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Fight injustice to redeem Nigeria, Okonkwo tells NIPR

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Obiora Okonkwo


The Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has been tasked to use its know-how to fight the injustice fuelling instability in the country.

Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, made the call, yesterday in Abuja, when the leadership of NIPR paid him a courtesy visit.

Okonkwo, who is also the governorship candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election, said: “Even within the family unit, when injustice is perceived, revolt is bound to be the natural outcome.”

Accepting to be one of the keynote speakers at the yearly Dr. Sam Epelle Memorial Gold Paper Lecture, Okonkwo told the NIPR delegation, led by President of the Institute, Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, that it was a great honour to be chosen for the assignment.

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The Russian-trained political economist said: “As a keynote speaker at the centenary celebration lecture of Michael Okpara, the former Premier of the Eastern Region, I realised that how leadership could make a difference is now all about nostalgia.

“Because I am from Anambra State, where the leadership is making a Project Programme 2070, I looked at the content of the projection and concluded that this is what M. I. Okpara had done 60 years ago.

“Then, one wonders why did we not consolidate on them. Yes, young people don’t believe anymore, that once upon a time, university students had better deals. They won’t believe it. How can you explain it? There is nothing to show that that has been, that it is and that it will be. That is the level of hopelessness now.”

Okonkwo, however, expressed his belief that the future would be better, noting: “That is why I am involved in the leadership quest of Anambra State.”

He said: “I believe it is not for us to sit back in the comfort of our rooms, offices and criticise what happens. We must step into the ring. I pray God to give us the grace to be less greedy because one of the things that led us to the problems of leadership is personal greed.”

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In his remarks, Sirajo said: “We decided to make you part of it, based on our review of your pedigree and achievements. Intellectually, we wanted a person that could take a pan-African and global look at the issue of Nigeria’s potential and how to make it a reality.”

He said NIPR was very concerned about the deteriorating relationships in the country. According to him, although Nigeria has seen better days, nobody can deny the fact that the country is not what it used to be.

This, he said, informed the theme of this year’s lecture tagged, ‘Reinventing Nigeria’s unity for global relevance in the 21st century’.

Sirajo added: “The components of this country related better in the past. Now, there is a cloud of mistrust and distrust. Instead of our God-given diversity to be used for the benefit of all, it has been turned on its head. Coming together to make the best of our diversity is imperative, given the negative outlook that is now pervasive.”

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NIPRObiora OkonkwoZLP
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