By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
The first Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe Annual Lecture Series has ended with a call on Public Relations practitioners to step in and save Nigeria from Nigerians.
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, in collaboration with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, held the Annual Lecture Series at the Igbariam Campus of the university.
The event attracted traditional rulers, titled men and women of Onitsha Ado n’iduu Kingdom, top government functionaries, academics, students, among others.
Obi Alfred Achebe had thirty years international career in Shell BP before he became the Obi of Onitsha and the Chairman Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council.
He is also a Fellow of NIPR with more than five Honourary Doctorate degrees to his name and known to champion the cause of youth and women.
The National President of NIPR, Dr Ike Neliaku, gave seven reasons the association instituted the lecture series to include the name of Obi Achebe meaning so much to NIPR in Nigeria; being a national icon; a global citizen, a powerful traditional ruler, statesman and an intellectual among others.
The Guest Lecturer and the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaye, said the theme of the lecture series, ”Traditional Institution, Public Relations and Good Governance in Contemporary Nigeria”, summed up the yearnings of Nigerians.
The chairman of the day, Chief Bobo Sofiri Brown, described Obi as a citizen of the world, a royalty among kingdoms and communities in Nigeria and God’s own handwriting on the wall of Nigeria’s consciousness.
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman, Anambra State Chapter of NIPR, Professor Angela Nwamuo, thanked God for making the day a reality and disclosed the processes the association went through in the course of organizing the lecture series.
Responding, Igwe Achebe expressed gratitude to NIPR; and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Greg Nwakoby, for instituting the lecture series and also emphasized that until the core, social, and moral values of the country were restored, Nigeria would not make progress.
The Anambra State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Don Onyenji; Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Paul University, Awka, Professor Stella Okunna; former Managing Director of ABS, Lady Chinwe Nnebedum; Senator Victor Umeh; Traditional Ruler of Umueri, Igwe Benneth Emeka and Igwe Peter Uyanwa of Ukwulu, were among the dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Highlights were inauguration and establishment of Obi Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe Annual Lecture Series as a national lecture series by NIPR and cultural dance performance.