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Third Igbo Nsukka Zik's Annual Merit Award Lecture
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3 African Presidents, Buhari, Obasanjo, Sultan, Ooni of Ife, Obi of Onitsha, Other Eminent Africans For 3rd Igbo Nsukka/Zik’s Merit Award Lecture in Abuja

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The Nsukka United Front has disclosed that no fewer than three sitting African Presidents, a former President, top traditional rulers, and other eminent African leaders and personalities are expected to grace the third edition of it’s annual ZIK’s Merit Award Lecture which has the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the Chief Host.

Director-General, Chief Chineme Onyeke made this known at the unveiling of the Theme for this year’s edition of the annual event at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.

The theme, according to the Director-General is: Nigeria Of Our Dreams: Possibilities, Challenges And Reality. This year’s edition, being the 3rd in the series, promises to be a spectacle with the array of star personalities who are expected to grace the occasion.

The event is scheduled to hold at the prestigious Yar’Adua Centre in the Central Business District, Abuja, on November 16, 2022.

It will feature awards to deserving personalities and was instituted by Igbo Nsukka United Front a few years ago to immortalise the memory of the Great ZIK of Africa, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who unarguably the doyen of the liberation struggle in Africa.

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It is equally a deserving recognition of the unmatched effort of the great ZIK at placing the hitherto little known town of Nssuka at the centre of global discourse with the siting of Nigeria’s first indigenous University, the University of Nigeria, in the town, as the first of its kind in the country.

On the expected list of attendees include the three sitting presidents in Africa, who are would be joining Nigerian president who is scheduled to be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion. The Presidents from African countries are President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana, President Julius Maada Wonie Bio of Sierra Leone, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

“These vising African leaders are will be availing Nigerians of their various experiences in managing diversities in their respective countries and how they are steering the courses of their nations towards sustainable peace and progress.

“Also expected are His Emminence Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad, the Sultan of Sokoto, His imperial majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Dr Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha amongst other traditional rulers whose royal presence is expected to bring to the fore, the place of culture in Nigeria’s national life as was seriously expoused by the great Owelle of Onitsha during his life time”, the Director-General said.

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According to Chief Onyeke, personalities expected to receive different categories of awards, with some posthumously, during the event are: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR; Chief Mbazulike Amachi, (the only surviving Zikist alive today); Mallam Aminu Kano (Posthumously), Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim (Posthumously), Mrs Margaret Ekpo (Posthumously), and Mrs Fumilayo Ransome Kuti (Posthumously).

While speaking on the Chief Host at the event, Chief Chineme Onyeke noted that the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has unreservedly shown “his support and unflinching commitment to the preservation of the legacies of the legendary Zik of Africa in an unparalleled manner.”

According to the organisers, some presidential candidates of political parties in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections are expected to grace the event.

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On the list are the Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi; Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Presidential candidate of All progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Prince Adewole Adebayo.

Chief Onyeke maintained that “these eminent Nigerians, from among whom, one will be the nation’s president come next year, are expected to use the platform to send a message of hope to Nigerians.”

They are also expected to use the occasion to remind Nigerians, particularly the youths, that “election is not war and should be seen as a contest of ideas.

“Chief Allen Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace and Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are expected to be the lead speakers at this 3rd ZIK’s merit award ceremony”, Chief Onyeke said.