At the First distinguished lecture series of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) which was held Thursday in Abuja, the former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, president of NIA between 1967 and 1968 deliver the first lecture entitled “Architecture Management and Participation of Architects in Nigeria’s Political Process.” Top issue among issues of discourse was architectural curriculum review
Alex Ekwueme opened his lecture on a solemn note when he said architects of his generation are nearly gone with the passing on of Frank Nwobuora Mbanefo a few days ago. He charged NIA to fully document persons with architectural training who have participated in Nigeria’s political process.
The former vice president went memory lane saying Herbert Macaulay regarded as the father of Nigerian politics was a civil engineer and architect so architects can rightly claim to be at the forefront of the struggle for Nigeria from colonial time.
He mentioned names of architects in politics like the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Tom Ikimi, Mike Onolememen, Ibrahim Bunu, Halima Alao, Gabriel Aduku, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kabiru Gaya and others. He said architects have equally taken traditional ruler seats.
He pointed out that two out of the four elected vice presidents of Nigeria are architects, expressing hope that time will come when an architect will be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It’s up to you the young men and women; then will Nigeria be truly restructured so that its form will follow the function of government and we then have that Eldorado to which we look forward for Nigeria, the world’s largest black country. So help us God,” Ekwueme concluded.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Musa Mohammed Sada reminded architects of their training which prepares them to participate in the political process because they can make required success.
“We’re the best agents of change. We have good example in those who have participated in the political process,” he stressed.
In his opening remarks, NIA President Waheed Niyi Brimmo said the lecture is instituted “to create requisite rapport with policy makers and patrons of architecture, celebrate our collective history as an institute and encourage necessary bond across generations and classes of members.”
According to Brimmo, the lecture is part of NIA’s “commitment to raise debates on key issues affecting the nation’s built environment”.