The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked political leaders on enduring legacies for future generation as well as a commitment to serve as good mentors to the Nigerian youth.
The governor made the submission at the Public Lecture to mark the 90th birthday anniversary of the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri, in Benin City, Edo State capital, on Friday.
At the public lecture entitled “The Struggle to Make Nigeria United and Strong: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” Obaseki extolled the leadership virtues of Chief Edebiri, who he described as one of the strongest pillars of the Edo ethnic nationality.
The governor urged political leaders to emulate the leadership qualities of those who have impacted the society positively through selfless service, adding that Chief Edebiri has not been selfish with his experience as a politician, which he has put into writing for future generations to learn from.
The governor noted that leaders should not allow themselves to be driven by selfishness, adding that selfishness is the tragedy of Nigerian politics.
“For us to sustain a strong nation, we cannot pursue our individual aspirations, but the collective good of all. Leaders should serve as mentors to youths and there should be a re-orientation about politics of selfishness,” Obaseki said.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said Nigeria needs to go back to the era of true federalism to allow for all-round development of the country.
He said the struggle to make Nigeria united and strong could only happen if both the federal government and other constituent units work together, adding that as long as the federal system remained predatory, unproductive and exclusionary, the common grounds that were necessary to hold together would remain weak and fragile.
“Under a true federal system of government, we have an effective centre and effective states,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the celebrant, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, commended Governor Obaseki and his children for organising the occasion in his honour to mark his 90th birthday anniversary.
He expressed thanks to God for keeping him up to 90 years of age and said he was excited to be celebrated by friends and well-wishers.