Tony Okafor, Awka
A former Prime Minister of Kenyan, Raila Odinga, on Wednesday said former President Goodluck Jonathan renewed hope for democracy in Africa.
He said Jonathan by conceding defeat in the 2015 election gave credibility to electoral process in Nigeria and Africa.
“Before then most African leaders would not concede defeat as an incumbent,” Odinga said.
He stated this at the 2016 Zik lecture series at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University,Awka, Anambra State.
Odinga, who spoke as a guest lecturer on the topic “The crises of nation states in Africa,” noted that the bane of the African continent were dictatorship, corruption and ethnicity.
“Ethnicity is the disease of the elite. They are the people who would always fan the embers of ethnicity and divisive tendencies whenever they lose their selfish interest,” he said.
He commended the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption.
The former Keyan Prime Minister described the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as a foremost Pan-Africanist, adding that Azikiwe’s pioneering role in the liberation of the African continent was unprecedented.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, described the late Azikiwe as “the greatest Igbo man to come out of Nigeria.”
He commended Senator Ben Obi for endowing the Zik Annual Lecture Series chair and called for more of such endowments.
While suggesting that primary and secondary education in the country be made free and compulsory, Abubakar noted that education was too important to be left in the hands of government alone.
“The importance of education to modern societies and their people cannot be overemphasised. Education is too important to be left in the hands of government alone. Education should not depend solely on the ebbs and flows of government revenues.
“It is education that took me from a small village in Adamawa State to the position that I attained today and helped me to make the modest contribution that I have made so far to our country and humanity. And every Nigerian child should have similar opportunities to reach his or her full potential.
“I could not have gone to school if my parents were required to pay for it. That and the importance of education to nation building is the reason why I strongly believe that primary and secondary education should be free and compulsory in our country and indeed across Africa,” the former Vice President stated.
In his speech, the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, called for creation of great institutions in the country that would have perpetual succession.
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