The immediate past President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has lauded the virtues of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as worthy of emulation.
He spoke on Saturday at the 8th Zik Lecture Series at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
Speaking on the theme of “Migration and Development in Africa: Patterns, Issues and Challenges,” the former President of Sierra Leone divided migration into two subfields: forced movement of people and voluntary movement of people.
He condemned the former as being represented by repugnant atrocities of the past such as slavery and human trafficking, however sanctioned the later, but made case for purposeful migration that would not be a danger to humanity.
The former President condemned the act of taking refuge in Europe as witnessed among African youths who travel under most inhuman conditions, but called on African leaders to strive to make the continent a better place to stem such migrations.
Speaking further, he told the story of how Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe also forced his way to the USA, but said that what distinguished him from most others was that as soon as he acquired education he came back to Nigeria and helped to build a better Africa.
In his own remarks, the former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, agreed with Koroma but went on to say that Africa needed a crop of new leaders that would realise that the future is about them and join hands to make it better. Nwobodo held Mr. Peter Obi out as an example of the type of leadership Africa needs and exhorted him to keep on the right track with assurances that his time will come in spite of seeming setbacks that are part of the preparation for future leadership.
Speaking to the press after the event, Mr. Peter Obi said that he came to listen to the words and advice of elders, which, according to him, inform people like him about the crisis and solution to the problems of Africa. He, however, said Africans must do more to encourage trade among themselves which he noted was as poor compared to trade among peoples of the same continents the world over.
Speaking as a discussant after the keynote speaker, Femi Fani-Kayode said that the South East even as at today has not appropriately appreciated the icon they had in Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The former Aviation Minister charged the appreciative audience to not only remember what their great son stood for but also be uncompromising in demanding for a Nigeria that will forever offer equal opportunities to any tribe, religion and sex to actualise his/her potentials.
He was unequivocal in stating that Zik, Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Nnamdi Kanu are very respected sons from the South East and the people from the region must respect their ideologies.
Huge standing ovation when he concluded defined the mood while the dignitaries shared hugs with a man who spoke with clear conviction. Among them were Dr. Nkem Okeke representing Gov Willie Obiano for Anambra State; Senator Ben Obi, HE Ikedi Ohakim, Her Excellency Mrs Flora Azikiwe, among many others.