Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria – 16th November 2019.
Ahead of his Keynote Address at the 8th ZiK’s Lectures at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Sierra Leone’s distinguished immediate past president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, paid a courtesy visit to the Royal Highness Agbogidi, the Obi of Onitsha, Anambra State, South- east Nigeria.
Introducing the highly respected Sierra Leone’s statesman, Senator Dr Ben Ndi Obi, the benefactor of the Zik Lecture Series, proudly states that: ” your Royal Highness, I have the honor to introduce to you our distinguished Guest Speaker for the 8th ZiK Lectures, Sierra Leone’s statesman, His Excellency former President Ernest Bai Koroma, a man who’s selfless leadership resulted in the biggest infrastructural transformation of his country since independence”. The Senator went on to recount that, “under his leadership, Sierra Leone progressed from being the host of the largest United Nations peace keeping mission to the most peaceful country in West Africa by 2016 until the time he handed over the reins of government on 2018”.
Being a man of faith, respecter of traditions and a unifier, the former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, said he was honored to be the first non-nigerian former head of state to have paid a courtesy visit to His Royal Higness, The Obi of Onitsha.
Former President Koroma fondly recalls that back in his high school days he had learned about the Nigerian culture, particularly the Igbo culture and its rich traditions. “With this warm traditional welcome accorded me since my arrival, I feel privileged to have finally experienced first hand the richness of this Nigerian culture’, said president Koroma.
On the traditional kola nut, he quoted the famous lines from Achebe’s universally acclaimed ‘Things Fall Apart’ saying, “he who brings kola nut brings life”. President Koroma added in a lighter note that with this special gift (of the Kola nut) he believes that some years would have added to his life.
His Royal Highness traced the relationship between Sierra Leone and Nigeria with particular reference to Onitsha. He referred to Sierra Leone’s Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first Africa Bishop who was also one of the pioneers of Christianity in Nigeria where he served as a missionary back in 1860’s.
The former president is expected to speak today on the very important topic of
Migration and development in Africa; patterns, issues and challenges, issues.
We will bring you highlights of that even later.
The Office Of Former President Ernest Bai Koroma