Students Staff

08 January 2013

Conference aims to inspire Nigerian youth to secure a better future for their country

Inspiring young Nigerians to work towards encouraging better governance in Nigeria is the aim of a major conference being held at the University of Essex this month.

The free event on Saturday 19 January is organised by newly formed NGO the Nigerian Election Sensitization Scheme (NESS) and will include a keynote speech from Maurice Ekpenyong, Founding Partner of the Political Africa Initiative (POLAF), based in South Africa.

Other speakers include Mayor of the London Borough of Enfield, Councillor Kate Anolue, who will discuss youth, change and the future.

There will also be a panel discussion with Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs in Nigeria’s House of Representatives; Femi Okutubo, owner of The Trumpet newspaper; and Paul Esheyigba from the British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF).

  • To sign-up for the free conference visit:

The conference is being organised by Eniola Cole, co-founder of NESS, with the support of the Nigerian Society at the University of Essex. Eniola has just completed a Masters in International Relations and the Media at
Essex with her dissertation, under the supervision of Dr Jason Glynos, focusing on the depiction of terrorism in the media in modern Nigeria.

Her research inspired her to set up NESS in partnership with fellow reform campaigner, Dr Ifeolu Akintunde, who holds a PhD in Politics from Lancaster University. In the coming year they aim to organise education programmes and workshops in Nigeria to encourage young Nigerians to be more active citizens and develop non-violent solutions by playing a full part in free and fair elections, ensuring political accountability and respecting the rule of law.

At the conference, Eniola will be leading a session on sectarian violence and ethnicity, while Dr Akintunde will lead a session on corruption and poverty.

Eniola said: “The whole idea is to talk to Nigerian youth about how to assess their leaders in a rational way. We need to help people understand what makes a good leader because effective leadership is the key to future growth.

“We have some really great speakers and I expect the conference to be extremely thought provoking. I hope it will encourage analytical thinking about the issues faced by Nigeria and develop creative solutions.”

NESS is a private, nonprofit organization registered in the UK as a company limited by guarantee established to support the Nigerian community, home-based and in the ‘diaspora’, by offering solutions to their complex socio-economic challenges. NESS promotes and supports the reform and advancement of the Nigerian people by creating awareness on political participation, political discourse and sensitization in order to tackle challenges and boost necessary growth and development.


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail:

For more information about Nigerian Election Sensitization Scheme (NESS) please visit: or e-mail:

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