Good character has been identified as the basis of achieving good governance in Nigeria.
This assertion was made by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Mrs. Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu and Lady Maiden Ibru at the maiden edition of the HID Awolowo Foundation Annual Lecture which was held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos on Tuesday.
The lecture which was in honour of the late Mrs. HID Awolowo, was titled:â€˜Ethical Politics, Peace, Development and Security in Nigeria: The Critical Importance of Womenâ€™s Leadership.â€™.
The virtues of HID were extolled at the event which had Senator Daisy Danjuma as chairperson.
Ezekwesili who was the keynote speaker, noted that the world is suffering from leadership famine and it can only be redeemed by the moulding of good character.
â€œWhether it is a male or female leader, the character is the underlying factor that will define how our nation will make progress. If you want competency, capacity you can buy them but character is not available to be bought. In this fourth industrial revolution of biotics, stimulations, signs and all kinds of science solution driven, all we need is a disruptive era of the character of the individual. The character of the individual matters mostâ€.
Convener of the lecture, Awolowo-Dosumu opined that the building of human character must come before the building of anything else. She further identified three ways to destroy a nation; â€œthree ways to destroy a nation is to destroy the family structure, education and lower their role models and references as such there will be no one to teach the youngsters values, they will lose correct perception of right and wrong of what their best interests areâ€ she said.
Ibru described a woman as the nurturer who is meant to mould the character of her children for the good of the society and in all sphere of human endeavors.
â€œYou mustnâ€™t shy away from bringing up your children in the right way. You must pay attention to them. Our government has failed us, but from your home, monitor your children, mentor them rightly. I want women to standout and be pointed at as women of diligence.â€
A biography of HID, titled: â€˜In the Radiance of the Sageâ€™ written by Prof. Wale Adebanwi, was reviewed by Dr. Insa Nolte who was represented by Dr. Olufemi Ogunsaya. Nolte described HID as a very supportive, disciplined and courageous wife to her husband late Chief Obafemi Awolowo adding that, she stood above partisan politics.
â€œDuring the time when Obafemi was politically imprisoned, she played the role of a supportive wife not because she has any ambition but she wanted him to take up his life where he left after he was releasedâ€.
There was an insightful panel session where the older generations were counselled to be positive role models and educate the younger generations on the history of Nigeria. The session was moderated by Erelu Bisi Fayemi and the discussants were, Ibru, Hajiya Najaâ€™atu Bala Muhammad, Yemi Adamolekun, and Bola Olukanni.
Dignitaries at the event included, Sultan of Sokoto who was represented by Emir of Songa, Representatives of Ooni of Ife, Rev. Omotola Oyediran, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Erelu Abiola Fernandez, Mr. Labaran Maku, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Sir Kessington Adebutu, Chief Kenny Martins, Prof Bayo Williams to mention a few.