THE Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and Committee of Friends of Professor Omotoye Olorode have packaged activities to celebrate the iconic activist and progressive intellectual as he turned 80 years recently.
Among activities lined up to celebrate Olorode, who is still exceptionally active and could be taken to be either in his late sixties or early seventies, is a commemorative anniversary lecture scheduled to hold on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja by 10am. The event will also be Zoomed live to global audience and participation of activists and intellectuals, especially of left and progressive orientation.
Announcing the schedule of activities on Friday, Comrades Peters Adeyemi and John Odah, Chairman and Secretary, respectively of the Organising Committee, said the Public Lecture would hold under the theme: “Labour and the Quest for Nigeria’s National Development: Reflections and Prognosis on the Way Forward.”
The event, which is to be chaired by Prof Attahiru Jega, former INEC Chairman and former ASUU President, will have Comrade Femi Falana (SAN), activist and human rights lawyers, as Guest Lecturer; while Prof Member Genye and Dr Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed will serve as discussants.
Emeritus Prof Olorode, has, for over four decades, remained one of the most committed activists and left intellectuals in Nigeria. He, along with intellectuals like the late Prof Iyayi, among others, had been the core intellectual forces behind the resilience of the labour movement, including the student union movment, in the country in their decades of struggles and campaigns for national sovereignty, economic emancipation, decent management of national resources and the overall development and freedom of not only Nigeria but also the entire African continent under the banner of Pan-Africanism.
One of Prof Olorode’s dreams is the formulation of a broad-based popular political platform that will lead to the mass education of the people to empower them to take conscious and emancipatory steps to free Nigeria from the iron grip of what he often describes as “overlapping generation” of a greedy and cruel ruling class.
For years now, Prof Olorode had championed and coordinated the production of an “Alternative National Development Agenda,” a document meant to articulate progressive or socialist ideals around which the Nigerian labour movement would lead a campaign for a developmental state. The draft document remains in the pipeline.