Goethe-Institut Nigeria cordially invites the general public to DISSECTING DEMOCRACY, a panel on Democracy and Governance with Ayo Obe, Sylvester Odion Akhaine, Cheta Nwanze, Jimi Disu and Victor Ehikhamenor. The discussion will be moderated by Tunji Lardner. SATURDAY, 21/02/2015. 12PM GOETHE-INSTITUT NIGERIA, 4TH FLOOR, LAGOS CITY HALL, 30 CATHOLIC MISSION STREET, LAGOS ISLAND, LAGOS. FREE ENTRY!
ABOUT THE EVENT :
The postponement of the 2015 general elections has increased already heightened tensions across the country with many wondering if elections will indeed hold on the rescheduled dates of March 28 and April 11. With insecurity one of the reasons given for the postponement, more questions arise about governance in general: If six weeks is enough to overcome terrorism, why has the battle taken the better part of six years leaving thousands of unnecessary deaths in its wake? Why are almost 300 schoolgirls still missing for close to a year? Beyond terrorism, Nigeria’s economy now grapples with oscillating oil prices and foreign exchange rates. As Nigerians, many of whom are still disenfranchised, prepare for the polls, they will not just be seeking to defend democracy but a democracy with a sustainable economy: What actions should the incoming president take to guarantee economic growth and security for the population, and to ensure a more equitable distribution of wealth? To this end, Goethe-Institut Nigeria has invited a panel of public intellectuals and political commentators to discuss democracy in Nigeria, and how the outcome of the general elections may affect national development and the economy. The event is supported by Independent Communications Nigeria Ltd (publishers of TheNews/PMNews).
ABOUT THE PANELISTS :
Sylvester Odion Akhaine:
Dr. Akhaine was one of the frontline leaders of the prodemocracy movement in Nigeria. He was, at various times, the General Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy and the United Action for Democracy in the thick of the anti-military struggle. Dr. Akhaine earned his PhD in Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2004. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Lagos State University and chairman, Board of Trustees of the Centre for Constitutionalism and Demilitarization. He doubles as the Editor, The Constitution, leading journal of constitutional development in Nigeria, and the newlyinaugurated Ola Oni Journal of Social Sciences. He is a Contributing Editor to the UK-based Review of African Political Economy as well as a Visiting Member of The Guardian Editorial Board. A 2005 Stanford University Fellow on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (now Draper Hills fellow), he has published in learned journal such as African Affairs, Review of African Political Economy, Journal of Asia and African Studies and Political Studies Review. His latest work is The Case of a Nursing Father (2014), a collection of non-fictive narratives.
Jimi Disu started his career as Assistant Editor in The Punch in 1981 and later worked at Vanguard. In 1987, he became Head of Corporate Affairs at Unilever Plc. He has also been Executive Director at 234Next and has consulted for numerous blue chip companies including Coca Cola, British Caledonian now British Airways, and Crusader Insurance among others. He currently hosts The Discourse, a weekly radio show on Classic 97.3 FM.
Victor Ehikhamenor was born in Udomi-Uwessan, Edo State, Nigeria. He is an award-winning visual artist, writer and photographer. He lives in Nigeria and the US. He draws influences from traditonal African motifs and religious cosmology and has held numerous solo art exhibitions. His poetry collection, Sordid Rituals was published in 2002. His current project, INKNOTBLOOD, is a peace initiative through the arts (writing and visual), with the goal to constantly preach peace, using both traditional and modern ways of information dissemination. He started it in January 2015 out of the need – as an artist and writer – to work with a team of other peace-loving creative Nigerians. INKNOTBLOOD is an ongoing process, even beyond the elections. Cheta Nwanze Cheta (@Chxta) likes to describe himself as an “unemployed youth”. He spends half his time poring over large amounts of data, and a decent percentage of the other half trying to get that data out. He has worked at 234Next, Daily Times, Nigerian Telegraph, YNaija, Business Day and SBM Intelligence.
Ayo Obe (née Ogunsola) is a legal practitioner and a partner, with Olasupo Shonibare, in the Lagos-based law firm, Ogunsola Shonibare. She chairs the Board of Trustees of the Gorée Institute in Senegal and is Vice Chair of the Brusselsbased think tank, International Crisis Group. In Nigeria, she is on the boards of the CLEEN Foundation (formerly the Centre for Law Enforcement Education), the Z.O. Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries and the inner-city Ajegunle Community Project. She is also on the Steering Committee of the State Peer Review Mechanism of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
Ms. Obe was President of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria’s oldest indigenous human rights organisation from 1995 to 2003, a period spanning the despotic rule of General Sani Abacha and Nigeria’s return to civilian rule in May 1999. In addition to articles published both at home and abroad, Ms. Obe has written weekly columns on current affairs for leading Nigerian newspapers such as The Guardian, Next and Sunday Punch. She has delivered several lectures and papers on a range of human rights and democracy-related subjects, including the 2nd Annual lecture of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, papers on Shari’a Law in Nigeria at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and at Yale University
Mr. Lardner holds a Bachelor degree in Philosophy from the University of Lagos (1980). His international experience includes a long association with the United Nations system, serving in various capacities worldwide. He is a published media scholar and communications consultant with academic work at both Stanford and Columbia Universities, U.S.A., and as a consultant he has practical experience designing and managing complex and multi-media communications and public policy projects for The World Bank and the United Nations. He has served as a UN electoral staff observer and team leader, working to organize the historic 1994 South African Elections as well as a UN team leader in the monitoring of elections in Mozambique. He also has UN and World Bank experience in coordinating conferences, possesses excellent writing, a robust intellect, integrity, great public speaking skills and mature interpersonal skills. He is the founder of WANGONET(West African NGO Network).