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Awolowo lecture: Gowon, Fayemi, Mimiko, others seek paradigm shift towards Nigeria’s rebirth

Awolowo lecture: Gowon, Fayemi, Mimiko, others seek paradigm shift towards Nigeria’s rebirth

Eminent Nigerians have charged Nigerian leaders to emulate the selflessness, visionary life of late Obafemi Awolowo towards solving the nation’s challenges, especially in attempt at nation rebirth.

The leaders said that despite the few years in public office the late Awolowo’s left a legacy that was worthy of emulation, stressing that his diligent, passion for the country should be emulated by present-day political leaders.

The leaders stated this at the 30th annual Obafemi Awolowo Foundation lecture held virtually with the themed, ‘Value for Africa’s Development.’

Some of the leaders who spoke at the virtual event include, Yakubu Gowon, former military Head of State; Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State; Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth; Alfred Achebe, Obi of Onitsha; Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, and Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo State.

In his contribution, Governor Fayemi said Awolowo left a worthy legacy to Nigerians and would continue to be celebrated by generations unborn due to his selfless service in which every Nigerian leader should aspire to be.

“But he does represents for us that goal that our country must attain in order to earn a pride of place in the committee of Nations and we shall continue to strive to see and not to yield in our tests for a better, a united, and a more prosperous Nigeria in order to honor the memories of the sage and a leading life,” Fayemi said.

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In his view, former governor Mimiko said that Awolowo’s continued relevance so many years after his transition was a lesson for him, adding that every Nigerian leader should strive to emulate his virtues.

According to Mimiko, “But we must all as leaders and aspiring leaders of our people learn from the contemporary elements of Awolowo, so many years after he left.

“Awolowo was definitely a thinker like no other in his generation, his position on federalism, in a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multicultural entity like Nigeria and his social democratic paradigm of development still gain currency every day in this country.”

Similarly, Gowon, former Head of State, said that late Awolowo believed in the unity of Nigeria and did everything within his powers to keep Nigeria one during his lifetime.

Gowon, also the Special Guest of Honour at the event, said the late sage, as a Federal Commissioner for Finance, contributed immensely to the prosecution of the 30-month civil war which was fought solely to keep Nigeria one.

According to him, “These are some of the values that Awolowo embodied in his lifetime service to Nigeria. As a leader, he displayed a heart that was consistent with courage and commitment.

“It is said that evil that men do lives after them while their good deeds are often interred with them.”

Former President of Ghana, John Mahama, said Awolowo’s love for his country was exceptional, noting that such virtues were lacking in present-day African leaders.

“What we are going through was what the western world that we admire today went through in the past but their value of love for one another and selflessness differentiates them from Africans,” he said.