The Emeka Anyaoku institute for international studies and diplomacy, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka held its maiden symposium on the 8th of March 2022 in the ASUU Secretariat Building at about 11 pm with the theme: “Nigeria In The Comity of Nations.”
The institute was established on the 4th of October 2017 to provide teaching and research in international studies and diplomacy courses for masters, doctorate degree programmes and other certificate programmes. The event was graced by notable dignitaries in Nigeria such as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Mr Willie Obiano, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Mr Charles Soludo, the incumbent Governor of Anambra state, Mrs Uche Ekwunife, the Anambra State Central Senator, Mr Peter Obi, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Emeka Anyaoku and other notable personalities.
The ceremony began with a welcome address delivered by Mr Charles Esimone, the Vice-Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka and Mr Willie Obiano at about 12 pm. After which an opening speech was made by Mr Olusegun Obasanjo. In his speech, he used the presence of the three successive governors of Anambra State as an anecdote to denote a peaceful coexistence among the governors which will promote the development of the state. He also commended Governor Willie Obiano for the completion of the Anambra state airport.
Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun based his speech on the retrospect view of Nigeria’s foreign policy. He extolled Mr Emeka Anyaoku in his journey from being an international civil servant in his position as the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, his laudable role in restoring peace in the Nigerian civil war, the rancour after Moshood Abiola’s victory, and the hardship on Nigerians during Abacha’s government.
Prof. Osuntokun went further to state the position of the country on foreign affairs from 1960 till the 1990s where he noted that Nigeria has a policy of not aligning to any political bloc, he also said in his speech that he wants to dispel the notion that Nigeria’s foreign policy is a disorganised affair and asserted that it is a well laid out plan to improve the nation’s development. Mr Emeka Anyaoku gave the last address in which he expressed his regrets about the state of education in the country and thanked the ASUU official for allowing the event hold despite the ongoing strike.
The event came to an end with a closing prayer made by Mrs Okolie-Emmanuel Grace at about 3 pm after which the crowd dashed outside for refreshments.
The otherwise successful event was almost ruined by the near stampede situation as the crowd rushed towards the stand for refreshments, all attempts made to bring the crowd under control WERE thwarted as the rowdy crowd made a grab for several food packs and drinks, emptying some of the contents on the floor.
Mr Emmanuel Nginikanma spoke on the rowdiness saying: “The protocol from the welfare department was a complete flop. I guess there was personal interest from members of the welfare department to hoard the food and drinks otherwise they would have commenced the sharing as the event progressed.”
To assuage the crowd the welfare manager told everyone to go to the council chambers in Admin block to get served.
Miss Chidinma expressed her discontentment over the dishevelled manner in which the refreshments were given out.
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