…21 Years after Zik’s demise
The crux of discussion at the 6th Zik Lecture Series organized by Faculty of Social Sciences, NnamdiAzikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state at the University auditorium in honour of Nigeria’s first indigenous Governor General, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was on continued marginalization of Ndigbo and need for the Mausoleum in memory of Zik to be completed among others.
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences , Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna and Chairman of Publicity sub-committee , Dr Uzochukwu Chinwe were all praises for the success of the event that attracted who is who in the society to Unizik. Okunna had earlier expressed hopes that the aftermath of the 6th Zik lecture will chart a new course for the nation. And indeed she was right.
Delighted Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Joseph E. Ahaneku, FAS , thanked Governor Nwike, Chief Nwodo and others for making the Zik Lecture series a success. He described restructuring as the master key to all aspects of Nigeria’s development challenges, arguing that restructuring is the most contentious political issue in Nigeria and have become a sing song in the country’s lexicon, drawing strong and emotive advocacy on both sides of the divide to restructure or not to restructure.
The wife of the late Sage and nationalist, Professor Uche Azikiwe did not mince words when she asked the Federal Government to swing into action and complete the mausoleum in honour of late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, her late husband.
Professor Azikiwe decried the failure of the Federal Government to complete the project, twenty one years after the death of the first President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, adding that there is need to complete the project as it is the only way to preserve her late husband’s legacies.
She lamented that every year money is budgeted for the project, yet no meaningful progress has been made on the project and thanked all who took it upon themselves to ensure that the Zik’s Lecture Series is being held yearly.
On his part, the President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia-Nwodo called on President Muhamadu Buhari to convey a nation-wide conference to address the rising calls for restructuring in the country.
Nwodo, a Guest speaker at the Zik’s lecture series delivered a paper on: “the Political Economy of Restructuring in Nigeria Problems and Prospects”. He stated that with the consensus by political and religious leaders across the country, the Federal government must make restructuring a priority in its programme.
As well, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, who was the Chairman on the occasion, called for an equitable and participatory, political and economic system where every citizen will justly benefit from the proceeds of democracy.
Governor Wike who was vocal on the recent happenings in Nigeria, stated that the rule of law must take its pre-eminence against the current situation where what he called autocracy is the order of the day.
In Nwike’s words, “Irrespective of the side of the political and social divide we may belong, we all share a common responsibility as leaders and ordinary people to advance and preserve the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria, which is the greatest honour we can ever give to the memory of the Great Zik of Africa.”
The founder and benefactor of the Zik Lecture Series, Sir Ben Ndi-Obi stated that the reason for the Zik lecture series was to immortalize late Zik of Africa who he said was his mentor as well as to advance human capital development through research and knowledge. He described Zik as a true democrat, erudite scholar and a man who through hard work, achieved unparalleled success for the emancipation of Africa.
As well, former Governor of Anambra state , Dr Chukwuemeka Ezife and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu noted that there is need for restructuring and expressed their passion for late Nnamdi Azikiwe.
A rights activist, Ayo Opadokun argued that restructuring would not lead to the breakup of the country, but would rather restore power to the federating units to make them legitimate authorities.
In his vote of thanks, the Chairman of the Zik’s Lecture Series Committee, Prof. Au Nonyelu expressed his appreciation over the robust discussion and interface of minds at the lecture.
Highpoints of the occasion were the cutting of Zik’s posthumous birthday cake and the presentation of awards to some of the distinguished speakers. A minute silence was observed for the repose of the soul of late Zik.
Other dignitaries who spoke at the lecture include, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, among others.
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