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AFRICAN HEROES SERIES — THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC IN NIGERIA

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Africa has come of age. ‘’It’s no longer under the orbit of any extra-continental power. ‘’It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful. ‘’The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make, or to mar. ‘’For too long, have we been kicked around: for too long have we been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly.   ‘’For too long,  it has been presumed that the African needs outside ‘experts’ to tell him who are his friends and who are his enemies. ‘’The time has come when we should make it clear that we can decide for ourselves; that we know our own interests and how to protect those interests; that we are capable of resolving African problems without presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers which, more often than not, have no relevance for us, nor for the problem at hand.” – Late Gen. Murtala Ramat Muhammed – in a speech delivered at a Session of the Organization of African Unity – 1976.  THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC: I will begin with a confession. Apart from the practical hands-on experiences that God has made me acquire in governments, my views on participatory democracy have been further bolstered by my going through a piece I saw on Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s Facebook page tagged: ‘Going Back to Basics: The Past as Prologue’ authored by Mallam Adamu Fika, CFR the Wazirin Fika who once served as Secretary to the Federal Military Government & Head of the Federal Civil Service.  Mallam Fika commenced his treatise by quoting one of his bosses, late Chief Simeon Olaosebikan Adebo, who asserted that: “From my experience of public affairs and my recent dealings with government officials, there is a high level of ignorance of seemingly educated men about past events in this country.  ‘’On any major issue many public officers behave as if there had never been a past and that we must copy new fangled ideas and procedures which are then labeled as progressive reforms.  This applies to virtually every aspect or facet of our national life and activity. ‘’Needless to say that anything that is new becomes old in the course of time, and if we get into this tendentious habit of disowning not only our past but also our past leadership, we would end nowhere.  Let us learn from them, without forgetting…

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