Posted by News Express | 15 November 2019 | 846 times
Four distinguished Nigerians from various backgrounds yesterday, Thursday, November 14, 2019, electrified the main hall of Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, as they delivered absorbing speeches at the 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture. They are the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 polls, Mr. Peter Obi, who headlined the event as the Special Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker; the keynote speakers – Eminent Lawyer and celebrated Activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN; and Legal cum Development Expert, Barrister Bashir Maidugu, the Honourary Special Adviser (Infrastructure) to the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum – as well as Famed Change Agent, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who chaired the event.
After the opening remarks by News Express Publisher Isaac Umunna, the event started proper with the fiery opening address of Dr. Okei-Odumakin, the International Woman of Courage, who was detained 17 times during the Ibrahim Babangida military regime. The fire-brand activist lamented the ravages of rampant corruption in the country and canvassed a change of attitude. She further added spice to the event by composing an impromptu song on the event theme, “Getting Nigeria Out of the Woods – A New Thinking”, leading the audience to repeatedly render the song.
Next came Maidugu, who delivered an educative and well-researched paper on “AfCTA and The Challenges of African Integration”. Effectively deploying slides, Maidugu did not only educate the audience on AfCTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) but also explained the implications for Nigeria.
Adegboruwa, SAN, then charged the atmosphere with an animated speech on “The Role of Rule of Law in Getting Nigeria Out of the Woods”, in which he made a strong case for respect for rule of law as a sine qua non if Nigeria is to find her way out of the woods.
The day climaxed with a masterclass by Obi, who was in his elements, as he delivered the main lecture theme, “Getting Nigeria Out of the Woods – A New Thinking”. The encyclopedia of development, whoever, disagreed with the theme, insisting that “What Nigeria needs is not a new thinking but implementation.”
The event was expertly hosted by veteran broadcaster and immediate past General Manager of NTA Channel 10 Lagos, Helen Onma Odeleye, who was supported by On-Air-Personality Melanie of Nigeria’s only women-only station, WFM 91.7.
Airo and the Afroconcepts band supplied live music while MC Patocomic further livened up the event with his rib-cracking jokes. The Blood Pressure Control Foundation led by Dr. James Nwachukwu provided free blood pressure checks.
As was the case with previous years’ editions, the 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture attracted a cross section of government functionaries, industry leaders, professional groups and diverse sectorial leaders, among others. It was streamed live to a global audience and broadcast on News Express Digital TV, as well as on YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp.
Past speakers at the News Express Anniversary Lecture to include Special Adviser To The President On Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina; Governor Sani Bello of Niger State, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman; and ‘Africa’s Bill Gates’, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman of Zinox Technologies Ltd and Konga.
News Express, which debuted on August 29, 2012, is one of Nigeria’s most popular and influential online dailies. It is read by hundreds of thousands of people around the world and records annual traffic of upwards of 100 million.
•PHOTO: L-R; Umunna, Obi, Okei-Odumakin, Maidugu and Adegboruwa, SAN, during 7th News Express Anniversary Lecture . . . on Thursday Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos
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