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Obidiegwu rallies MCs’ for better election in Anambra

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…Presents platform for honouring outstanding events anchors

Sir Chido Obidiegwu is a member of Talk Service Associates, who along with other Masters of Ceremonies (MCs) are today, convoking the 2021 MCs Summit, in Anambra State . In this interview with CHIMEZIE NEBOLISA, he spoke on the benefits of the event to ndi Anambra, especially as major aspirants for the November 6 gubernatorial election will feature to debate at the event. Excerpts:

ON PURPOSE of the event and expected guests and participants

We are convoking this summit in the first place to honour and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of a man we consider as our patron saint. I’m talking about Chief Ikenna Nduaguba MFR, who died on the 18th September, 2011. Chief Ikenna Nduaguba MFR was a foremost broadcaster and master of ceremony in this country. He was the first man to caste news on television in Nigeria. He was the man that introduced phoning programme in FM stations in Nigeria.

For several years, Nduaguba’s job was to introduce Heads of State when they want to make any national broadcast. The man had several firsts that he achieved before his demise and you cannot discuss the growth of journalism, broadcasting or public speaking in Nigeria without giving a place of honour to Ikenna Nduaguba. He groomed a lot of people, including me in the art of public speaking.  In fact, if we are to use the political parlance, I helped carry his bag.

   We chose to hold this summit on September 23 (today), which falls within the week of this tenth anniversary. It would have been on the 18th which is the exact day but this year’s 18thSeptember fell on a Saturday, but because of distractions like weddings, we chose the later date to hold the event.

Incidentally , I will say this 10th anniversary is coinciding with a season for politicking in Anambra State, which is the governorship election. So we brainstormed and felt what we could have as a theme for this summit.

We looked around and said since we are in the political period of election and having observed that overtime and even worse still, now, in Anambra State, campaign has moved from issues to people casting aspersions, heaping mud on personalities; have left the key issue that should be what is this person bringing to the table, what is his experience, what’s his pedigree? So, we now chose that the theme should be ‘MCs and Issue-Based Election Campaign in Nigeria’. What we’re   simply doing in taking this theme is to provide a platform for us to discuss.

Apart from the roles the MCs would play, there are other stakeholders who will come into the discourse and for people to appreciate the need to strive as much as possible not to place emphasis on casting aspersions, on putting down candidates rather place emphasis on the people’s qualification, pedigree, experience and credentials.

  So apart from the fact that we want to honour  our patron saint, more than any other thing,  this  group, Talk Service Associates was convened basically for us to improve, nurture and nourish the act of public speaking. You know that no matter how knowledgeable, no matter how intimidating your credentials can be, if you are unable to communicate, you could be perceived to be deficient of that knowledge. So even if you’re a doctor, lawyer, professor or whatever you are and you cannot make a good presentation, then you have a deficiency in that field.

  We are working also, through this association, to brush people up in the act of public speaking and part of what will transpire that day would be teaching people how to make presentation because we will be listening to somebody who is the first female professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria.

I’m talking about Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna, who will be the guest speaker of the event. And when such a person is speaking, obviously you will learn one or two things apart from the core subject matter that she will be talking on. We also took time to select her as the keynote speaker. We also took time to choose the chairman of the occasion, Chief Tony Onyima PhD.  

He is a man that has three masters degree; media, journalism and marketing. You will see that the two principal characters of the event are people who in one way or the other teach you how to market yourself, how to speak and at the same time, address the core issues of the theme.

  On the other hand, we have invited most of the key gubernatorial aspirants in Anambra to attend. As we speak, about eight of them have confirmed their attendance and we have communicated to them that they will be the lead discussants of the theme.

The candidates are the dramatis personae who throw this big rat against themselves. In this view, we want them to discuss the subject matter and be able to give us affirmation to the fact that as much as possible, they will reduce the tendency of abusing themselves or rather to place emphasis on what they are bringing to the table. This event will have people from all walks of life in attendance; students, academicians, politicians, media. The venue for the event is Hilton Leisure Hotels, Awka.

Advice to the electorates

  Well, we have already set the ball rolling. The Anambra Council of Elders held their meeting yesterday( Thursday) and one of the items in their communiqué was advising the candidates to reduce abuse in the course of their campaign. So already, we have the Anambra Elders thinking in the same way as the MCs.

What we are telling the people as the election draws near is that they should focus on what the candidates are bringing to the table. What’s the person’s pedigree in governance, credentials in public administration? We also tell Anambra people to concentrate on the people that are asking for their votes, what they  can do for Anambra and their leadership qualities.

People should vote according to the quality of the candidates. This summit will spiral into other discussions. For as narrow as it is, it is quite wide when we begin to expand it.  So what we are just doing is to provide a platform that will help us have a better election in Anambra State.

On partners/supporters

  We have partnerships that are more like collaborations for this events with National Light Newspapers, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Anambra State Signage and Advertising Agency, Anambra Times Publication, Radio Television And Theater Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) and then, private organisations like Dozzy Group, Interfact Beverages, GSS Security Group, Hilton Lesiure Hotels and HT Development Company based in  UK.

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