Fashola, Peterside and others to discuss Nigerian democracy at TheNiche conference

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, is expected to discuss the future of Nigerian democracy at TheNiche 2022 annual conference to be held on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

The conference is an annual intellectual feast aimed at proposing solutions to some of Nigeria’s most daunting problems.

The conference will be held at the Agip Recital Hall at the Center Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), Onikan, Lagos.

Fashola, former Governor of Lagos State and silk scholar, will speak on “The 2023 Elections and the Future of Nigerian Democracy” while Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, veteran First Republic politician, Human rights activist, former liaison to late President Shehu Shagari and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), will chair the event.

Many high-level political and business leaders, including Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary of the Federation Government, as well as leading presidential candidates in the 2023 elections are expected to grace the occasion.

A statement from TheNiche Managing Director/Editor Ikechukwu Amaechi said that this year’s conference, which is being held exactly two weeks after the raising of the campaign flag for the 2023 elections, is timed to raise awareness among Nigerians about questions that should inform the leadership recruitment exercise next year.

Amaechi, who said that “the choice of speaker and chairperson was the result of careful deliberation”, also pointed out that “alongside the two democracy giants tested, a panel of five speakers drawn from academia, the media , civil society, politicians and the INEC will question the Fashola conference in real time.

Panelists include: Prof. Victor Chukwuma, Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Nigeria and Nigerian Institute of Physics, and Mr. Martins Oloja, Managing Director and Editor of The Guardian newspaper.

The others are Dr. Dakuku Peterside, former CEO of NIMASA; Ms. Ene Obi, Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Convener Situation Room, and Mr. Festus Okoye, National Commissioner of INEC and Chairman, Voter Information and Education Committee.

The debates will be moderated by a scholar, Mr. Anthony Kila, senior lecturer and lecturer, Jean Monnet Professor of Strategy and Development, Director of the Center for Advanced and Professional International Studies (CIAPS).

This year’s conference will be the third in the series that began in 2018 with Pro. Kingsley Moghalu speaking on ‘Development Reporting and Hysteria Journalism in Nigeria’ and 2019 when Nigeria’s foremost interdisciplinary researcher, Professor Anya O. Anya, a leading figure in the intellectual community, a man of State, scientist and lecture hall guru, professor of biology who is distinguished for his work in parasitology, recipient of Nigeria’s National Medal of Merit, spoke on ‘Responsible Governance of Business: The Obligations of Leadership’.

Conferences could not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. Amaechi said Fashola had previously assured that this year’s conference would be a rich intellectual harvest.

Angela C. Hale