When commeth another Mandela? And who’s Nigeria’s Mandela? Great questions as Nigerians mourn

Posted by News Express | 6 December 2013 | 3,760 times

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Two questions engaged the minds of Nigerians this morning as they joined the rest of the world in mourning global icon Nelson Mandela who died last night in his South African home, aged 95.

One of them was asked by Chief Goddy Uwazururike, President of Igbo think tank Aka Ikenga, who said in his tribute sent to News Express: “Mandela was a rare breed, comparable to Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa! When commeth another Mandela Madiba! We will fly the flag of freedom higher!! Fare the well!!!”

The other question turns the searchlight on Nigeria. Writing on his Facebook wall, US-based Nigerian journalist Azuka Jebose asked: “Fellow Nigerians, who among our living leaders is the father/ mother of our nation, if he or she dies now, the nation wld unify to mourn him/ her as South Africa prepares to mourn Mandela?”

A cross section of Nigerians have been quick in paying tribute to Mandela, with President Goodluck Jonathan leading the way. The Nigerian leader in his tribute declared that “Mandela’s indefatigable spirit will continue to inspire present and future generations of Africans.”

In a condolence message to South African President Jacob Zuma, President Jonathan described Mandela as “one of the greatest sons of Africa,” adding: “Although it has come at the advanced age of 95, Madiba’s death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent.  He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over and will be eternally honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid policy, one of the world’s most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man.”

To Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, “Africa has lost one of her greatest sons and a champion of selfless service to humanity. He lived his life for his people and for humanity and challenged obnoxious policies that militated against humanity and paid dearly for it. Madiba, may Africa continue to produce true statesmen like you!”

Former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Nuhu Ribadu wrote: “This is one of those moments that one acknowledges the essence of exemplary leadership, and of a life dedicated to pursuits of justice and upholding the dignity of man irrespective of differences in race, nationality or ethnicity. The passing of Nelson Mandela is a loss not just to Africa but the world at large, because Mandela IS a monumental institution in whose shadow we measure acts of goodness to mankind. The stories of his struggles and courage in the apartheid South Africa and the subsequent wisdom employed in restructuring the racially tensed country when he became its first black president will forever remind us of an extraordinary man who once lived among us. May his legacies challenge us to tread the path of honour.”

Below are tributes from a cross section of Nigerians as expressed through social media:

Habib Aruna: No doubt, one of the greatest men that ever walked on the surface of the earth has passed on. Mandela would remain a measuring rod in the struggle for justice and a just society.

Max Amuchie: A man was here, the type that may not come this way again till the next millennium. And because he was here, Africa will never be the same again. Adieu Nelson Mandela. You only exited the earthly divide for a deserved rest, your spirit lives with us.

The greatest man of our time has finally gone. The one who taught us through his life that no personal sacrifice was too much in the defense of equity, justice and fairness and love of his people. His legacies will live on.

Oladipo Taiye Samuel: Mandela, you came, you saw and you conquered! A precious gift to humanity! Bye-bye to the champion of our race. Goodnite to hero of our time, Madiba!

Sunny Igboanugo: What more could anyone ask of life than what Mandela had and is having today? For his legacy of sacrifice and exemplary leadership, a grateful world has opened the fountain and the showers are endless. Let it flow, from Africa, Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Australia, Antarctica – let the heavens and earth rise and point in one direction and declare in unison that here lived a rare creation who lived his life well. And let humanity learn that success is not in owning the world but letting the world own you. Mandiba, the world owns. They celebrate you.

Dennis Okosun: What a cherished, eventful life lived by a man of letter with impeccable character. U killed racial discrimination 4 which u preferred 2 die. U played a role in drive for world peace. Mandela, u died 2day but entire world knew a soul is gone, RIP Mandiba.

Charleston Okafor: Hearts are broken tonight! The Great Rolihlahla has left us on a very long journey to join the pantheon of the Great saints of our universe. The Roaring Lion of Africa has transcended; the Great Elephant Stampede has stomped on evil and a Great light was shone; the Mighty Iroko still towers above all in the African jungle tonight. The Great Father has left us tonight but he has passed on the baton!!!! Nkosi kelele Africa!!!!!!!!!

•Photo shows the Great Nelson Mandela.

Source: News Express

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