Former president of Nigeria to speak at the university

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    The former ruler and president of Nigeria will speak Thursday at The Vicente Fox Forum of World Leaders to encourage leadership development among the youth and provide them with a glimpse of presidential leadership.

    According to an article by the BBC, Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian leader, served as ruler of Nigeria from 1976-1979 and served as president from 1999-2007. Obasanjo is also credited with being the first military leader in Africa to entrust power to civilian rule.

    Nigeria saw a record oil boom during the 1970s, which allowed Obasanjo to oversee growth in industry during his tenure, as consumer goods increased in domestic manufacturing, according to the article. After handing power to a democratically elected civilian in 1979, Obasanjo stepped down from politics.

    He re-entered politics after being imprisoned in the 1990s to assist in the overthrow of a military regime. After the regime fell, Obasanjo ran for president and won the election with more than 62 percent of the vote, according to the article.

    Obasanjo will make statements to begin the forum, and will then engage in a dialogue with former Mexican President Vicente Fox, the forum’s first speaker and namesake, on a variety of issues they faced as world leaders.

    Nowell Donovan, the provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs, said the speakers bring "an extraordinary breadth of perspective to the campus” and will have much to bring to students and faculty alike.

    Donovan said discussions such as this are important because these discussions bring global perspectives to students and faculty on campus.

    “At TCU, we aspire to be players on the big stage, not sleepers in a sleepy cloistered backwater,” Donovan said.

    Manochehr Dorraj, a university political science professor, agreed and said he hopes students and faculty will take something away from the presentation.

    “Such speeches are potentially educational and they are also an opportunity for dialogue and expansion of our global and cultural awareness,” Dorraj said. “We get to understand politics of Africa from the perspective of an insider.”

    Eric Cox, associate professor and director of Model United Nations, said hearing from a former head of state, particularly one from a region that many people at TCU know little about, can broaden perspectives about politics.

    Cox also said he hopes that “individuals are able to listen to a perspective outside of the United States in a manner that helps them take broader view of the world,” including understanding how others view the U.S.

    The forum is Thursday and is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and are to be made to Nancy Styles at 817-257-7808 or e-mail at n.styles@tcu.edu.

    Vicente Fox Forum of World Leaders 

    WHEN: Nov. 29, 2012, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

    WHERE: TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union ballroom, 2901 Stadium Drive (parking is available at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center on Stadium Drive)

    COST: Free (Reservations required)