‘Leading From The Streets…’ by Magnus Onyibe set for public presentation

The public presentation of “Leading From The Streets: Media Interventions By A Public Intellectual, 1999-2019,” authored by Magnus Onyibe, a media columnist, public policy analyst and democracy advocate, will take place on May 8, at Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre at 9 Osborne Road, Lagos.

The book features 77 articles written over 20 years by the author, addressing practically all facets of socioeconomic life in Nigeria. These articles are divided into seven chapters.  

The foreword for the book is written by Nigeria’s wartime head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who recommends it as essential reading for public office holders. He suggests that they learn from the leadership mistakes of previous leaders to avoid potential pitfalls in leadership.  The publication comes at a crucial time when the socioeconomic reforms of the incumbent administration, aimed at pulling Nigeria out of its current challenges, have resulted in hardships for a significant portion of Nigerians.  

According to the author, Magnus Onyibe, the book serves as a call to action for Nigerians to make the best of these trying times. This sentiment echoes the famous call by John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, who, during similar socioeconomic difficulties in the US, encouraged Americans to persevere in his 1961 inaugural speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  

At this critical juncture, the book aims to inspire Nigerians to engage in innovative initiatives to overcome the challenges of the high cost of living, rather than solely relying on government relief.  The public presentation of the book will carry the theme “Tinubunomics: What’s Working, What’s Not, Why and Way Forward.” 

The event will feature the Vice President of Nigeria, His Excellency Kashim Shettima, as the special guest of honor. Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka is slated to deliver the keynote address, while Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, the Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), will serve as the book reviewer.  

Distinguished president senate ,Senator Godswill Akpabio, who is the head  of the Parliamentary arm of government will also be a guest of honor, alongside notable parliamentarians and state governors and media royalties invited to the event. It is not only the book presentation that will take place on the occassion, but also a panel discussion on the theme “Tinunomics: What’s Working, What’s Not, Why and Way Forward,” as well as “Leading From The Streets…” awards which will be confered on deserving Nigerians and corporations.  

Goodwill messages are also expected from the Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Cardoso.  

The book includes eight afterwords written by experts in the seven subject areas covered in the chapters. The aim is  to provide fresh perspectives on articles written by the author as far back as 22 years ago. The afterwords validate the continued relevance of the articles reproduced to today’s issues, which are being addressed by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

The afterword writers include Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, Col. Umar Dangiwa (rtd), Aremo Segun Osoba, Mr. Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani), Mr. J.K. Randle, Primate Nicholas Okoh, Sheik Ahmed Gumi, and the late Prof. George Obiozor.  

The panelists discussing the event’s theme include public policy experts, active players in the economy, media professionals, and members of civil society organizations.  

The “Leading From The Streets…” awards will recognize Nigerians who have made a difference by either speaking out or standing up for Nigerians or humanity. One such awardee is Prof. Soyinka, who was jailed for 22 months due to an article he published urging the federal government to reconsider the civil war. His appeal was disregarded, leading to the war from 1967 to 1970 and the loss of over one million Nigerian lives.  

The other five awardees, including telecommunications and airline services providers, a democracy advocate, and a philanthropist, will be unveiled during the public presentation of the book.  

The aim of the book is to unite Nigerians and inspire patriotism, urging them to combat poverty by contributing positively within their spheres of influence. This includes supporting made-in-Nigeria goods and services and practicing zero tolerance for corruption and injustice. The author and reviewers believe that readers will glean valuable life lessons from the book.  Tervel Kejih Team Leader, Media

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