The immediate past President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has lauded the virtues of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as worthy of emulation.
Koroma spoke on Saturday at the 8th Zik Lecture Series at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
Speaking on the theme: “Migration and Development in Africa: Patterns, Issues and Challenges,” the former President of Sierra Leone divided migration into two subfields: forced movement of people and voluntary movement of people.
He condemned the former as being represented by repugnant atrocities of the past such as slavery and human trafficking.
Though he sanctioned the later, he made case for purposeful migration that would not be danger to humanity.
The former President condemned the act of taking refuge in Europe as witnessed among African youths who travel under most inhuman condition.
He equally called on African leaders to strive to make the continent a better place to stem such migrations.
Speaking further, Koroma told the story of how Dr. Azikiwe also forced his way to the United State of America, but said what distinguished him from most others was that as soon as he acquired education, he came back to Nigeria and helped to build a better Africa.
In his own remarks, former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, agreed with him but went on to say that Africa needed a crop of new leaders that would realise that the future is about them and join hands to make it better.
Nwobodo held a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, out as an example of the type of leadership Africa needs and exhorted him to keep on the right track with assurances that his time will come in spite of seeming setbacks that are part of the preparation for future leadership.
Speaking to the press after the event, Obi said he came to listen to the words and advice of elders, which, according to him, inform people like him about the crisis and solution to the problems of Africa.
He however said Africans must do more to encourage trade among themselves, which he noted was as poor compared to trade among peoples of the same continents the world over.
Speaking as a discussant after the keynote speaker, former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said the South East even as at today has not appropriately appreciated the icon they had in Azikwe.
The former Minister of Culture charged the appreciative audience to not only remember what their great son stood for, but also be uncompromising in demanding for a Nigeria that will forever offer equal opportunities to any tribe, religion and sex to actualise his/her potentials.
He was unequivocal in stating that Azikiwe, Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Nnamdi Kanu are very respected sons of the South East and that the people from the region must respect their ideologies.
Huge standing ovation when he concluded defined the mood while the dignitaries shared hugs with a man who spoke with clear conviction.
Among them were Dr. Nkem Okeke, representing Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State; Senator Ben Obi; former Ikedim Ohakim; and Flora Azikiwe.