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CELEBRATING THE AFRICAN WHO HUNGERED & WISHED FOR A GREAT NIGERIA

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Alexander the Great attempted to situate strength within leadership, arguing that no matter the amount or volume of resources available to an institution, society, or nation, they would fail if the leadership is not right. Professor Warren Benise, a notable thinker in the subject matter tried to differentiate leaders from managers thus: “leaders are people who do the right things, while managers are people who do things right. Literature is replete with postulations about leadership.’’  Alex Otti, writing in Thisday Newspaper edition of Monday June 20, 2016, submits that ‘’Leadersip is about having a clear and sharp vision and mission, setting a clear direction, and establishing a clear road map that will guide a team, an organisation, a company, or a nation to win and achieve set goals and targets within a defined time frame.”  One of the causes of failure of leaders is pride. (Alex Otti – Thisday Newspaper)

THE CALL TO ACTION: Personality is the combined product of nature and nurture. By all measurable standards, NELSON ROHILALA MANDELA earned for himself a place in the coveted space of global history as one of the greatest political leaders that ever lived on Planet Earth. For the whole world, through the United Nations to celebrate a black African is no mean feat. It started this way: On April 27, 2009, the Nelson: Mandela Foundation called on the global community to join them in support of an official Mandela Day. Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. The United Nations bought into this agenda designed to honour South Africa’s former President, and his values, through volunteering, and community service.   And so, today is officially NELSON MANDELA DAY. Mandela is obviously being honoured and will most probably be remembered for eternity because of his disposition to issues connected with the advancement of his people.

For 67 years, this great legend fought for social justice. The first global celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009, Mandela’s 91st birthday, with a series of educational, art exhibit, fund-raising and volunteer events leading up to a concert at Radio City Music Hall. United Nations General Assembly formally Proclaimed July 18, of every year:   “Nelson Mandela International Day”. What honour can be greater than this with a name engraved on the positive pages of global history? What service could be greater to solid commitment to the development of humanity? Silver and gold cannot purchase precious names. What example could be greater than lessons of selflessness instead of selfishness? This is the patriotic campaign of prominent African philanthropists like Mo Ibrahim being prosecuted to promote good governance in Africa; required as the prerequisite for the attainment of an egalitarian society.

WISHED NIGERIA OCCUPIES ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN GLOBAL POLITICS: Mandela served as President of South Africa  from 1994 to 1999 as the country’s first black president, and the first elected in a full representative democratic election in the country.  Mandela was a realist and patriot who had genuine concern for others; even beyond South Africa. He wished for Nigeria the leadership role in Africa which could only be realized with genuine commitment to good governance. Mandela said: ‘’The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. ‘’The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence’’

IN CELEBRATING MANDELA, Terrific Headlines brings you the Presidential Inauguration Address of Mandela in 1994. Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Guests, Comrades and Friends.

Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today.

To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld. Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change.

We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains that the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.

We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil.

We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity. We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy.

We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth, business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honourable F. W. de Klerk.

We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light.

HEALING THE WOUNDS: The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country, the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment.

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward. We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it, still, that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.  Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement.

Let freedom reign; God bless Africa! Thank you. Credit: Wikidata

Last line: At some other public events, Nelson Mandelaspoke passionately about peace and peaceful conducts. In his speech in Moria, on 3 April 1994, Nelson Mandela stated as follows:

“Why is it that in this day and age, human beings still butcher one another simply because they dared to belong to different religions, to speak different tongues, or belong to different races? Are human beings inherently evil? What infuses individuals with the ego and ambition to so clamour for power that genocide assumes the mantle of means that justify coveted ends? These are difficult questions, which, if wrongly examined can lead one to lose faith in fellow human beings. And there is where we would go wrong. Firstly, because to lose faith in fellow humans is, as the Archbishop would correctly point out, to lose faith in God and in the purpose of life itself. Secondly, it is erroneous to attribute to the human character a universal trait it does not possess – that of being either inherently evil or inherently humane. I would venture to say that there is something inherently good in all human beings, deriving from, among other things, the attribute of social consciousness that we all possess. And, yes, there is also something inherently bad in all of us, flesh and blood as we are, with the attendant desire to perpetuate and pamper the self. From this premise arises the challenge to order our lives and mould our mores in such a way that the good in all of us takes precedence. In other words, we are not passive and hapless souls waiting for manna or the plague from on high. All of us have a role to play in shaping society.” From African National Congress (ANC Historical Documents Archive)

TERRIFIC HEADLINES says to leaders and followers, it is not yet past midnight for Nigeria. We can take our fate in our hands by embracing selflessness instead of selfishness and those virtues and values that would throw our nation up there among the most prominent ”A” Class in the global community.

May the good Lord bless Nigeria.

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