…..ZLP Candidate To Deliver NIPR Annual Lecture
By Kemi Yesufu
Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Mallam Mukhtar Suraju on Friday officially presented the governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Dr. Obiora Okonkwo with the letter selecting him to deliver the institute’s annual lecture.
Suraju who led members of the council to meet with Okonkwo in Abuja said he was carefully selected to present NIPR’s flagship intellectual dialogue, the Sam Epelle Annual Lecture, not only for his brilliance with essays on the way forward for Nigeria, but also for his pan-Nigerian disposition and strong sense of patriotism.
This year’s lecture has its theme: ‘Re-Inventing Nigerian Unity For Global Relevance In The 21st Century: Issues Of Governance & Stability’.
‘Re-Inventing Nigerian Unity For Global Relevance In The 21st Century: Issues Of Governance & Stability’, is a topic that some others can only scratch the surface. But we felt with you who has seen quite a lot, who is well exposed, we couldn’t have bargained for a better person to shoot straight from hip and talk to us in a manner that is sincere, but with proper respect to all”, Suraju said.
Okonkwo who described his selection as honour used the occasion to reiterate his commitment to Nigeria’s unity and stability.
He said despite operating in the private sector before his recent decision to run for public office, he has always promoted national unity, citing the name of his company, United Nigerian Airlines, as a display of his belief in promoting national unity.
Okonkwo opined that recent events have made speaking about Nigeria’s unity a sensitive topic, but patriots must take up the challenge of discussing the problems the country is faced with and highlight solutions.
He disclosed that his main reason for running for the office of governor of Anambra State is to restore hope among the people.
He decried what he described as a worrisome level of hopelessness across the country and in Anambra State. The wealthy investor turned politician said leaders should always inspire hope through good governance, but this has not been the case in Anambra in recent years.
“I believe that the unity of Nigeria is in the interest best interest of us all. I believe that our tomorrow can be better and this is why I joined the leadership quest in Anambra”, he said.
Speaking in the same vein with Suraju who decried the fact that the older generation speak of a better Nigeria of the past, which the young people find hard to relate to, Okonkwo said it was disheartening that the Anambra State government recently presented a development plan reminiscent of goals set and achieved by the late Premier of the old Eastern Region, Dr. Micheal Okpara.
He assured that having studied the Micheal Okpara leadership model and delivering the maiden edition of the lecture instituted in the late premier’s honour, he will present Anambra with an updated model of development though predicated on Okpara’s transparent and people oriented leadership style.