WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE EJIRO & OTIVE IGBUZOR FOUNDATION, MR. MONDAY OSASAH AT THE 16TH CHIEF DEMAS AKPORE ANNUAL MEMORIAL LECTURE HOLDEN AT GOVERNMENT COLLEGE, UGHELLI, DELTA STATE DECEMBER 15, 2023.
I am pleased to welcome you to the 16th Chief Demas Akpore annual memorial lecture tagged “Between Advocacy & Intervention: The sacrifices of Chief Demas Akpore”, organized by the Ejiro & Otive Igbuzor Foundation.
The Ejiro and Otive Igbuzor Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan organization established under Nigerian laws to promote Community Development, Women Empowerment, Education, and Leadership. The Foundation serves as a catalyst and facilitator of change for empowerment, education, and leadership, all to improve the quality of life of African communities.
Since its inception, the Foundation has implemented various impactful projects, including awarding scholarships and providing educational support to indigent students in tertiary institutions, establishing the Odeyovwi Cooperative Society to encourage savings and investments, organizing the annual widows support program, offering IT training, and establishing the Niger Delta Resource Centre in 2009.
The Chief Demas Akpore Annual Memorial Lecture instituted in 2008, has witnessed 15 remarkable lectures to date, each addressing diverse aspects of leadership and development.
The first lecture Chief Demas Akpore: A Dynamic and Visionary Leader was delivered by the Late (Barr)Chief P. O. Wanogho. The second lecture, Chief Demas Akpore and Entrepreneurship held in 2009 was delivered by Olorogun Lucky Oghene-Omoru. The third lecture Chief Demas Akpore and Political Succession was delivered by Barrister M. A. Mukoro. The fourth lecture; Chief Demas Akpore and Education was delivered by Dr. P. O. Itedjere. The fifth lecture; Chief Demas Akpore and Development of Delta State was delivered by Prof. Sunny Ahwefeada. The sixth lecture; Chief Demas Akpore and the Struggle for Change was delivered by Prof. S. W. Ibodje. The seventh lecture; The Essence of Politics was delivered by Chief Reuben Ojineme. The 8th Chief Demas Akpore, Women and National Development was delivered by Dr. (Mrs.) Ufuoma Maduku Awhefeada. The 9th Chief Demas Akpore and youth development was delivered by Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, and the 10th lecture; Chief Demas Akpore and the challenge of leadership development in the Niger Delta was delivered. by Dr. Charles Apoki. The 11th Chief Demas Akpore and the Niger Delta Leadership Question was delivered by Prof. Benjamin Okaba. The 12th lecture: “Chief Demas Akpore and the resolution of the Nigeria security challenges” was delivered by Dr. Joseph Ambakederimo. The 13th lecture, Chief Demas Akpore, and Youth Development was delivered by Navy Captain Hermans Efenudu, (fwc, rtd). The 14th lecture “Chief Demas Akpore and Nigeria’s Development” was delivered by Mr. Etaghene Bartholomew. The 15th and penultimate lecture “Chief Demas Akpore and Nigeria elections” held last year was delivered by Dr. Felix Orhiaki. The management and staff of the Foundation cannot but thank all the past Guest Speakers and discussants for their incisive presentations and deliveries.
Today marks the 16th lecture, titled “Between Advocacy & Intervention: The Sacrifices of Chief Demas Akpore,” and it is an honor to introduce Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, a distinguished journalist and entrepreneur, who will delve into Chief Demas Akpore’s advocacy for change and the resulting interventions.
Our esteemed Chair for the occasion is Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu, former Commissioner of Education, Delta State. We anticipate a thought-provoking session and are grateful for their participation.
Special appreciation goes to the President of the Foundation, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, and his spouse, for initiating this annual memorial lecture. This event celebrates Chief Demas Akpore’s dynamic and visionary leadership, acknowledging his significant contributions to the development of Bendel State (Now Edo/Delta States) and Nigeria at large. The unwavering commitment of the visionaries has made this lecture a highly anticipated year-end gathering to engage and explore contemporary leadership and development issues.
I extend sincere thanks to the Akpore family and all well-meaning citizens for their continuous support since the inception of the memorial lecture.
As we embark on today’s proceedings, I encourage all participants to engage openly and honestly, fostering fruitful deliberations that contribute to our shared understanding and commitment to positive change.
Mr. Monday Osasah,FSM