Welcome message delivered by Tim Amola Akpareva, NAS Cap’n at the 3rd Professor Wole Soyinka Lecture held at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos on Friday 14th, July 2000.
On behalf of the National Association ofSeadogs, I have the honour to welcome you to this edition of the Annual Professor Wole Soyinka Lecture Series. This lecture series is designed to provide an avenue for us all to take a critical look at the state of affairs of this nation and in the process identify those things which have the capacity for promoting unity and also highlighting those that have divisive tendencies.
This lecture series is dedicated to Professor Wole Soyinka, a playwright, social critic. The first African Nobel laureate and a world acclaimed intellectual personality, in recognition of his selfless and untiring efforts towards a better Nigeria. Permit me to aJso use this opportunity to wish him a happy birthday, with a prayer t11at God would grant him more days to see the realisation of his dreams for this great country. He is 66 years today.
Dr. Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo will deliver this year’s lecture, the third in t11e series. The lecture topic is The Nigerian Nation: The Logic of Confederation, Sovereign National Conference, True Federalism and lslamisation. I have no doubt in my mind, that with the intellectual and analytical capacity of Dr. Nwankwo we will leave here today fulfilled that we have contributed to the resolution of some issues that are crying for urgent solutions if the Nigerian State MUST exist as one. The Nation is sick, very sick. This state of ill health is aggravated by the actions and inaction of the government who appear not to understand the enormity of the problems of the country and accordingly are unable to devise remedies that can move the nation forward. As we remain committed to the emancipation of the down trodden people of this Nation and humanity.
We feel obliged to contribute our quota in the march towards a better society. Please recall that the first edition of the lecture held in 1994 and was delivered by Dr. Ibrahim Ayagi, former managing director of Continental Merchant Bank. However, because of the disposition of the late dictator, General Sani Abacha who set on members of the National Association of Seadogs (as indeed all Nigerians) with an unparalleled murderous vengeance, the series was suspended. Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, the former executive governor of Kaduna State, delivered the second edition last year.
This year’s lecture is coming at an auspicious time and tackles the critical issues confronting the Nigerian Nation state, a state at a crossroad. I call on all well meaning Nigerians not to relent in their efforts towards achieving a better Nigeria.
Tim Amola Akpareva