Magnus Eze, Enugu
In a bid to set agenda for the 2019 general election, an Igbo think-tank group, Nzuko Umunna, will host a conference on the future of the country with focus on restructuring.
President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, are among dignitaries expected to participate at the special pan-Nigerian conference designed to extract a formal pledge of commitment to restructuring, a priority of the southern and Middle Belt zones, from the major parties and presidential candidates.
A brain child of Nzuko Umunna in association with a group of pan-Nigerian leaders, the Core Federalists, the event holds on November 19, 2018 at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos, with the theme “Nigeria beyond Oil.”
Tagged ‘Hand shake across Nigeria’, Coordinator of Nzuko Umunna, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, said that it is an expansion of the January 11, 2018 ‘Handshake across the Niger’ summit organised to end the suspicion and unhealthy rivalry between the Igbo and their Yoruba counterparts.
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According to Odumuko, the key priorities of the event are to “bring together the various thought leaders of the component regions to articulate progressive ideas that could foster national integration and development especially as we approach the 2019 elections and also avail an opportunity for thought leaders and socio-cultural organisations to constructively interrogate the presidential candidates of selected political parties on their plans, programmes and policies before the elections.”
Soyinka will deliver the keynote address while President Buhari, Atiku Abubakar and Chief Nnia Nwodo, will speak on various aspects of the theme.
Two former ministers of external affairs, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari will chair the occasion.
Other dignitaries expected at the event are President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; foremost leaders of ethnic nationalities; Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere), and Chief Edwin Clark (Niger Delta), among others.