President Muhammadu Buhari, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate, Mr. Abubakar Atiku, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo are among dignitaries billed to participate at a special pan-Nigerian conference designed to move the national conversation on political restructuring forward in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
The event which is organized by top Igbo think tank, Nzuko Umunna, in association with The Core Federalists is set to take place in November with the theme: “Nigeria Beyond Oil” under the vision of Handshake Across Nigeria.
The Cordinator Nzuko Umunna, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, explained that the key purpose of the summit is to extract a formal pledge of commitment to restructuring, a priority of the southern and middle belt zones, from the major parties and presidential candidates.
He added that Handshake Across Nigeria Summit is an expansion of the January 11, 2018 Handshake Across the Niger summit organized to end the suspicion and unhealthy rivalry between the Igbo and Yoruba.
Odumuko further states that the key priorities of the event are “to bring together the various thought leaders of the component regions to articulate progressive ideas that could foster national integration and development especillay as we approach the 2019 elections
“To avail an opportunity for thought leaders and socio-cultural organisations to constructively interrogate the presidential candidates of selected political parties on their plans, programmes and policies before the elections.
Soyinka is expected to deliver the keynote address while President Buhari, Atiku and Nwodo will speak on various aspects of the theme.
Two former ministers of external affairs, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) and Professor Ibrahim Gambari will chair the occasion.
Other dignitaries expected at the event are Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Afenifere Leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Niger Delta Leader Chief Edwin Clark.