By Okechukwu Onuegbu
Okpalike, a guest lecturer at the 2018 Alumni forum, Public lecture and awards organised by the University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA), Awka Branch, argued that something was fundamentally wrong with the country as presently constituted.
Okpalike, a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, while changing the theme of the event from ‘Getting elections in Nigeria right: Challenges and way forward’ to ‘Getting Nigeria Right’, said that to get the country right, ethnic and religious people must be taken both seriously and as fundamental reasons for nation building.
He refuted the claims by President Muhammad Buhari in 2017 that unity of Nigeria was not negotiable, arguing that “the unity of Nigeria is negotiable. Our individual identity as religious people must be brought to the table to debate the possibility of staying together before the country can move forward”.
While insisting that the country currently runs a centralised government and indirect rule that breeds sycophancy and favouritism, he explained that power devolution would give power to the people at the grassroots.
Also speaking, the chairman of the occasion, Comrade Leo Imoka, charged the citizenry to support the call for restructuring by excising their franchise on 2019 poll.
Earlier, the newly inaugurated president of the association, Dr. Ngozi Ulogu, explained that the theme of the lecture was chosen because political system of the country was ill and stormy and needed to be restored and dignified.
According to her, the purpose of alumni association was to lend support to the upcoming graduates and youths, most of whom have lost faith in Nigerian project and the humanity of man, and so deviate and follow the rugged part.
The University of Nigeria Alumni Association (UNAA), Zonal Vice President, South East, Prof. Anslem Onyimonyi, used the opportunity to inaugurate the new leadership of the association in Awka branch, charging them to remain focus and steadfast on their ploy to better the society.
It also used the forum to bestow awards on some deserving citizens like Barr. Harry Udu, the Anambra State Head of Service; His Majesty Igwe Ralph Ekpe, the traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu; His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Chukwudi Ezeofor, the Anglican Bishop of Aguata Diocese; Dr. Tessy Okoli, Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze and Mr. Olisa Aniunoh.
In separate interviews, Aniunoh, and Okolim said it would propel them to work harder in lifting the society forward.
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