Nigeria has lessons to learn from South Africa, says Utuama

Posted by News Express | 20 July 2014 | 2,875 times

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Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, has said that Nigeria has some lessons to learn from the Republic of South Africa.

Utuama stated this at the weekend in Asaba at a dinner organised by the South African Consulate to mark the country’s 20 years of freedom.

According to the deputy governor, Nigeria should learn how South Africa evolved a strong nationhood out of a diverse, divisive and apartheid-oriented people to a united, patriotic rainbow nation. He also mentioned the imperative of learning how South Africa has been able to become self sufficient in power generation.

Utuama’s words: “We are gathered here this night to celebrate 20 years of freedom in South Africa. And I think it is very important to tell ourselves that Nigeria has, at least, two great lessons to learn from South Africa. First and foremost is in terms of nationhood. The South Africa of today evolved from a highly diverse, divisive and apartheid society. Yet, what we now have, just twenty years down the road is a united, patriotic and forward looking rainbow nation. The basis for the possibility of building a strong nationhood by South Africa is to be located in forgiveness. The lack of forgiveness amongst the different people of Nigeria is our bane. My earnest hope is that we would use this National Conference that has just taken place to start the process of forgiveness and erecting the pillars of nationhood.

“The second is in power generation. We all heard what His Excellency, Ambassador Mokgethi Sam Monaisa, said. We can do same here. Good a thing the Federal Government through the Independent Power Project (IPP) has started the process. Here in Delta, the administration of His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is also working hard to ensure that Deltans enjoy uniterruptible power supply. We will get there.”

The deputy governor thanked the South African Consulate for choosing Delta State capital, Asaba, for the celebration of the 20th Freedom Anniversary.

Earlier in his keynote address, Ambassador Monaisa said the choice of Asaba was informed by the fact that it would be the fourth city in the whole world that has the Mandela Garden of 95 Trees. He named the others as Johannesburg, Washington DC and London. He thanked Dr. Newton Jibunor, the brain behind the garden, for his idea and commitment to the project. He said Nigeria played a very prominent role in the struggle for freedom for his country and that it behoves the two countries to continue to work together.

Among the prominent personalities that graced the occasion were former Minister of Culture, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire; Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo; Chief Paulinus Akpeki; Chief of Staff to Delta State Governor, Dr. Festus Okunbor; the state’s Head of Service, Sir Paul Evuarherhe; among others. The event was rounded off with a toast to the peace, progress and development of both South Africa and Nigeria.

•Photo shows Inspector Gaius Jonah, the Orderly to the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof. Amos Utuama, being decorated with his new rank by Utuama (left) assisted by the Acting Commissioner of Police, Delta State Police Command, Mr. Titus Larmode . . . in Asaba at the weekend.

Source: News Express

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