Obasanjo Challenges Leaders To Govern With the Objective To Earn International Respect…As Emeka Anyoku Condemns Paltry Budgetary Allocation To Education


By John Ugo , Awka 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday called on leaders to redefine their role and responsibility to fashion out better domestic policy frameworks.
The former President emphasized the need to  strengthen weak government and governance systems in order to earn respect and recognition at the international level.
He said that would go a long way to assist the nation to attain appreciable  foreign policy objectives and relationships with other countries of the world.
Obasanjo stated this at the maiden symposium of the Chief Emeka Anayaoku International Institute with the theme: Nigeria In Comity of Nation’s held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka the Anambra state capital.
Obasanjo who said Nigeria has a responsibility not only to herself but also to the entire black race in African continent,  pointed out that Nigeria has been somehow consistent in maintaining the principles and policies that were set out by Tafawa Balewa.”
Obasanjo was the chairman of the occasion said,  “But we have a role to play and what Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa made us to understand and made the world to understand from 7th of October 1960 is that we, by virture of  what God has given to us, the largest population of back people in the world in one country, we have responsibility not only for ourselves alone but for the black race all over the world. That’s part of Nigeria in the comity of nations.”
 “But to be careful to play the role that we have to play, we have to be good at home before going to show yourself to people outside. In my village, you have to dress yourself at home, and you say to people; your friends, hey look at me; am I looking fine? We have to look at ourselves at home; are we looking fine? Because if we are not looking fine at home, we won’t look fine outside. 
“And for Nigeria to play the rightful role in the Comity of nations, we all have a role to play. We became by virture of our policy, a member of the frontline states; geographically we are not a member of the frontline states, no, we are far from the frontline. 
“We even had what we call South African Relief Fund. Public officers contributed 5.00 percent  of their salaries for one month; we use it for decolonization and removal of apartheide. The idea of South Africa Relief Fund came from a woman in this state who sent us small amount of money and said I am contributing this to what you are doing in South Africa so from there you make it a national history.”

Obasanjo lauded Chief Emeka Anyaoku for his resilience and patriotism in the service of the country even as he commended Govenror Willie Obiano for his outstanding achievements in the state.
He also appreciated the quality of work done by Professor Charles Soludo while he presided over the office as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which according to him led to huge economic viability during his tenure as Preaident of the country.
In his speech, Chief Anyaoku said, Nigeria has the primary responsibility of leading other African countries in the campaign to win respect and acceptance in the notion of human equality among the non black world.
He condemned  the abiding legacy of slave trade which thrives on the notion that the victims were sub humans saying  that was the only way the white slave traders could justify that their claim that their population was different and the black people.
He traced that as the foundation of racism and racial discriminations against the black people.
The former Secretary of the Common Wealth of Nations frowned at the discrimination against blacks and the insinuation and innuendos that a black person who distinguishes himself is an “exceptional African,”
He expressed the confidence that with Nigeria’s national and natural resources and more importantly with the proven capacity of Nigerian people and those in developed countries in various spheres of academia, corporate world, education is the gate way way to development.
He condemned the  paltry  annual  budgetary allocation to education annually.
He stressed that government should devote more resources and attention to education of youths and provide for adequate funding of universities, colleges and other schools. 
He extolled the courage and visionary leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo at various times in the nation’s history as well as others who have made the country proud and for honouring his invitation for the ceremony.
Other speakers at the colourful event include Professor (Amb) Jide Osuntokun who was  the keynote Speaker on the theme :Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, A Retrospective View; , Prof Joe Keshi, Professor Humphrey Orjiakor, Governor Willie Obiano, Governor elect of the state Prof. Charles Soludo,former Govenror of the state Mr. Peter Obi, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Ben Obi, His Royal Majesty Obi of Onitsha,Chief Simon Okeke, Vice Chancellor of Unizik Prof Esimone and other eminent personalities. 


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