Osinbajo, Obasanjo to attend 2017 Murtala Muhammed lecture

Late. Murtala Mohammed [Photo credit: www.vozafric.com]

The 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture will hold in Abuja on Monday, February 13.

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation is an organization founded on the ideals of late Murtala Muhammed and committed to improving the lives of Nigerians and Africans and has led efforts to develop innovative approaches to dealing with the challenges facing the country.

According to a press release from the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation (MMF), Aisha Oyebode, “ This lecture celebrates and sustains the good governance initiatives of our fallen hero whose inclination for humanitarian ideals we continue to uphold.”

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has confirmed that he will attend the event as the Special Guest of Honour, according to the organisers.

Expected to chair the event is former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who succeeded Mr. Muhammed in office and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation.

The keynote address will be delivered by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state with the theme “Managing the Boko Haram Crisis in Borno State; Experiences and lessons for a multi-party, multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria.’

This year’s lecture will focus on humanitarian crisis and response in a pluralistic society and the role of leadership in the face of a multi-ethnic population.

“Nigeria is contending with tensions arising from the activities of micro-nationalistic agitators, threatening to compound existing security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency that has caused fatalities in excesses of 14,000 people and displaced over 1 million people” said Ms. Oyebode.

“More worrisome are the implications these issues have on an already fragile security environment in the region, characterized by unmitigated small arms proliferation, weak state and security institutions in the component countries and a large number of out of school children and unemployed youth with dire economic prospects who are vulnerable targets for radicalization.

“This public lecture will also draw attention to the legacy created by the late General in office, in a period that is still described today as Nigeria’s finest period in international diplomacy.

“He was a foremost Pan-African who placed Africa at the centre of Nigeria’s foreign policy and mobilized support for the liberation of other African countries from apartheid, colonialism and neo-Colonialism.

“In Nigeria, his administration fought corruption and indiscipline, while pursuing peace and security within our borders – he was a firm believer in a peaceful and united Nigeria within an integrated and prosperous Africa.”

Key stakeholders in the humanitarian sector have been invited as the leadership challenge in humanitarian response has necessitated a collective and holistic approach by citizens, organizations, state actors and the civil society towards developing a framework for effective response in the face of the current humanitarian needs in Nigeria.

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