Nigeria must work harder to lead Africa, says Lumumba
• Urges journalists to stop de-marketing continent
Former chairman of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Prof. Patrick Lumumba, has urged Nigerians to work harder to enable the country maintain its lead in Africa. Lumumba, a professor of law, spoke to journalists at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, imo State, before proceeding to Anambra State for the fifth Face of Okija cultural festival and pageant.
The social critic advised African journalists to desist from portraying the continent in bad light, but showcase the numerous positives of the continent.Also, he cautioned electoral stakeholders to desist from vote-buying in next year’s general election.
The Face of Okija is an initiative of the Group Managing Director of Nestoil Limited, Dr. Ernest Obiejesi. While commending Obiejesi for using his foundation to project health, agriculture and the economy, the motivational speaker said he would continue to speak in favour of Africa’s growth, advising Nigeria to take its leadership position seriously.
Lumumba said: “The day Nigeria gets it right, that is the day Africa will get it right, and this must happen. Nigeria is full of energy. It is how we harness the energy (that is the issue). Why I speak about Africa is that Africa is in my heart. When I speak and provoke, we act.”
While urging the youths to think in the positive direction, the Kenyan don commended Face of Okija, describing it as example of showcasing African heritage.He stressed: “It is easier said than done. Africa must grow village by village, town by town and state by state. There is something here (in Africa) that you do not see; we must open our eyes and see it. African media must tell the positive story and celebrate the small (Bill) Gates.”
He paid glowing tribute to billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, among others who are leading lights in the continent.On the democratic front, Mulumba urged the electorate in the continent to always use their votes wisely and jettison bribery and gratification to influence their choice of candidates during polls.
“When Nigeria sneezes, Africa catches cold. This shows that efforts give back positive results,” he added.Dr. Obiejesi said he was delighted by the visit of Prof. Mulumba, stressing that the essence of the event every December 29 was to tell the world that good things happen in Okija, despite negative stories told of the area in the past.