Participants laud The Difference for marking Africa Day in Nigeria
By Nsikan Ikpe
Participants at the Colloquium organised by The Difference Newspaper in Lagos Wednesday to mark Africa Day, have lauded the newspaper for rising to the challenge and ensuring that Nigeria joins the comity of African nations that mark the event every year with big ticket activities.
They agreed with the convener of the event and Editor-in-Chief of The Difference Newspaper, Mr. Richard Mammah, that it was indeed inexcusable that Nigeria does not celebrate the event every year in a big way.
In his opening remarks at the event, Mammah had announced the decision of his newspaper to ensure that the day is marked every year with impressive and notable activities to boot.
‘Today is May 25, the anniversary of the founding of the OAU and the day that is marked across the continent and the African Diaspora as Africa Day. From our pan-African berth, we are not impressed with the fact that, here in Nigeria, the day is almost not remembered or observed in any significant way, year after year. We have decided that this is not good enough and should not be permitted to continue. Nigeria cannot be, and should not be parading itself as Africa’s biggest economy by GDP numbers, the nation-state where one of every five Africans inhabit, and the country most deserving of a permanent member seat to represent the continent at the United Nations; when she does not do something as simple as mark Africa Day!
‘What this means then is that at The Difference we have given ourselves a task. We will drive, push and provoke Nigeria to mark Africa Day every May 25. This event today is a modest beginning but you can be sure that we shall continue to seek new and better ways to make the package even more robust in the years to come,’ Mammah had affirmed.
Corroborating the point, one of the speakers at the seeion, Mr. Sharkdam Wapmuk remarked that The Difference should seriously be commended for rising to the challenge and helping to remind the nation of its obligations to Africa.
The Africa Day Colloquium was held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA in Victoria Island, with trhe theme, ‘Economic Hurdles on the Path of African Integration.
Two papers were presented at the session by the duo of Dr Joshua Bolarinwa and Mr. Sharkdam Wapmuk.
In his paper, Wapmuk noted the danger in the continent not taking serious the current integration efforts:
‘If Africa fails to unite and integrate, African economies will continue to deteriorate and the continent will continue to become even more irrelevant to the globalise world. The world is always changing and Africa cannot afford to be left behind.’