invited to the African Union's Third Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa; Trends, Challenges and Prospects that held at Nairobi’s Safari Park - a meet with participants from over 40 African countries.[16][17] In March 2015, Mercy alongside international journalist, Kadaria Ahmed of the BBC, hosted Nigerians to a 2-hour live television town hall meeting with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega in Abuja.[citation needed]

Also, in the run up to the 2015 elections in September 2014, Mercy anchored a Lagos meeting with young people where she interviewed Nigeria's Former Vice President and a presidential aspirant in the election, Atiku Abubakar.[citation needed]

She contributes to other media like YNaija[18] and EcoJournalism.[19]

Advocacy[edit]

Mercy is a member of the advocacy coalition, Enough is Enough Nigeria founded by Chude Jideonwo, serving at one time in the capacity of Communications Coordinator.[20][21] Under EiE, she organised and facilitated town hall and campus hall meetings for young Nigerians in the six (6) geo-political zones of Nigeria, educating them about the electoral process and getting them informed about the country's electoral laws. As a public speaker and commentator, she has motivated youths in and outside Nigeria.

As a young African entrepreneur, she works with young people and continues to inspire her generation by creating jobs opportunities and works as a social media specialist and adviser.

She also assisted in the LightupNigeria advocacy project founded by Amara Nwankpa and pushed for the release of funds pledged by President Goodluck Jonathan towards rehabilitation of victims of the 2013 lead-poisoning in gold mines in Zamfara.[22]

Personalities Interviewed[edit]

In 2017, the firebrand Journalists, Mercy, interviewed Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, emphasis was on  traditional birth attendants (TBAs)/Agbebi and optimizing their services with the Abiye programme spread across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) as well as the establishment of two dedicated Mother and Child Hospitals to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by 84.9 per cent that is from 745 per 1000,000 live births in 2009 to 112 per 100,000 live births in 2016.

Mercy interviewed Professor Attahiru Jega, Nigeria's Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, she had a two hour live interview with the academia - that aired on Channels Television - prior to the strongly contested 2015 general elections about the conduct of the polls, preparations of the commission, and overall conduct of the process..

That was the election that saw the ouster of former President Goodluck Jonathan and led to the assumption of office of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator.

Atiku Abubakar, Mercy had a two-hour interview with Nigeria's Former Vice - President and Presidential Aspirant with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) also during the run - up to the elections and the campaigns within the APC that eventually saw to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party flag-bearer.

She has interviewed Politicians, academia, entertainers, civil society members, and most importantly the under - reported communities and persons in Nigeria.

The vibrant - witty Journalists continues to moderate and hosts mostly governance events/ town-hall meetings from the city of Bonn to the east African countries of Kenya and West African cities of Accra, Lagos and Abuja...

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Who Runs The World: 10 Young Nigerian Women to Watch (Part II) « Belinda Otas". Belindaotas.com. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Heinrich Böll Foundation". Ng.boell.org. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Citizens Platform : A New and Better Nigeria". Citizensplatform.net. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Journalist Mercy Abang Recounts the Ordeal of Journalists Covering the Boko Haram Attacks". 
  5. ^ "Abang Mercy: Ghana's elections and another test for Africa". 
  6. ^ "Mercy Abang: The Untold Stories of the Killing of Farmers in Niger State". 
  7. ^ "Green Deal Nigeria – Alternativen zum Öl | Heinrich Böll Stiftung" (in German). Boell.de. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "'Nigeria's total dependence on oil suicidal' – Vanguard News". Vanguardngr.com. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Internalising the Green debate for a post oil economy". ecojournalism.org. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Internalising the Green debate for a post oil economy ~ by @AbangMercy". Omojuwa. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Green Deal Nigeria" (PDF). Boell.org. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Group advocates for a national Green Agenda – Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Add an article". London 21. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Green Deal Nigeria Tickets, London – Eventbrite". Greendealnigeria.eventbrite.com. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "Jean Lambert Green MEP for London". Jeanlambertmep.org.uk. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  16. ^ http://newswirengr.com/2014/09/15/the-2nd-annual-youth-consultation-on-democracy-human-rights-and-governance-in-africa-dgtrends/
  17. ^ http://www.punchng.com/opinion/africas-turning-point-generation/
  18. ^ "Mercy Abang: It is cool to be called an activist, but not cool to join a political party? Give me a break". YNaija. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Government dams not responsible for floods – Minister". ecojournalism.org. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Mercy Abang | Think Africa Press". 72.27.231.67. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Press Release->Enough Is Enough". Omoyeni-disu.blogspot.com. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Oladipo, Tomi (12 April 2013). "BBC News – Cleaning up Nigeria's toxic playgrounds". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2013.