*Aims to ginger patriotic zeal in Nigerians
By Myke Uzendu
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will lead an array of eminent personalities to discuss patriotism, security, governance and national development at an international conference holding today.
The virtual conference, which will be chaired by the immediate-past PPresident of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. (Prof.) Tijjani Muhammed-Bande, and also feature former Senate President and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim and can be accessed on ZOOM via Meeting ID: 876 3990 8541 PASSCODE: global. The Conference starts at 9.30 AM (EST), 3.30 PM (WAT).
Other confirmed speakers at the conference being convened by Global Patriot Newspapers (an online medium) in collaboration with the Nigerian Consulate in New York, US and the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey, Chapter, are the 2019 Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; leading lawyer and pro-democracy and human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and Nigeria’s envoy to Mexico, Amb. Aminu Iyawa.
Other speakers at the conference that is expected to be no-holds barred are Prof. Eddie Oparaoji, a US-based pro-democracy activist; Prof. Olu Obafemi, a national merit award winner and acclaimed Professor of English; former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Prof. Maurice Iwu; former Director-General of NIMASA and ex member of the House of Reps, Dr. Dakuku Peterside; US-based Professor of Africana Studies, Apollos Nwauwa; American Professor of Sociology, Dr. Akil Khalfani and Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity).
Also to speak at the Conference that could turn to a type of truth commission are Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM); Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed (mni), Prof. Murtala Jide Balogun, Special Adviser to the 74th President of the UNGA and one-time DG of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) and Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To equally weigh in on the debate on the crucial subject will be former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia and ace broadcaster and nutrition advocate, Chief (Mrs) Moji Makanjuola of NTA fame.
The President of the Guild of Editors (NGE), Mustapha Isah, President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Mr. Dotun Oladipo, former President of the NGE and founder of the Dantiye Centre for Good Leadership and Journalism, Baba Dantiye and Prof. Ladi Hamalai, DG of the Institute of Legislative Studies of the Nigerian National Assembly, will also deliver Goodwill Messages at the Conference.
In a statement, the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of GPNews, Mr Simon Ibe, and the President, NIDO New Jersey, Dr Kazeem Bello, had said that “the event is an attempt to question the root causes of lack of patriotic fervor among many Nigerians and what should be done to reverse the trend.
“There will be questions as to why some are not proud of their motherland, will not buy locally-made products and are ever ready to badmouth their country.”
The focus, the statement had said, “will be on the need for love for country in the conduct of government business and in interactions between individuals and entities in the polity,” stressing that the Conference would seek to “establish mantras such as ‘Nigeria first’, ‘Love the motherland’, ‘Buy Nigeria’, ‘Promote Nigeria’ and ‘Die for Nigeria’.