The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, will, on Monday, August 28, 2023, play host to his Delta State counterpart, Sheriff Oborevwori, and other stakeholders from Delta and Edo States at a colloquium to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum.
The referendum for the creation of the then Midwestern region of Nigeria, later renamed Bendel State in 1976, now Edo and Delta states, was held on Saturday, July 13, 1963, following the March 29, 1963 proclamation of the Federal Government of Nigeria, empowering the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, to conduct the referendum.
The colloquium being organized by the state government is among other activities lined up to celebrate the Diamond anniversary of the Referendum, bringing together leaders from the two States among other stakeholders to chart a path forward.
In a statement, Chief Press Secretary to the Edo State Governor, Andrew Okungbowa, said the Colloquium with the theme, ’60 years after the referendum, which way Midwest?’ will be held at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Airport Road, Benin City by 10 am, on Monday, August 28, 2023.
According to him, the event will have a panel session with Prof. Michael Vickers, Prof. G. G. Darah, Prof. Uyilawa Usuanlele, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, and Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed as panelists, with Chief Nduka Obaigbena as moderator.
Okungbowa said, “The Colloquium will begin with the National Anthem (in Edo Language) by Princess (Mrs.) Ivie Betty Uwa-Igbinoba, Zonal Director, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Edo Zonal Office (comprising Ẹdo, Delta, and Kogi states).
“The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki who is the Chief host will give the welcome remarks at the event, while his Delta State counterpart, Sheriff Oborevwori will give the closing remarks.
“Prof. Eghosa Osaghae and Prof. Edward Erhagbe will be the keynote speakers at the event with the topics, ‘Referendums and Federal Solutions’ and ‘Restructuring Nigeria: The Fears, Challenges and Prospects’ respectively.”
He added, “The panel session will be facilitated by Chief Nduka Obaigbena, while the panelists Prof. Michael Vickers, Prof. G. G. Darah, Prof. Uyilawa Usuanlele, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo and Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed.”