The 2021 edition of the Annual Mbaise Colloquium has been canceled, organisers, Mbaise People’s Congress, (MPC), has announced.
The cancellation the annual event which is usually held on 14th August of every year in Mbaise, according to the Director of Publicity, Engineer Ben Nnaji, is to honour the memory of a member of the Congress, the late Innocent Chukwuma and to prevent the spread of the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic and other social challenges of the moment.
In a statement, the Congress said, “Mbaise People’s Congress, after a crucial meeting held recently, decided that the 2021 edition of the annual Mbaise Colloquium be cancelled in honour of our departed member, the late Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, who died recently after a brief illness.”
The second reason, the statement added, is the resurgence of Covid-19 and the need not to add to its spread in the country.
The National President, Mbaise People’s Congress, Honourable Carl Azudibia, also said in the statement that, “Although almost all arrangements for the Colloquium had been concluded, the Congress could not proceed with the conclave because of the factors enumerated including the health and general implications for the expected participants.
The MPC helmsman also added that as a socially responsible organisation, despite the cancelation, Mbaise People’s Congress is still focused on its core mandate: ‘Towards a Greater Mbaise.’
He said, “We regret the inconveniences this would cause everyone who had planned to attend; however, we are happy to announce that Mbaise Professionals’ Forum 2021, another major programme of the Congress, will hold later in the year.”
Mbaise Colloquium is, perhaps the longest surviving annual discussion platform in the community and Honorable Azudibia further explains: “In its over 25 years of existence the Colloquium has been abruptly canceled three times; the first time was in 2014 when we lost one of our foundation members, Engineer Dan Iheagwara; the second was last year due also to COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mbaise Colloquium remains an important platform to discuss political, social, economic and existential issues relevant to the people. Some distinguished public intellectuals who have delivered papers at the conference, include late Professor COE Onwuliri, Pini Jason Onyegbaduo, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Innocent Chukwuma and Andy Nkemneme, among others.