President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, are among eminent Nigerians expected to feature in special pan-Nigerian conference holding in Lagos.
The summit is designed to move the national conversation on political restructuring forward in the run-up to next year’s general elections.
Its organisers said the summit is majorly expected to extract a formal pledge of commitment to restructuring, a priority of the Southern and Middle Belt zones from the major political parties and their presidential candidates.
The conference which is the brain child of Igbo think tank group, Nzuko Umunna, in association with The Core Federalists, will hold on Monday, November 19, 2018 at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos, with the theme: “Nigeria Beyond Oil”.
The Coordinator of Nzuko Umunna, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, said that “Handshake Across Nigeria” 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 thee Yoruba.
Odumuko listed that the priorities of the summit as bringing together various thought leaders of the component regions to articulate progressive ideas which could foster national integration and development ahead of the 2019 elections; 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.
He said that Soyinka will deliver the keynote address while President Buhari, Atiku and Nwodo would speak on various aspects of the theme.
Two former ministers of external affairs, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) and Professor Ibrahim Gambari will chair the occasion.
Other dignitaries expected at the event are Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon.Yakubu Dogara, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and his Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) counterpart, Chief Edwin Clark.