All is now set for the 4th Emmah Isong Annual Lecture slated for October 26. The lecture to mark the 53rd birthday of the cleric will begin by 12 noon in the premises of Christian Central Chapel International, CCCI, within the City of Testimonies in Ikot Enebong area of Calabar, where Emmah Isong is the presiding bishop. The former chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Cross River State branch, is also the national publicity secretary of PFN.
This year’s lecture, to be delivered by Godsday Orubebe, former minister, ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, will have the theme “Can Restructuring take Nigeria to the Next Level?”, a topic many believe is not only topical but practically timely.
The event will be chaired by Aniekpeno Mkpanang, permanent secretary in Akwa Ibom State ministry of Culture and Tourism with Emmanuel Bassey, managing director of Oceanic Oil as co-chair. Professors Vincent Anigbogu of the Institute for National Transformation, Lagos and Ini Udoka, a former member of the House of Representatives, will jointly review Isong’s latest book, ‘Confronting the Custodians’, which will be presented to the public at the event.
The annual lecture which debuted four years ago, aims at bringing politicians from various political leanings, business minded Nigerians, technocrats and professionals together for discourses that promote socio-economic and political development of the nation. Isong, a 1987 Banking and Finance graduate of University of Calabar, went into full time ministry in 1990.
The organizers have also been careful to bring high profile politicians, technocrats and academics to deliver the lecture. The maiden lecture in October 2014 delivered by Stella Attoe, a professor of history in the University of Calabar and life member, board of trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had the theme, ‘Nigeria at 54: The Way Forward and the Essence of Democracy’ and urged Nigerian politicians, the elections umpire and the voting public to ensure peaceful conduct of the 2015 elections for continuous sustenance of the nation’s democratic experience.
Onofiok Luke, speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, delivered the lecture last year. He harped on the need to fight corruption in the country and to fight it without traces of partiality, describing the vice as the bane of the nation. Many believed the topic of the of the lecture “Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption War and Economic Recovery: The Connect’, was a beautiful choice and came at a time the nation was waging what looked like her fiercest war against corruption and that amidst criticism that the war was selective.
There have been renewed but widespread calls for the restructuring of the country for quite some months now. It is believed that the topic for this year’s lecture will enlighten Nigerians on the nature, pattern and benefits of restructuring and guide them to make informed contributions to the subject of restructuring the nation.
Isong, a 1987 University of Calabar Banking and Finance graduate, went into full time ministry in 1990. Two years ago, the United States government appointed the Nigerian clergy a member of its anti-corruption crusade. . He was recently elected national publicity secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN.
Other top guests at the event include Ntufam Etta Mbora, member of the House of Representatives representing Odukpani and Calabar Municipality, Aniedi Ikoiwak, chairman of Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission, AKSIEC and Etido Inyang, chairman of Ibom Power Plant, Akwa Ibom State.
Akpaekong is a public affairs analyst