In a statement in Abuja mourning Mr. Mandela, the governors under the aegis of Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, said though apartheid and colonialism might have been dethroned, both Nigeria and Africa still faced crisis of underdevelopment, unemployment and poverty, which, according to them, were aggravating levels of bitterness and hatred among our people.
Mr. Mandela died on Thursday at 95 after a protracted illness.
They said Mr. Mandela’s legacies would continue to challenge all leaders, adding that he set standards that leaders of today and those of the future must strive to meet.
Others are Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).
The governors lamented that many leaders, including themselves, were not able to pull themselves out of their peoples’ understandably bitter feelings – feelings that produced hatred and stagnated governance and society; noting as a result, both leaders and citizens appeared locked in the archetypal Mandela prison wall.
Describing the passage of Mr Mandela as sad, the governors enjoined all Nigerians to celebrate “this distinguished and great African by supporting our party’s national crusade for unity and reconciliation.”
“Nigeria needs all citizens to believe and have faith in a united country as a primary condition to harness our abundant resources. All citizens must recognise that we are better off as a united people.
“Where conflicts and wars persist, it is most likely a reflection of levels of bitterness and hatred that drive the actions of leaders. Invariably, they become part of the problem.
They however said that as governors united under the APC, they were not only truly inspired by the life, leadership and legacies of Mr. Mandela, but would remain committed to true national reconciliation.
“Pursuant of this renewed commitment, we pledge our support to our party leadership and the need to continue to mobilise all patriotic and progressive Nigerians to come and join our party, so that together, we can rededicate ourselves to a national rescue mission that begins with national reconciliation,” they said.
“The most significant lesson of Mandela’s life and leadership is that conflicts and wars can be resolved with a leadership that is able to free itself from the bitterness and hatred that might have produced it,” the governors said.
The 16 governors of the PGF, who signed the statement are Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos).
The governors said Nigeria needs a leader that will rekindle the phenomenon the late South African President represents
“For us in the PGF, we are truly inspired by the life, leadership and above all, challenged by the legacies of Mandela. At this momentous period of the passage of this great world leader from Africa, we commit ourselves and call on all leaders at home and abroad to free themselves of all bitterness and hatred as primary conditions for resolving conflicts.”
The 16 All Progressives Congress, APC, governors on Monday said Nigeria and Africa urgently need leaders who could rekindle the phenomenon the late South African President, Nelson Mandela, represented.
“These are functions of leadership, not moral suasion. Together with our leaders in APC, we shall work hard in the coming days and months to move Nigeria and Nigerians towards national reconciliation. This is the best way to honour the legacy of Mandela. It is the step that we must take as leaders, to achieve genuine freedom.”
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