By Prosper Okoye
The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, has called on all Nigerians to work for peace and nation-building as the dissolution of the Nigerian state would not abate the dissatisfaction and perceived ethnic marginalization decried by secessionists.
Fayemi, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and guest speaker, stated this in his lecture titled “Nation-Building: Between Restructuring And Autonomy,” delivered at the 9th and 10th combined Zik Lecture Series and birthday celebration Tuesday hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
At the event, a posthumous honor for the late first Nigerian president, Dr Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, Kayode eulogized the legacies of great Zik, noting that Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe ( aka Zik) envisioned an egalitarian state that would be “perpetual and indestructible”.
“If he were alive, he would have chosen a path of peace and constructive dialogue rather than war and destruction, as whatever is worth fighting for, is worth staying alive for,” he said.
Condemning the recent spate of violence that has bedeviled the hitherto peaceful Southeast Region, the governor stated: ” The sentiments that drive the kind of extreme position adopted by groups like MASSOB or IPOB is understandable, but, one would still have to question whether this is indeed the best solution in the best interest of the people on whose behalf they have claimed to pursue the struggle.”
Speaking earlier at the event, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, welcoming the visitors to the state, pointed out that the recent surge of violence in the state was propagated by desperate politicians who sought to take over Anambra state by all means, but have been resisted vehemently.
Speaking, Senator Uche Ekwunife (IYOM), senator representing Anambra Central, described Anambra state as the pace setting state and lauded the lecture organizers for choosing to discuss the theme: “security, governance and nation building.” Ekwunife observed that, although the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) contested the just concluded election vigorously, the will of God and the people prevailed even as the election was conducted in a free, fair and peaceful atmosphere.
In his speech, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, Engineer David Umahi, represented by his deputy, Igwe Kelechi, also commended the theme of the lecture which he described as timely and depicts the fulcrum of democracy and good governance.
He called on the federal government to strengthen the police and other security agencies, sayin that the Eastern Security Network ( ESN) and Ebubeagu, will compliment the efforts of the federal government on security in the region.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Charles Esimone thanked the benefactor of the annual Zik lecture series, Senator Ben Obi, CON, for his commitment in keeping the name and legacy of the great African leader, Zik, alive, assuring that the platform would be used extensively for development and nation building, to achieve the aspirations of the late patriotic leader.
Senator Obi extolled the university management for approving the building of a legislative institute in honor of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
He expressed gratitude to the Anambra state government for making every 16th day of November a holiday for Ndi Anambra, in honour of great Zik, appealing to the federal government to also do the same.
The event had in attendance the wife of the late Nigerian President, Professor Uche Azikiwe, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, CFR mni, Agbogidi and other dignitaries.
Highlights of the event were the cutting of cake, presentation of awards and group