Owerri the capital city of Imo was agog as the Common Wealth Parliamentary Association, CAP, African Region begins 48 section of their Conference in the state with about 700 parliamentarians from various African countries in attendance.
Declaring the event open, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, called for regional integration and strengthening of democracy in Africa.
He admonished the parliamentarians to work together for the development of Africa, stating that implementation of programs and policies have always been the major challenge toward developmental agendas in African region. He also urged the parliamentarians to work together with focus and unity of purpose.
Prof Osibanjo said the event presents a veritable platform for a critical reflection and urged the leaders to queue into the vision and agenda for African master plan that will develop a peaceful and secured African continent good enough to be a true global player in all sectors.
in his speech, the Imo State Governor, Owelle Anayo Okorocha, expressed dismay that the story of Africa has been that of pity, poverty, lack and want and viewed by the world as so. He said there is need to reverse the ugly trend in the interest and betterment of future generations of the continent.
Governor Okorocha, stressed the need for sound and quality education for Africans, adding that if education is available within the reach of an average African, it will improve the socio, political and economic land scape of the continent.
Speaking with conviction, he said `there is nothing wrong with Africans, but there may be something wrong with their attitude and the way they do things`.
The Governor called for a new approach to leadership that will make total impact and cause Africans to sing a new song.
In his key note address, the Chairman of CPA and Speaker Imo State House of Assembly Rt Hon. Acho Ihim, expressed optimism that it is a new era for Africa and promised that the conference will have direct impact on the continent.


The president of the Republic of  South Africa has been honoured with Imo Merit Award  as the Grand Chancellor State of Imo and a Traditional title of Ochi aya of Imo Stete

The traditional  title was conferred on him by the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Eze Samuel Ohiri, at the Traditional Rulers Secretariat, while the merit award was conferred on him at the premises of Imo Hall Fame. In his presidential response Mr Zuma expressed joy at the level of recognition given to him by the government and people of Imo State and promised to always identify with them. His words` I did not expect this level of recognition, with what the leadership and the good people of Imo has done, I feel that what I have done for my people is yes and correct`
`I was an ordinary freedom fighter that struggled to liberate South Africa, after the liberation, I discovered that political liberation is not enough, we also need economic liberation, if economic power is not on our hands there is very little we can do for the poor and needy`

The South African President seized the opportunity presented by his visit to solicit for stronger ties between Nigeria and South Africa and by extension all African countries, stating that Africa is one people that were divided by the colonial masters.

He scored Nigeria High as the giant of Africa and called for the end of killing of Nigerian citizens by South Africans. `No South African Should kill a Nigerian and no Nigerian Should kill a South African citizen` he said

Speaking at the occasion, Imo State Governor, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha described him as a unique man from creation with a heart of gold and a dodged freedom fighter who means well for his people not minding the challenges.

Governor Okorocha, commends President Zuma`s strength of character and courage. He said `you are a true Pan African and your footsteps as a freedom fighter are worthy of emulation`

According to the governor `we honour you because of your love for education, so that our unborn children will read about it and be motivated by your life of doggedness, that spirit of not allowing your back ground to keep your back on the ground is what we are celebrating today, this is our token of love to appreciate your immense contribution to humanity.

It  was a two days visit, on the first day he was  conferred with a traditional title, second day, there was a business summit, followed by signing a Memoradum of understanding between Rochas Foundation College for Africa and Jacob Zuma`s Foundation. A road named after him as Jacob Zuma Road was also commissioned as the event was crowned by the Imo Merit Award on the president of the Republic of South Africa.

The event attracted distinguished personalities, from the business world, political circle and the clergies. Some of those who graced the occasion were: Chief Paschal Dozie Chairman of Diamond Bank, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh Managing Director of Zinox Computers, past and serving senators,  Federal and state of legislators, former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and his counterpart from Jigawa State, serving governors, a representative of the of Nigerian First Lady  Mrs Aisha Buhari, Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Acho Ihim, Deputy Chief of Staff on Domestic Affairs,  Imo State Government House, Hon. Mrs Ogechi Ololo and others too numerous to mention.

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