Awolowo, Yoruba Mentor and Azikiwe, the Igbo Mentor
A political meeting aim at uniting the people of the southern part of Nigeria as well as proffering solutions for the nagging problems of the country is scheduled to hold today the 11th of January, 2018 in Enugu, the capital of Enugu state in the Eastern part of the country.
The meeting tag “Handshake across the Niger” is billed to be attended by notable socio-political groups in the south such as the Afenifere, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural groups as well as the Pan Niger Delta Forum PANDEF among other groups.
The objectives and mission of the gathering as revealed to the press is to fashion out how the various groups in southern Nigeria can forge a common front and unite together on issues they both agree on towards redressing the lapses and deficiency in the Nigerian polity.
Prominent among the issues to be deliberated and agreed upon are the issues of the restructuring of the Nigerian polity to make it more efficient and effective. The issue of security that is plaguing different parts of the country especially the problem of herdsmen killings and attacks will also occupy the front burner.
Speaking on the incoming conference the chairman of the publicity committee of Handshake across the Niger Initiative Mr. Yinka Odumakin expressed confidence on the success of the meeting stressing that all major stakeholders and concerned groups have been mobilised and a full house is expected today, the D-Day.
According to Odumakin, political as well as traditional leaders across Southern Nigeria, including the Obi of Onitsha, the Ooni of Ife among others are billed to attend the conference. Also expected to grace the occasions are the political leaders from the two dominant parties in Nigeria, the All Progressive Congress APC and the People’s Democratic Party PDP in the south. He confirmed that invitations have already been sent to them and the responses have been overwhelming.
Yinka Odumakin, One of the Conveners
He said: “We are expecting leaders across the zones, from Yoruba and Igbo lands. A large contingent from the South-South is coming; delegates from the Middle Belt and the North-West are also coming. In short, Nigeria is converging in Enugu today and it is going to be the biggest event this year as leaders from across Nigeria will be in Enugu today. “Invitations have been extended far and wide. We expect leading traditional rulers like the Obi of Onitsha, the Ooni of Ife and political leaders from both side of the divide and every part of Nigeria.”