The immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan will next month lead discussion at this year’s Delta Online Publishers Forum’s third annual Conference/lecture.
In a Statement signed by the Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, Deacon Chijioke Williams Ugbolue and the Secretary, Mr. Miracle Enuji, the former Governor, will be speaking on the theme of  the Conference; “Niger Delta Economy: Building A New Face For The Region.”
According to the Committee, the lecture which is the Forum’s third lecture in their annual lecture series, will hold on Thursday, October 21st, 2021, at the Banquet hall of the prestigious Orchid Hotels and Conference Centre, Asaba, Delta state, beginning at 11am.
The Committee said that Dr. Uduaghan was overwhelmingly chosen for the lecture, based on his vast knowledge and experience in Niger Delta affairs and as an Ex-Governor who has put in a lot towards the development of the region.
“This year’s topic was carefully chosen, after much deliberation, especially with the resumed call and agitation for a better deal for the people of the Niger Delta, even with the general call for restructuring and devolution of powers in the country.
“How can a better deal be achieved for the people of the Niger Delta? How can their economy be improved? How can there be sustained peace and security in the Niger Delta? How can restiveness and agitations be replaced with peace and satisfaction in the region that is critical to the economic survival of Nigeria?
“These and many other issues, are what the lecture will address,” the Conference Committee affirmed.
They further revealed that a panel of experienced personalities in governance, Niger Delta Struggle, Security, Peace, Oil and Gas, the Academia as well as the Environment, has been constituted and scheduled to discuss the theme of the Conference at the lecture.
Those slated for the panel discussion include; a renowned Niger Delta activist, Annkio Briggs, the Delta State Honourable Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, the former Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical) Asaba, Dr. Nwanze Ignatius Ezuem and Chief Comrade Sheriff Mulade of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ.
Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has applauded the Topic for this year’s Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF, Annual Lecture, saying that any discussion targeted towards the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and security, remains praiseworthy.
Aniagwu spoke on Wednesday, September 23rd, when he received on a courtesy call, the leadership of Delta Online Publishers Forum in his office, in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The Commissioner restated his call for the shift from an oil-based economy to diversify into agriculture and human capacity building, even as he bemoaned the dislocation suffered by the Nigerian economy over the years, blaming it on the over-dependence on oil exploration and exploitation.
“Let me thank you for this noble cause of bringing intellectuals to wade in on issues of National importance and this time, yes, very important and germane to the development of our dear State as an oil producing State.
 “The issue of oil exploration and exploitation has reduced agriculture and our economy. Any effort that will make us move beyond oil will be a welcome development. We have other crude such as human capital which if properly harnessed will broaden our economic base.
“And I do hope and look forward to a time when we will also walk the talk so that beyond the issue of the discourse of having to move  beyond oil, that we will move beyond oil, because we have got a whole lot of other crude; the human capital, the talents and indeed the Agriculture sector in the State. They are bigger than the Crude that we celebrate,” Anaigwu said.
He lauded the lineup of resource persons for the lecture, saying that the forum did sound research on its choice of members of the panel and those chosen were versatile enough as discussants, to do justice to the issues of Niger Delta and diversification from oil.
“Our former Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is a man who discusses very eloquently on the need for us to move beyond oil to the extent that he launched a programme; Delta Beyond Oil, pursued it to the best of his abilities before we came into scene.
“We have continued from where he stopped to bring in a human capital approach for the fact that he started it. He saw the need for us to look beyond oil and so that makes him a very appropriate individual to deliver a lecture in this regard.
“The Man who is to Chair it, my very good and wonderful elder brother and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, is also a man who has always believed in the survival of our State, the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.
“He has done us  proud in the House of Representatives, not only as the Leader of the Minority in the House, but as a Man who has been giving account of our State, not just himself, as a worthy representative and indeed an intelligent one at that.
“So, you and members of your Committee, I want to attest, carried out a very wonderful research to put together these array of wonderful Niger Deltans,” the Commissioner affirmed.
The information commissioner also praised the members of DOPF for demonstrating professionalism in their job, unlike some others, whom he observed, were in the habit of mixing blackmail with journalism.
“Let me also appreciate members of DOPF for the professional approach you have brought to bear in the reportage of events in our State.
“I do know that many people try to mix blackmail with journalism thinking that it is either this or that way. But the fact that you have been able to distinguish journalism as it should be and you have also been able to conform your members to the tenets, for me, is not just a mean feat but very noble and that is why you deserve every commendation,” Aniagwu stated.
Earlier in his comments, the Chairman of DOPF, Mr Emmanuel Enebeli, had told the Commissioner that the visit was to intimate him on the Forum’s annual lecture event, billed for 19th -21st October, 2021, with the theme: ‘Niger Delta Economy: Building a New Face for the Region’.
Enebeli listed guest speakers expected to include the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan; Niger Delta activist, AnnKio Briggs; and Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Mobuoghare.
Others, according to the DOPF chairman, were the immediate past Provost of Federal College of Education Technical, Asaba, Dr Ignatius Ezoem; and environmental activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade.
He further added that the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, would be the chairman of the occasion.
Enebeli, who hinted that the three-day event would also feature a training session for its members and a tour of projects executed by the Delta State Government, confirmed that the Lecture event would climax on Thursday, 21 October, 2021, with presentation of awards to deserving Organizations and individuals,  including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, amongst others.

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