Stakeholders at the 2016 Nelson Mandela day symposium in Nigeria have called on youth to emulate the virtues of Nelson Mandela and his leadership qualities for the continent of Africa to flourish.
United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) in partnership with United Nations Information Centre (UNIC),Lagos; Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and South African Consulate General commemorated Nelson Mandela International day in grand style with a Symposium in Lagos.
The Guest Speakers, youth, Ambassadors and others distinguished guest one after the other gave insight to the life and times of the African Icon, fondly called Mandiba and the lessons youth and leaders in Africa can learn from the hero.
In an opening remark, Darkey Africa, South African Consul General said Mandela himself believed in persistence and standing up in what you believe in, staying focused on it to succeed. He believed in leadership which embraces humility, sincerity, trust and integrity. He detested corruption and deception of the people. His dream was peace for Africa and this is what he once said “I dream of an Africa which is at peace with itself.”
Similarly, Olubejide Sunday of NIIA urged youth to emulate the leadership qualities of Nelson Mandela with particular reference to three domains of integrated leadership which are Personal Leadership, Interpersonal Leadership and Strategic Leadership. He explained that the three domains are all about Leadership of Self, Leadership of Others and Leadership of the Organization, politics or nations respectively.
“After Mandela was released from prison in February 11 1990, the first thing he did was not only to Appreciate those called for his release, but went ahead to revive a formidable force in the African National Congress (ANC) in order to raise the political consciousness of South Africans after several years of political turmoil. While many of his followers advised him to come back for revengeful activities, he refuted this and call for a negotiated settlement and peaceful co-existence between and among the black and white Africans, this for him will pave way for a greater South Africa as seen in the Rainbow colour of collectiveness.” Sunday disclosed.
Sunday stated further in his presentation that Mandela was not happy with Nigeria at the tail end of his life because of the high level of corruption that rocked the country. An excerpt from one of his interview conducted by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed was used to back his assertion.
“You know I am not very happy with Nigeria. I have made that very clear on many occasions. Yes, Nigeria stood by us more than any nation, but you let yourselves down, and Africa and the black race very badly. Your leaders have no respect for their people. They believe that their personal interests are the interest of the people. They take peoples resources and turn it into personal wealth. There is a level of poverty in Nigeria that should be unacceptable. I cannot understand why Nigerians are not more angry than they are. What do young Nigerians think about your leaders and their country and Africa? Do you teach them history? Do you have lessons on how your past leaders stood by us and gave us large amounts of money? You know I hear from Angolans and Mozambicans and Zimbabweans how your leaders punished western companies who supported Apartheid. What about the corruption and the crimes? Your elections are like wars. Now we hear that you cannot be President in Nigeria unless you are Muslim or Christian. Some people tell me your country may break up. Please dont let it happen. Let me tell you what I think you need to do. You should encourage leaders to emerge who will not confuse public office with sources of making personal wealth. Corrupt people do not make good leaders. Then you have to spend a lot of your resources for education. Educate children of the poor, so that they can get out of poverty. Poverty does not breed confidence. Only confident people can bring changes. Poor, uneducated people can also bring change, but it will be hijacked by the educated and the wealthygive young Nigerians good education. Teach them the value of hard work and sacrifice, and discourage them from crimes which are destroying your image as a good people.”
On HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in Africa and the rest of the world, Dr.Chinwe R. Nwanna, lecturer at Department of Sociology, University of Lagos pointed that Mandelas campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention had inspired many Non-African countries and their leaders to intensify the campaign on HIV/AIDS globally.
He also launched a charity to raise awareness and funds through huge international concerts and gave it his Robben Isalnd prison number, 46664.
In January 2005, his last surviving son, Makgatho, died in a Johannesburg hospital at 54. He publicly announced that his sons death was from AIDS-related complications. She said.
With the high rate of terrorism in the world today, global peace is threatened, in a paper titled International Terrorism and the Maintenance of Global Peace and Security, Prof. Charles Dokubo of NIIA urged countries to invest in social and developmental programs in order to discourage its citizens from embarking on terror attacks or aid such tendencies.
Investing in social and development programs ultimately will pay off significantly in the campaign against terrorism. Terrorism is not just a military problem; a defeating it will require a wide range of policy responses in non-military areas, toward which the UN can make important contributions.
Nelson Rohlihlahla Mandela was by a twist of fate and destiny emerged as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994, he was born on the 18th of July 1918. Every18th July has been declared by UN as Nelson Mandela International day for his contribution to global peace.
He was named Rohlihlahla which literally means Pulling the branch of a tree, but its colloquial meaning more accurately would mean Troublemaker. Nelson Mandela grew up in a society where an imported population has made life intolerable for the indigenous inhabitants. It was a situation where ones colour, as endowed by ones creator, determined whether you will be treated like a human being or an animal.
The imported population have what they saw as white skin while the indigenous inhabitants have black or dark skin, as it pleased the domineering population to tag it. Series of attempts to protest the abnormality were carried out without success. However, several reasons, both immediate and remote intertwined with the above situation in South and Southern Africa, compelled Nelson Mandela to adopt the political philosophy of liberating his oppressed people from the clutches of the oppressors.