The President of Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arch. Tonye Braide, FNIA, described the former governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi as an architect of good governance. Speaking at the West Africa Architecture Festival, WAAF currently going on at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Braide, in his address acknowledged that even though Mr. Obi has nothing professionally to do with architecture that the body recognize him as an exemplary Nigerian who can best be described as an architect of good governance.
‘’Such a leader is needed in every department of our developmental workshop if truly we desire to join other developing nations of the world in the march to global significance,’’ he concluded.
When Mr. Obi eventually mounted the podium, the hitherto anticipating audience had a real dose of what the NIA President talked about.
But before then, the world renowned Chinese architect, Arch. James Law had dazzled in one of the most professional talks/presentations any one could dream about. His detailed drive through structural outlays and architectural concerns held the audience spell-bound. But it got to the climax when the well-powered power-point screen showed the dream of the next architectural world – FLYING HOUSES. Yes, you heard right. Architectural designs of houses flying to any destination. The prototype on screen got the audience on feet.
When the applause that followed Mr. Law’s conclusion fused into another welcoming the man many call Okwute on stage, the former governor mounted the podium, observed protocols that included Gov Nyesom Wike CON, represented by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Banigo and swooped on.
Mr. Obi went straight to draw from the new world wonder of flying houses and reiterated his consistent calls for education, particularly Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM Education in our dear country. He emphasized that the world is now trending on knowledge economy, which only sound education would propel.
But since the topic he was speaking on dwelt on why our own diaspora architects and professionals are not coming home to assist in fastening her development, Obi bemoaned bad leadership and corruption as the major reasons keeping our very eminently qualified architects and other professionals at bay.
‘’When round pegs are not put into round holes to propel growth and development, professionals worth their onions detest such society as base for practice. Such society cut corners, cover up professional blunders with corruption and hence endanger standard practices in preference to mediocrity. Such a pathetic state is what our country is going through. Most of our core professionals are sojourning outside our shores.
‘’But we can get it right when we start asking questions and having professionals participating in all levels of politics and electioneering. We can’t leave our country to continue drowning in the hands of politicians. Good and conscientious leadership is forever the key to appropriate professional practices and desirable growth, ‘’ Mr. Obi continued.
Taking up Arch. Law’s country, China the former governor characteristically went through all economic indices from 1980 to present day that has seen China dump Nigeria very far behind in areas of development, particularly lifting over 439 million people out of poverty from the year 200 to 2015.
‘’What China did is simple. All we need do is copy with some amendments to suit our culture and climate. But first we must stand up to all areas of electioneering in order to put the desired leadership in place. I call on all architects and professionals to rise up to this challenge. It is our country, we don’t have another.
‘’The society we abuse today will take its revenge on us tomorrow,’’ he signed off.