Two former Nigerian leaders — former President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and first Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa — will be recognised among the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) during the AU’s 21st summit.
The summit is scheduled to be held from May 19 to May 27. AU Commissioner for Political Affairs and Nigeria’s Dr Aisha Abdullahi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Addis Ababa.
Abdullahi said the two Nigerian former leaders were among the list of 22 personalities that made the AU list from the West African sub-region.
NAN reports that 100 personalities and former African leaders are on the list, with 54 from South Africa — among them, Dr Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, both former South African Presidents.
West Africa is second with 22 persons, including Kwame Nkurma of Ghana, followed by East Africa with 15 persons and Central Africa, nine names.
Abdullahi also said Nigeria’s Prof. Chinua Achebe, Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and Peter Onu, former Acting Secretary General of the OAU, are among 22 personalities to be honoured with Posthumous Pan-African Personality awards during the the OAU/AU 50th anniversary.
She said two former Presidents, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo and two former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalam Abubakar, have been invited to attend the occasion, while Prof. Adebayo Adedeji and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie an Author, are among the list of special guests.
Meanwhile, ‘African Renaissance’, the theme of the summit, is expected to be at the centre of deliberations during the 21st Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU, scheduled to take place from May19 to 27 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to the programme, the summit will officially begin on May 19, with the 26th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC).
The programme showed that PRC would discuss items on the agenda in preparation for the forthcoming AU Summit, which will be submitted to the Executive Council for adoption.
“The May summit will be special because it will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Union (OAU), now AU.
“The goals of the 50th Anniversary commemorations will include, among others,seeking to promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”
It said the anniversary would facilitate and celebrate African narratives of past, present and future writers.
The agenda document showed that multilateral cooperation, economic and trade matters, sub-committee on contributions, the progress report on the draft Strategic Plan 2014 to 2017 for the AU Commission would also be discussed.
“According to the agenda, the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council will hold from May 22 to 23 at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa,” it added.