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Rotimi Amaechi to deliver 2023 TheNiche Lecture

Former Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi| File photo

. Uma Eleazu chairs, Senator Shehu Sani readies for event

On Thursday, October 26, 2023, TheNiche Newspaper will again fulfill its annual corporate social responsibility obligation, spearheaded by its developmental arm, TheNiche Foundation for Development Journalism, by holding its signature annual lecture.

The lecture will hold at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos at 10am.

This year’s edition of TheNiche Lecture will feature the former governor of Rivers State, who is also a former Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as the Guest Speaker.

Amaechi will speak on: “Why we Stride and Slip: Leadership, Nationalism and the Nigerian Condition.”

Dr. Uma Eleazu, elder statesman and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Anya-Ndi-Igbo, a non-partisan, socio-political and economic development-oriented organization, committed to equity, peace, unity, justice and progress of Nigeria, will chair the occasion.

Eleazu, teacher, consultant, writer and commentator on public affairs, who set up the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, served in the 1978 Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and was a member of the Constituent Assembly.

A one-time presidential aspirant, Eleazu’s insight as to why we stride and slide will be invaluable.

There will also be panel discussions involving Senator Shehu Sani, human rights activist and leading figure in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria; Dr. Chidi Amuta, scholar, author, journalist and quintessential polemicist; Mr. Yakubu Mohammed, journalist par excellence, columnist and politician; Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, politician, business executive and immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc.; and Funke Treasure, a broadcast journalist, certified media trainer, speech and leadership coach.

Also read: Where are Nigeria’s trillions? Shehu Sani raises alarm

As it has become the tradition, they will dissect Amaechi’s offering for the benefit of Nigerians.

Chief executive officer of TheNiche, Ikechukwu Amaechi, in a statement issued in Lagos at the weekend, explained that said the lecture series was part of the organisation’s contribution to national rebirth.

The statement reads in part: “TheNiche Lecture series is our contribution to the national discourse, aimed at fostering the much-needed renaissance in our society.

“This year’s lecture in particular promises to be a great national dialogue. The idea is to have a variegated panoply of opinions that will shed light on why Nigeria’s enormous potentials are not realised.

“Mr. Rotimi Amaechi will delve into the enigmatic question of ‘why we Stride and Slip: Leadership, Nationalism, and the Nigerian Condition.’ His insights promise to captivate our audience and provide valuable perspectives.”

Tracing the history of TheNiche Annual Lecture, Amaechi, the longest serving Editor of Daily Independent newspaper and a former member of the CNN-Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Panel said:

“When the newspaper came on board in April 2014, the editorial policy captured its mission: ‘TheNiche will always anchor its position on the need for social justice, fairness and respect for human and communal rights … will be uncompromising against any form of discrimination and subjugation either by tribe, gender or religion.

“In pursuit of these ideals, the organization in 2018, set up a foundation – TheNiche Foundation for Development Journalism – a vehicle to drive the annual lectures, our very idea of an ideal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“The maiden lecture with the theme, ‘Development reporting and hysteria journalism in Nigeria,’ was delivered by Professor Kingsley Moghalu, journalist, diplomat, erudite scholar and author, while Professor Remi Sonaiya, another prolific author, columnist for TheNiche, and former presidential aspirant was the chairperson.

“The choice of the lecture theme which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on April 20, 2018, was informed by the hysteria that preceded the 2019 elections and the need to lower the rhetoric.

“The focus shifted, and rightly so, after the election was won by the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, to the economy. TheNiche clinically analyzed that the economy was heading for the rocks and there was an urgent need to make it the dominant issue of Buhari’s second term.

“So, the October 15, 2019 lecture aptly themed, ‘Business and accountable governance: The obligations of leadership,’ was delivered by Nigeria’s foremost interdisciplinary scholar, Prof. Anya O. Anya, statesman, scientist and boardroom guru, under the chairmanship of Dr. Christopher Kolade, diplomat and academic, veteran broadcaster and former Director–General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Chief Executive and Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc. and former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

“What would have been the third and fourth lectures in 2020 and 2021 were stymied by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic that made all forms of public gathering a taboo.

“The 2022 lecture with the theme, ‘2023 elections and the future of Nigeria’s democracy,’ was delivered by Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, a learned silk, former governor of Lagos State and Minister of Works and Housing, while Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, veteran First Republic politician, human rights activist, former Liaison Officer to late President Shehu Shagari and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) chaired the event.”

After the lecture, both Mr. Amaechi and Dr. Eleazu will be inducted into TheNiche Hall of Fame, an honour reservedly exclusively for guest speakers and chairpersons.

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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