Mary Uduma emerges NiRA President

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has a new president.  She is Mary Uduma, who is also the head of licensing of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).  Her election took place at the Ikeja Airport Hotel, venue of the 3rd NiRA AGM on Thursday August 26, 2010.  She replaces the pioneer president of NiRA, Engr. Kalu Ndukwe, who died in September 2009, after helping kickstart the .ng revolution.

Mary Uduma

NiRA is the body empowered by the Nigerian government to regulate the registration of the .ng Top Level Domain names on the Internet.  At the beginning of the meeting, a one-minute silence was observed to pray for the soul of Ndukwe.  Some heroes pass unsung, but Nigerians should know that the local Internet space and our international recognition which rides on the back of our own domain extension owes a lot to Kalu Ndukwe.  May his soul rest in God’s peace.

Back to the election last week.  The new Vice President of NiRA is Mr. Sunday Folayan and in him my heart finds peace because he is a knowledgeable man.  Those in the industry will recognize him as the man behind Skannet, one of the earliest ISPs based in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Others elected into the reconstituted board of NiRA include Mr. Muhammed Rudman, CEO of the Nigerian Internet Exchange Point.  As head of NiRA’s technical committee, Rudman has been holding fort and literally holding the .ng up all this while.  Kudos to him.

The election went smoothly, but not without showing some traits that make me wonder why we would ever expect to have a free and fair election at the National level, when even at the level of associations, there are dictatorial tendencies that come to the floor with “stuffed ballot boxes”.  This did not happen at the NiRA election, but there were people who (but for the intervention of saner minds) were translating the association’s constitution according to their whims.  I won’t say more, but only to give kudos to Mr. Destiny Amana of Icecool Contracts who decided (against his will I must say) to step down from his aspiration to become NiRA’s president.  Well done Destiny!

About Destiny Amana I can say many things, but suffice it to state that again, those in the industry will recall that back in the days when to register a .ng domain name was akin to writing codes, Destiny stood head and shoulders above everybody, and at a point, he alone had registered almost 80% of the total domain names available on the .ng space.  Simple, cos no one else knew how to!

Kalu Ndukwe (R.I.P Dear Friend!)

We pray the new board work hard to keep things as high as all these great men and women have brought the .ng, and take it higher.  Peace!

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