By Augustine Ehikioya
Towards having a peaceful 2023 General Elections in Nigeria, the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) is scheduled to hold a national unity conference on Tuesday 20th September, 2022.
The conference holding in Abuja will be declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The group noted that urgent steps should be taken to halt the divisive tendencies in the country ahead of the forthcoming elections.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the AANI National Publicity Secretary and Sarkin Yakin Kanwan Katsina, Brigadier General Sani Usman Kukasheka (rtd). It was made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
It reads “Concerned with the apparent divisive tendencies in the country, the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI), will be hosting a one day High-Level Conference to discuss Nigeria’s National Unity, with the theme, “Nigeria’s National Unity in the buildup to the 2023 General Elections”.
“The Conference comes up on Tuesday 20th September 2022, by 9.00 am, at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja.”
The statement added “Since its establishment in 1979, AANI has been a reservoir and Think-Tank on Public Policies in Nigeria. As one of the foremost stakeholders in the Nigerian State, we are deeply concerned over the country’s growing insecurity, violent extremism, and ethno-religious crisis, especially as we approach the 2023 General Elections.
“This underscores the need to interrogate the circumstances that led to the present national challenges and proffer appropriate recommendations and implementation strategies.
“The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN GCON, will declare the conference open, while a renowned elder statesman, former Chief of Defence Staff, and former Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Peacekeeping, General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), CFR, will be the Keynote Speaker.
‘The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR mni, who is the Chairman of AANI Heritage Council, will be the Royal Father of the day and Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello, the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory is the Chief Host.”
Other prominent Nigerians expected to attend the conference, the statement said, included the Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, His Excellency Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, Executive Governor of Jigawa State, among other State Governors.
Members of the National Assembly, the Federal Executive Council, and eminent Nigerians from diverse backgrounds, all members of AANI, are also expected to attend the conference.