By Christian ABURIME
The maiden symposium of the Emeka Anyaoku Institute for International Studies and Diplomacy held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State on March 8, 2022 witnessed a roll call of prominent Nigerians and past leaders in the country
Among the prominent Nigerians who graced the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was the chairman of the occasion, Governor Willie Obiano, Anambra State Governor; Anambra State Governor-elect Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo and Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra among others
The dignitaries were welcomed to the occasion by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone. In his welcome address, he said Chief Emeka Anyaoku Institute for International Studies and Diplomacy was launched in 2017 with the mission to foster the learning of diplomacy and the promotion of international peace
Governor Willie Obiano in his brief remark extolled the qualities of Chief Emeka Anyaoku as an outstanding diplomat. He equally
thanked President Obasanjo for his physical presence at the occasion and welcomed him warmly to Anambra State
President Obasanjo in his remarks described Chief Emeka Anyaoku in whose honour the symposium was being held as a great and exceptional diplomat who has made Nigerian proud in the comity of nations.
The former president in reference to the theme of the symposium, asserted that “we must get ‘nation building’ right in order to make Africa matter in the comity of nations and by extension Nigeria”
He commended Governor Willie Obiano for his warm reception and the infrastructure he has put in place in Anambra State, especially the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport
He extolled the exceptional qualities of Governor-elect Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo as his former Chief Economic Adviser and Central Bank Governor. Obasanjo told the audience that his critics agreed that the appointment of Soludo as CBN Governor during his administration was one of the best appointments he made as President of Nigeria
Prof Jide Osuntokun, Nigerian renowned diplomat who was the keynote Speaker, presented a paper on the theme: “Nigeria in the Comity of Nations”.
He lamented the waning influence of Nigeria in the comity of nations in recent times after glorious years in the past as a force to reckon with in the international community.
He also lamented the insecurity that Nigeria had had to grapple with as a nation in recent times. He opined however, that Nigeria can still return to those days of excellence to find our appropriate place in the comity of nations with a strong economy and political stability at home supporting a vibrant foreign policy in spite of the constant changes and challenges in the international environment
Other discussants at the event include Ambassadors Humphrey Orjiako and Joe Keshi, both former Ambassadors who have dutifully represented Nigeria abroad at various missions
Also present at the occasion was, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Representing Anambra Central and several others