By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria was in dire need of men and women of strong character who should contribute positively towards economic and political development of the country.
Osinbajo stated this at the 50th anniversary of the death of Ambassador Isa Wali which held at the Yar’Adua center in Abuja.
The event was organized by the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (IWEI) an organization founded in memory of the late diplomat.
Acting President Osinbajo who described late Ambassador Wali as a crusader of social justice likened him to Martin Luther King of the United States of America and Nelson Mandela of South Africa whom he said both fought for the rights of ordinary people in their nations.
He said although, people with such human values were not lacking in Nigeria, they needed to be identified and allowed to contribute to nation building.
He said Ambassador Wali was a man who had a good sense of justice and shared some universal set of values that have helped in development across the globe.
“Our nation is in need of people who stand for human values, those who believe in trust-worthiness, integrity, honesty and hardwork.
“We need to have those values and emphasize them because these are values that build nation’s around the world.
“Our nation need more of visionary men and women that are ready to put the nation ahead of them,” the acting President noted.
He explained that to move Nigeria where everyone will be proud of, citizens must stand for these values which are necessary for progress.
“Ambassador Wali was well ahead of his time, you can see this with his desire to teach his wife how to drive in those days” the acting added.
In his remarks at the event, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido noted that late Ambassador Wali was at the fore-front of promoting the cause of women and their rights in northern Nigeria as well as the dignity of children.
Emir Sanusi also stressed that Wali was so far ahead of his time and remained controversial in all his writing emphasizing what he so believed in.
According him, Wali spoke against violence against women, forced marriage and polygamy which now has turned out to be a problem in the northern part of the country.
The Emir said his emirate was considering a Family Law which will make domestic violence against women illegal, set condition to fulfill before a man can marry a second wife among other issues.
He said it will also spell the roles of the father apart from just giving birth to children who end up in the streets.
The Emir added that many have seen the consequences of men who are not economically viable and marry many wives, giving birth to children that they can not fend for.
Chairman of the occasion Ambassador Isaac Sagay said that Wali died on duty and was not honoured by the Federal Government.
He called on the Federal Government to honour the late diplomat to serve as encouragement to other Nigerians willing to make similar sacrifice for nation.
Also speaking Elder statesman Alhaji Maitama Sule noted that Nigeria’s problem remained the absence of dedicated and committed people who are courageous like the late Ambassador Wali.
He expressed concern that the backwardness of the country was not part of the Nigerian character.
Maitama Sule said that Nigeria was a descent country, which started on a right footing but has since deriled.
“There was little corruption, today, even the institution of tradition has been affected. We are no longer ourselves, there is the demise of values,” he added.