Mr Bobby Moroe, Acting South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, has urged Africans to uphold the tenets of Nelson Mandela by impacting lives.
Moroe, said this in his address on Thursday, in Abuja, at the 10th-anniversary ceremony to commemorate the Nelson Mandela International Day.
Nelson Mandela International Day is often marked globally, July 18, every year.
The event was organised by the South African High Commission in collaboration with the University of Abuja and the Nelson Mandela Foundation Initiative, an NGO.
He said that Mandela did not only symbolize an icon of South Africans, but Africans and therefore said that there is need for people to live a life worthy of emulation.
Moroe said, “Since the launch of the day by the United Nations in New York; all we need to do is to spend 67 minutes of time doing good for humanity.
“Today is a very good example for us to espouse the principles of Mandela; this is to ensure each and every one of us promote good behaviour for 67 minutes.
“The concept of 67 minutes is derived from the life pattern of Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years and spent most of his time doing good to encourage positive change in our society.
“As we enjoy our day-to-day life, it is important we share our privileges with those who are less privileged; so we have been challenged to play our roles to live everyday as Mandela day.’’
He identified poverty alleviation, sanitation, food security, shelter and education as priority areas of Mandela’s life that promoted good behaviour.
Speaking, the Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, said that Mandela’s life is a contribution to a world of knowledge.
He said that Mandela’s life principles were in line with what the University community stands for in terms of youth development.
Na’Allah said, “He worked for the youth; this is the place for youths as a University, his movements was tailored to bring about development change centred on youth empowerment.
“Mandela emphasised on active citizenship, which is what the University community is established to achieve in the life youths, while they are and become global change agents when they graduate.
“We will commit ourselves and continue as a University to support the Mandela global movement to achieve this goal.’’
In his lecture, former Abia State governor, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, said that Mandela was not just a revolutionary leader, however, his benevolence spread across citizens of many other nations globally.
Kalu, who is now the Senate Chief Whip, urged people to always imbibe tenets of humility, forgiveness, acceptance, perseverance and tolerance that Mandela bough to achieve targets.
According to him, Nigeria would fare better if politicians, irrespective of their political party affiliations, respect party supremacy.
Kalu said, “That way we will be able to build a political culture that derives its powers from the party manifesto and programmes.
“Today, South Africans are enjoying political culture that developed out of Mandela’s love for his party ‘the ANC’ and his respect for its decisions.
“That is what it means to give your people a voice and a future; shouldn’t we be asking for more Mandela’s in Africa?’’
He, however, assured that the 9th Senate would always carry out its legislative duties under the guides of Mandela’s value bequeathed on humility, which he lived and died for.
The event featured lectures on Mandela as a freedom fighter by Prof. James Nda-Jacobs, 25-years of democracy; South-African experience by Mr Sunday Iyemeake and struggle for Africa’s liberation by Dr Philip Afaha.
The high point of the event was planting of a tree by Moroe and Na’Allah at Mandela Square, presentation of plaques and certificates and dance performance by Burn out Global group.