Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"What South Africa Must Do After Madiba" - Fashola

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has said the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela calls for deeper reflection of the anti-apartheid struggle and the role played by the African continent, especially Nigeria in the journey to liberate South Africa.
Governor Fashola who made the remark yesterday while addressing journalists at the State House in Alausa said inspite of the role played, Nigeria is currently on the receiving end of policies by the present day South Africa.
He said it is expedient for President Goodluck Jonathan to use his presence at the burial of Nelson Mandela to put the nation’s leadership role back in the international limelight.
He said: “I remember we did not go for Commonwealth Games because of South Africa. I remember we took drastic measures against the foreign collaborators of apartheid regime and nationalized assets. Brigadier-General Joe Garba was our Foreign Affairs Minister and Professor Bolaji Akinyemi was the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). There is no home that the anti-apartheid campaign was not then. Our university halls were named after Mozambique and all of these places. We founded all of these organisations in Angola and Zimbabwe among others.
“Apart from scholarship to South Africans, I remember when the late President Yar’Adua and I met Thabo Mbeki in South Africa and he was telling me about their relationship that dated back to the days when he was a lecturer at the University of Zaria and former President Mbeki used to come for exchange programme then.
“There is no home that the anti-apartheid campaign was not then. Our university halls were named after Mozambique and all of these places. We funded all of these organisations in Angola and Zimbabwe among others.
“We are the ones being driven out of South Africa. The British can enter South Africa. We have to take a visa. These are deep questions because they hurt me. People like Fela nearly lost their voices, singing about freedom. I hope that as our president is going for Mandela’s burial, I hope that it would be to go and take the leadership roles that we deserve or we should ask ourselves if we have really lost it, what is the way back. As I said, history has been revised and our voices are not heard on the international stage. This is our glory because we contributed so much to this course, and perhaps we ask ourselves what the investment pay-off has been.
“There are more questions to answer. When you look at the part of the world where ovation is now the loudest, it was the part of the world the pain was the most vicious. In a very cruel irony, history is being revised. The people, who collaborated with the government that enthroned apartheid at that time, are the people that are paying the biggest tribute now.
Eulogising the late freedom fighter Fashola said the legacies he left behind has proved beyond doubt that Africans are not inferior.
“Mandela has proved we are not. There is nothing wrong with our genes. There is nothing wrong with our blood. It is just our attitude and disposition we must re-examine. Beyond that, there is nothing we cannot do. I believe there must some inspiration from there if any is needed. Really, it is to put spring on our heels so that we can reach the sky.”

The Nation

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