The Oasis Reporters
November 18, 2023
When Joyce Hilda Banda made the statement that she had just “gotten some information from Malawi, that a photo I took with him (Peter Obi) is trending seriously now in Malawi now like crazy” , the gathered crowd went wild with cheers of adorable joy.
The former Malawian President, Dr Joyce Hilda Banda was in Awka, Anambra State on Thursday as a guest lecturer at the 12th Annual Zik Lecture Series in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, held at ASSU Secretariat, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
At the lecture series, the former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Hilda Banda attributed African problems to colonization emphasizing that Africa is not completely free, given the fact that there is a monumental flight and exploitation of the Continent’s natural resources by her former colonizers.
She noted that the theme of the lecture which is ‘Reclaiming Ziks World; Climate Justice And Africa’s Sustainable Development’ was a point of departure for the socio-economic emancipation of the Continent.
The former President of Malawi also called for a United States of Africa, insisting that such a homogeneous relationship is the answer to the current neo-colonialism in the Continent.
“We in Africa are not completely free and these are facts that we cannot wish away and Africa has continued to be at the receiving end of the climatic change.
“This is occasioned by the looting of African resources which of course led to the climatic change and we African leaders have the responsibility to preserve our future and the future of our children.
“We must inform ourselves that the wealth of our nation is not ours and as leaders, we are custodians of that wealth on behalf of the people that we lead.”
Banda however regretted that the administration of late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was cut short and should have been given more time to actualize the leadership of his dream, adding that a purposeful and united African leadership was what Azikiwe stood for which is not being practiced in the continent.
She was presented with an Award of Excellence for being the first female Guest Speaker of the Zik Series.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Seyi Makinde, who doubles as Chairman of the occasion, maintained that there was no better way to celebrate the Father of Nigeria’s nationalism than through the Annual Zik Series and advocated complete restructuring of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Governor Soludo stated that Africa needs to unite to confront the West and make a statement because no African nation can confront the West alone but a united Africa can make a statement.
The Governor welcomed the former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda to the state for the 12th Annual Zik Lecture Series.
Governor Soludo who described Banda as a feminist, pointed out that Anambra is a state where women are in charge, with a major percentage of the female gender dominating the teaching and civil service and the only state that has produced the first female Governor in Nigeria.
Soludo recalled the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Esimone and said he was fascinated that UNIZIK domiciled in Anambra is now rated number 4 in the nation, expressing confidence in the fact that the state always comes first in most things, describing himself as a neo-Zikist and a Pan Africanist.
In his remarks, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party during the 2023 presidential election and also a former governor of Anambra State, called for cutting down on the cost of governance and also giving priority attention to funding critical development sectors like education, health, among others.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of UNIZIK, Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, disclosed that the 12th edition of the Zik Lecture Series has consistently spanned four successive administrations of the University, attracting eminent national and international personalities.
Professor Esimone added that climatic change is causing grave concerns in the world.
“It connotes that the world had been lost or vitiated somewhere along the line and now needs to be reclaimed.”
Speaking at the event, the Benefactor of Zik Lecture Series, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, disclosed that the academic journey of immortalizing the late Zik of Africa started 12 years ago.
Ben Obi appreciated the University community for the approval of the Ojeligbo Senator Ben Obi Institute for Governance, Legislative Studies and Zik Lecture research which will be handed to the Vice-Chancellor and his team by April next year.
Meanwhile, Professor Uche Victor Ebeze of Mass Communication Department and chairman organising committee, thanked the guests especially Senator Ben Ndi Obi for single handedly sponsoring the Zik Lecture Series for over a decade.
He appealed to all lovers of education and knowledge to partner with them in promoting the legacies of the Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Additional reports by VON