The ninth and tenth combined Zik lecture series has kicked off yesterday at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State capital.
The event, which coincides with posthumous birthday celebration of former Nigerian Head of State, Chief Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, is sponsored by Chief Dr. Ben Obi, with Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Engr. Dave Umahi as the chairman, his Ekiti State counterpart and Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, John Kayode Fayemi as guest speaker.
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, is the Chief host of the event, while Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia State’s, Okezie Ikpeazu and Imo State’s, Hope Uzodimma are guests of honour.
Traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh, represented by Chief Clement Nwafor, is the Royal father of the day, with his Onitsha counterpart, Obi Alfred Achebe present.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Esimone, is hosting the event alongside the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, UNIZIK, Professor Uche Nwogwugwu.
President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World, Professor George Obiozor, represented by the Secretary-General of the organization, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, Vice President-General of the organization, Chief Damian Okeke-ogene, Anambra State President of the organization, Chief Emeka Udodeme, National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Barrister Titus Akpudo, Senator Uche Ekwunife representing Anambra Central, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the ABS, Chief Dr. Uche Nworah are among dignitaries present at the event.
In his opening remark, Chief Umahi, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, who noted that security remains the fulcrum of good governance and sustainable development in any society, described the theme of the event, “security, governance and nation building” as germane, expressed hope that the event will chart new course for the nation by addressing developmental issues facing the nation.
The Governor of Anambra State who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu while speaking noted that the late Azikiwe helped Igbos catch up with the West in terms of education and sustainable community development, and expressed hope that outcome of the event will help the nation chart a new course for good governance and sustainable development.
Governor Obiano, who noted that security helped his administration achieve much over the years, assured visitors in the State that Anambra remains safest in the country, despite pockets of violence in the building up to the just-concluded Anambra governorship election.
Guest speaker at the event and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, who called for strengthening of the bond among Nigerians, said there is nothing heroic in dying for a cause when dialogue and negotiation can provide pathways to workable solutions.
Dr. Fayemi, who is the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, recalled that the late Azikiwe envisioned and worked for Nigeria to be perpetual and indestructible on account of its ability to remain adaptive and responsive to every generation of Nigerians.
Cutting of Zik’s posthumous birthday cake featured at the event sponsored by Chief Ben Obi, and attended by wife of the former Head of State, Professor Uche Azikiwe, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Professor George Obiozor, represented by the Secretary-General of the organization, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, Vice President-General of the organization, Chief Damian Okeke-ogene,Anambra State President of the organization, Chief Emeka Udodeme, National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Barrister Titus Akpudo, Senator Uche Ekwunife representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ABS, Chief Uche Nworah Ph.D among other dignitaries.