Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has eulogised the late President of South Africa, Dr. Nelson Mandela, saying there are a lot of lessons to be learnt from his life by Nigerian leaders.
In his tribute to the late anti-apartheid crusader, Oshiomhole said people like Mandela don’t die, but only transit from this world to higher glory.
He said: “Mandela cannot be referred to as dead. The right word is transition. He had this real gift of leadership and that he comes from this black continent of Africa makes it even more significant.
“The lessons from Mandela are very clear, those values of leadership without bitterness; the capacity to forgive and to forge unity in a country that was detained and bogged down by ethnic, racial and colour divide. He played up what united the people of South Africa and demonstrating his own personnel forgiveness of those who imprisoned him for 27 years, providing the right atmosphere for prosperity everyone, including those who deprived him of the good things of life.
“There are lots of lessons we should learn from this. Can we not afford to be Mandela in our homes, States and at the national level. And for Nigerians where leaders are busy contesting election on the basis of ethnic divide, can we learn from Mandela that it is possible to inspire a people to down play those primordial sentiments and rise to national challenges and build the nation, create prosperity, address the challenges of the poor and be loved by the poor?
“There won’t be another Mandela in the continent or indeed another Mandela anywhere in the world. It is a shame Nigeria cannot claim to have anybody near him even though we had the opportunity.
“There are other lessons for Nigeria. Mandela’s condition was managed in South Africa by South African doctors. I want to see how this can help us to have a deeper reflection, so that Nigeria can learn from the positive side of South Africa. Also this was a man who after spending twenty seven years in prison, had the opportunity to be president and he chose to preside only for four years and decided against the wish of his people to step aside for the younger ones to take over leadership. It shows that you can be relevant even out of office. I hope all of us can learn that there can be life, happiness and even greater respect, out of office, than you command while in office.”