By Christian ABURIME
Anambra State Governor Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR has called for the renewal of the ideals and noble leadership of Dr. M.I. Okpara, the former Premier of the Eastern region.
Governor Soludo who made the call as the Keynote Speaker at the Dr. M.I Okpara’s Maiden Memorial Lecture at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, said that it is the only way to help Nigeria reclaim its glorious past.
The Governor said that regrettably, Nigeria is a country whose past is more glorious than its present, as it has been developing backwards for decades when compared to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea, which were at the same level as Nigeria at Independence.
The Governor noted that the foundation for Nigeria’s future must start with a regeneration of its past, and that Dr. Okpara was a great example of the kind of leadership that Nigeria needs to reclaim its greatness.
He revealed that Dr. Okpara was a nationalist, humanist, and policy entrepreneur who believed in the power of sustainable wealth creation and using public finance to improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
Prof. Soludo equally lamented that Nigeria abandoned its traditional industries, such as palm oil production, in pursuit of oil, which has sadly led the country into becoming a net importer of crude oil.
He urged those in leadership to imbibe Dr. Okpara’s principles and ideologies and to work to create a Nigeria where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Concluding, Governor Soludo applauded the election of the Governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, saying that his election is not only good for the people of Abia state but for ndigbo in general.
Governor Alex Otti of Abia State appreciated the leadership of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture for inviting Governor Soludo who he described as an erudite economist, as a keynote speaker.
He stated that although M.I. Okpara was a medical doctor, he was a better economist than most economists in Nigeria today. He pledged the support of the state government for the university.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe thanked everyone for joining to celebrate the university’s three decades of existence and thanked Governor Soludo for accepting to be the keynote speaker at the event.
The Chief of Staff to Governor Soludo, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr. Emmanuel Iwunayanwu, Traditional Rulers, the academia, students among others attended the event.