From AKPUS JOHN, Kaduna
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim has implored northern leaders to emulate the courage of Late General Shehu Musa Yar’adua in the search for lasting solution to the social and economic challenges facing the region.   Anyim Pius made the call in Abuja at the Shehu Musa Yarádua Memorial Lecture and a book launch saying,  the north at the moment is in need of courageous leaders who could rise up against the various challenges threatening the region so that there could be peace through inter-ethnic and religious harmony for development to thrive.
“We miss people like General Yarádua, General Hassan Katsina and several other leaders who have always had the courage to stand up no matter the heat of events to bring leadership to the north.  They were not regional leaders; they were national patriots, but have always been effective in organising people in the north to ensure there is peace and progress and inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony,” he said.
Anyim Pius who was represented by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, while subscribing  the remarks made recently by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar that, it would take the North more than twenty years to recover from the damage caused to the region’s social and economic fabrics, told northern leaders that there is urgent need to summon the courage, patriotism and commitment as exemplified by Late General Yarádua to tackle the challenges and return the region to the course of progress and prosperity.
He said that in spite of the challenges and complicated politics under military regimes in Nigeria, Late General Yar’Adua remained on track in the pursuit of popular demand for democratic rule particularly by organising awesome political machinery that cut across all the geo-political zones of the country.
Anyim however bemoaned the circumstance that led to the demise of General Yarádua and described it as the path God destined for him to exit this earth.
According to him, though General Yarádua’s life was short-lived just like other great world leaders, he went beyond his capacity to attain greatness and left behind a rich legacy of national service, patriotism, handwork and commitment to the country.
Anyim who noted that the Yarádua family had shown Nigerians the values of true leadership which were anchored on simplicity and humility in service, said the memories of General Shehu Yarádua in particular would be an inspiration for posterity.
In his paper titled “Rebuilding Public Education as a Bridge to Nigeria’s Future” former Vice-President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar called for a major review of the nation’s educational policies in order to reposition the country to face the challenges of development.
He said this became necessary because education is the only path to social advancement and enlightened society that recognises its rights and that of others.
The former Vice-President advocated a national discussion on education by professionals to fashion out realistic policies and implementation framework that could take care of the peculiar needs of the diverse sections of the country.
In his address of welcome, the eldest son of General Yarádua, former Minister of State for Defence, Alhaji Murtala Yarádua said the occasion once again provided the opportunity to celebrate the life and times of his father, which were committed to keeping Nigeria one and the pursuit of fairness and social justice.


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