Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I felt pained that I'm a Nigerian in this
generation of looters after reading what Mandela
said about us:
"You know I am not very happy with Nigeria. I
have made that very clear on many occasions.
Yes, Nigeria stood by us more than any nation,
but you let yourselves down, and Africa and
the black race very badly . Your leaders have no
respect for their people. They believe that their
personal interests are the interests of the
people. They take people’s resources and turn
it into personal wealth.
"There is a level of poverty in Nigeria that
should be unacceptable. I cannot understand
why Nigerians are not angry than they are...
“What do young Nigerians think about your
leaders and their country and Africa? Do you
teach them history? Do you have lessons on how
your past leaders stood by us and gave us large
amounts of money? You know I hear from
Angolans and Mozambicans and Zimbabweans
how your people opened their hearts and their
homes to them. I was in prison then, but we
know how your leaders punished western
companies who supported Apartheid.
“What about the corruption and the crimes?
Your elections are like wars. Now we hear that
you cannot be president in Nigeria unless you
are Muslim or Christian. Some people tell me
your country may break up. Please don’t let it
“Let me tell you what I think you need to do.
You should encourage leaders to emerge who
will not confuse public office with sources of
making personal wealth. Corrupt people do not
make good leaders . Then you have to spend a lot
of your resources for education.
"Educate children of the poor, so that they can
get out of poverty. Poverty does not breed
confidence. Only confident people can bring
changes. Poor, uneducated people can also bring
change, but it will be hijacked by the educated
and the wealthy...give young Nigerians good
education. Teach them the value of hard work
and sacrifice, and discourage them from crimes
which are destroying your image as a good
******* The Great Nelson Mandela (RIP) in an
interview with Nigeria’s Dr Hakeem Baba-
Ahmed’s in 2007 excerpted from an article, first
published in Peoples Daily.