Ibadan — The memories of late Nnamdi Azikiwe, the ceremonial President under parliamentary system in 1960 came to life yesterday as chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, assembled at the University of Ibadan to mark the 50th anniversary memorial of the former nationalist.
In attendance were the acting National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker, House of Representatives, son of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Bamidele Azikiwe, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister, FCT, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, acting Publicity Secretary, APC, Dr. Shettima Mustafa, former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Akin Oke, Oyo State Chairman, APC, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, Caretaker Chairman, Ibadan North West Local Government and many others.
Gen. Buhari spoke glowingly of the late elder statesman, “Azikiwe was the most out-spoken and internationally recognised Nigerian nationalist. He was a true Nigerian and his vision extended beyond Nigeria or West Africa. He dreamt of Continental Union, similar to what Europe is trying to do now. He deserves all the honour and accolades we can heap on him albeit posthumously,” he said.
While speaking on a topic entitled, “Youths and the Future of Nigerian Politics and Governance”, the lecturer, Dr. Mustafa said the topic of the lecture was an attempt to draw from the experiences of Great Zik in particular, but also from other contemporary Nigerian leaders and juxtapose them to the needs and struggles of latter day politicians especially the younger ones.
He stated further that the attitudes of both young and old in politics, the culture of politicking and electioneering, the degree to which partisan politics has been corrupted and basterdised, crowned by unwarranted violence, the need for cleaner and more development oriented politicking and governance.”
Governor Ajimobi said: “Enough is enough of the system that makes the youth political touts and bouncers. They must be effectively included in general party decision-making and leadership structure of all political parties.
“If the youth of this country must indeed be leaders of tomorrow, we must stop recycling grey-haired leaders in this country. There is no gainsaying the fact that the same set of people who had been ruling the country in the last 30-40 years are still the recurrent factors in rulership today.
“The present scheme of things where the youth are jobless, cannot boast of a today, is such that it would be very difficult to articulate a concise tomorrow for them.
“All efforts must thus be made to ensure that the youth are leaders of their stomachs today before we can consider them for leadership of the nation tomorrow,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, a total donation of over N5 million was realisedto give face-lift to facilities at Zik Hall, University of Ibadan.