Nigeria Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Friday organised a memorial lecture in honour of three African icons with rare sterling quality of selfless service for the good of humanity.
The individuals are Dr Tajudeen Abdulraheem, Winnie Mandela and Prof. Abubakar Momoh, who during their lifetimes shared a common link of courage, conviction and struggle and giving back to people.
Momoh, until his death was the Director-General, National Electoral Institute and activist, died on May 29, 2017, Abdulraheem, passed on May 25, 2009, while Winnie, died on April 2, 2018.
The theme of the lecture was: “Pan African Liberation: The Emancipation of Women and the Humanisation of the Male.’’
Speaking at the event, the Africa Director MacArthur Foundation, Dr Kole Shettima said the common feature that binds the trio was their demonstrated commitment and struggles against injustice within the context of Africa.
He added that they stood out as activists, pan Africanists and gender advocates, who lived their lives fighting for humanity.
Shettima, who said that late Tajudeen lived and died for Africa, added, “Tajudeen was the only African President that was never elected.“
Similarly, he described Winnie as the mother of South African and indeed the African continent.
The director said late Momoh believed in sanctity of democracy as a means to an end for a just and egalitarian society and combined scholarship with political activism.
The Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari said that the three had left legacies of hard work, honesty, struggle, resilient and selflessness to the people.
Abari said that they impacted positively on the lives of ordinary citizens in Africa and urged younger generation to emulate their virtues.
According to him, each of them stood as a brand and a role model to the younger generation in the African continent.
Dr Saudatu Mahdi, Secretary-General, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) said the death of the three icons was a lost to Nigeria in particular and Africa general.
“I find a ray of hope in the fulfillment of Tajudeen, in his signature call to his people where he demonstrated a picture of Nigerian youths speaking truth to power.
“Tajudeen call for purposeful engagement to national boundaries, and to African leaders has been emulated in the prophetic engagement of Nigerian youths and at the National Assembly.’’
Mahdi said that Tajudeen believed that equal opportunity and civil education would contribute to the army of youths who would continue to challenge the status quo.
She said Winne’s contribution to the fight against apartheid help to dislodge gender discrimination in South Africa.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Horace Campbell, Chair, Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, said the liberation of women was not an act of charity.
According to him, it is not a result of a humanitarian or compassionate position; rather it is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guaranty of its continuity and a condition for its success.
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