A gathering to celebrate knowledge

A gathering to celebrate knowledge


From Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro, Benin
A touch of class, excellence and knowledge that dovetailed into a Market Place of Ideas (MPOI) for Nigerians across political leanings, professional groups including the academia, politics, law, science business, journalism, Civil Society have become the talk of the City.

Tagged, ‘Black Tie Dinner and Award night’, happened in a Country that is in a tail spin, and yearning for a drastic intervention measures. With its roots in knowledge, a market place of ideas is indeed a cause for celebration and reflection by Nigerians across all spectrums of life and cross fertilize productive ideas.

Founded on June 25, 2018, ‘ Market Place of Ideas’ for promoting advocacy towards reforms, good governance through honest conversation.

The ‘vision bearer’ and veteran journalist turned lawyer, Jefferson Uwoghiren, took family, friends and guests on a journey that evoked nostalgic memories of how the ‘Market Place of Ideas Dinner and Award Night’ was birthed on Sunday November 21st 2021 in Benin City where some Nigerians including Edo State Attorney-General, Oluwole Osazee Iyamu (SAN), Arch. Clifford Obazee, Dr. Tony Ediae, Mr. Niyi Obende, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, Edo State former Commissioner for Justice, and others were honoured.

Uwoghiren explained that, ‘The Market place is a brainchild of necessity for a harmonious, knowledge-driven on how to address the problems that we are facing as Nigerians.

“This is probably one of the easiest ways to engage the government. Thankfully, a lot of officials of Government are on the social media platform and they are benefitting. They are also engaging.
There is no price for been a member. So, we are all contributing towards ensuring that Nigeria moves forward.

“My expectation in the next few years is, people who have benefitted from this platform in terms of what we discuss on the ‘Market Place of Ideas’, will implement what they have learnt and use the knowledge gained to transform Nigeria”, he said.

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Uwoghiren further argued that Nigeria has the fountain of knowledge, but it is the implementation and how to apply then that remains the bane to her development.

In his goodwill message at the event which was a mixed blend of deep reflection and reminiscence on the Nigerian project, challenges and opportunities, the Chairman of Lift Above Poverty Organization, LAPO Group, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, admitted that the ‘diversity of thoughts by the personalities that made up the ‘Market place of ideas’ a robust resource Centre.

“Due to the composition of its membership, we have so much to offer”, according to him.

He appealed to members of the platform to pay more attention in generating ideas that would help to transform the nation’s economy from the current morass.

Ehigiamusoe who demanded for sustainable investments in Nigeria, lamented that “The biggest problem that we have in the Country today, is youth unemployment”.

The LAPO boss, with a powerful sense of history, recalled the events in great details and spiced with vital lessons gained and setback especially as it concerned youth emigration from Nigeria for greener pasture in Europe and the United States of America.

“Nigeria is the only Country that you can close your eyes and see opportunists to move the Nation forward…This is not the time for talented Nigerians to leave the Country…Let us put our talents and see how we can move this nation forward”,

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“This Ceremony is an extension of excellence that had been displayed by members on the platform. This is quite unique. I belong to several platforms, but I have never seen a thing like this, he stressed.

But, a Lagos based Journalist, Richard Akinola, however differed from the comment by Ehigiamusoe that youths should not emigrate from the Country.

“That is a patriotic call, I think an average youth will not want to listen to it because most of the youths are despondent and they cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. So, any opportunity that they have, either to Europe or even to African Countries like Ghana, they prefer to leave. Frustration has pushed most of our youths out. So, it is difficult to actually convince any youth to stay, do not emigrate out of the Country.

“Patriotically, yes, it is okay because there are opportunities in Nigeria, but, there is unemployment which is all over the whole place, insecurity and of course the challenges of governance. Of course, it is difficult to challenge any youth to stay behind in Nigeria.
There is also a disconnect in terms of the social structure”, Akionola lamented.

Earlier in a remark, the Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwole Osazee Iyamu (SAN), described the Ceremony as an impressive outing that has unveiled the faces of the resource persons on the platform.

He revealed that the beauty of the human mind is that it has infinite possibilities. When you engage it, there is unlimited opportunities that you can harness.

Oluwole, commended organisers of the programme and the initiator of the forum for being part of history. According to him, “When you have so many intelligent people on the same platform, they can easily run riot”.

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The moderator of the Civic advocacy group on the occasion, Mark Ebi, kept a close watch on the guests as they enjoyed the drinks and dinner and cautioned them on the dangers of tipping over as they project ahead of future.

Speaking during an interview, a popular businessman and a politician, Mr. Elempe Dele from Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, said, the name of the platform ‘Market place of ideas’ speaks for itself. It is a place where we crossbreed ideas and we have diverse people across the world. We can fuse things together among the various managers of men and resource mobilization are members of the platform.

Dele, advised organisers of the event to also commit more resources into charity and voluntarism and humanitarian assignments towards ameliorating the plight of the downtrodden in society.

Asked what the usefulness of the ‘Market place of ideas is to the government or society, he said, “I am one of the youngest minds there. I think, it is also a place for mentorship where people relate with one another. You do not just get yourselves involved in the market place, they bring it from all angles”.

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