Intelligentsia group across universities in the South-East and the South-South under the aegis of the Academic Democrats at the weekend unanimously restated their resolve to work for the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi, in the 2019 general elections.
In an enlarged meeting and banquet at GeoGold Hotels Awka, the Academic Democrats ratified its national executives and state executives with Chinedu Onyeizugbe as the National Coordinator.
There were three coordinating committees in each of the states in the two zones.
The intellectuals from the universities as well agreed to mobilise other intellectuals in all the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education as well as other tertiary institutions in the two zones with their students to support the PDP mandate.
The intellectuals said they had assessed the policies and manifestoes of the political parties in the forthcoming presidential election vis-à-vis the clamouring for restructuring, inclusive governance and detribalisation among others, and resolved to galvanise intellectuals under the aegis of Academic Democrats to come out and identify with the presidential candidate of the PDP.
Speaker after speaker, including Eugene Nweke, Robert Dode, D. C Njoku, George Atelle and Philip Imokhai as well as Stella Chinyere Okunna, Jude Udeh, Emenike Obi, Uche Nwogwugwu among others were of the opinion that intellectuals must take a stand and support Atiku and Obi for a better democratic Nigeria.
Earlier in his address, the convener, Chinedu Onyeizugbe reminded them that the role of the intellectual in nation-building cannot be overemphasised, since, according to him, “it is a known fact that lecturers contribute their quota through research and teaching to produce best brains that will improve every aspect of the economy.”
He said the leadership of the nation is not an exception to the reach of the lecturer’s scope as a significant number of government functionaries and leaders passed through the formation processes in ivory towers with expectations of being modelled in character and in learning.
His words: “No matter how much we can do by ourselves as academics through research and development, it is never enough if we don’t participate in electing our leaders and the running of the government by providing our services from the pool of our specialisations.
“Our collective commitment to this project as representatives from various states in South-South and South East will yield a positive result and make our voice and concerns heard in the spirit of cooperation, democracy, competence and inclusivity in governance.
“The task ahead is not all that simple. It is our belief that by the end of our dialogue today, we will have a clear picture of our mission and the need to mobilise our members en masse for the task of ensuring that the labour of our heroes in the past shall not be in vain.”