President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has charged African leaders to reduce to their dependence on foreign aids so that they can exercise greater control on their domestic developmental policies and strategies.
Zuma who was a guest at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua memorial lecture in Abuja said this is the only a sure way developmental efforts in the African continent can yield any positive result.
Citing the case of Libya which he tagged a deep scar on Africa, mister Zuma said many developed nations hide under many guises to interfere in matters in the continent only as it suits them.
He said Nigeria must prepare itself to play a significant leadership role in Africa and work with South Africa to rebuild and put the continent at the place it belongs.
Having tabled many ills and challenges facing the country in power politics, economy and security with solutions proffered, the guest speaker gave way for the special guest of honour, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa who extolled the virtues and sacrifices of the late General Yar’Adua to an attentive audience and gave recommendations on making Africa strong and successful with Nigeria and South Africa leading the success story.
“Gen Yar’Adua showed us that we cannot have peace without development and we cannot have development without peace. And that we cannot sustain democracy without economic prosperity in Africa. This is the change we must realize. Africa must be determined to find African solution to African problems. Nigeria and South Africa have been at the centre of this approach and both countries must be ready to take the initiative, they must be ready to play a leading role in the continent and in the world.
“We pledge our undying solidarity and friendship to Nigeria on this special day of paying tribute to a great son of Africa. The best tribute we can pay to General Yar’Adua is not to look back in our effort to strengthen democracy and the capability of our state to strengthen the mandate given by the people. Yar’Adua is one of these leaders who demonstrated a deep passion for justice, democracy and rule of law. We have to promote sustainable development and democracy in his memory”, he stated.
Yar’Adua he further said would be remembered for his tireless effort in advancing the interest of Nigeria and Africa.
But for Nigeria to effectively play her role in Africa’s development, unparalleled development must cut across all sectors of the economy. The vice president, who represented the president, took the podium right after the South African president assured participants that the page for development in Nigeria has already been opened.
Namadi Sambo said the administration is doing everything possible to avoid sliding back to what late Gen. Yar’Adua referred to as ‘siege mentality’.
To do this, he said the administration is working hard to provide quality education for the people noting that human development is essential if the country must develop.
By the time the event wound to a close, everyone present had a piece to take home on how to actualize the Nigeria of our dreams.
For the youth, doggedness and dedication to positive causes no matter how small or the challenges and for the leaders, selfless leadership and sacrifice, commitment and service to the people and the nation, just as the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua in whose memory all had gathered.