Ike Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has said that Africa’s march to greatness can only be realised when leaders devote themselves to building egalitarian societies “where no man is oppressed, but everyone is given the opportunity to excel, irrespective of gender, religion, tribe or political affiliation.”

Delivering a keynote address in Yaoundé at the 5th Commencement Ceremony of the ICT University, Baton Rouge, USA, Cameroon Campus at the weekend, Ekweremadu said France had taught the world huge lessons in fairness that extended beyond the world of soccer in the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

According to a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Uche Anochukwu, the senator, who was also bestowed with a lifetime achievement award by the University as an embodiment of both political and academic finesse, urged African leaders to give every citizen and group equal opportunity to excel and build Africa.

He said: “The just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia leaves us with loads of lessons. More than half of the French 23-man squad – Umutiti, Pogba, Mbappe, Dembele, Kante, among others – are young men of African origin given the opportunity to excel, not minding their roots.

“Giving everyone the opportunity to become the best he or she is capable of also accounts for the success of nations like the USA. It is called the American dream.

“Unfortunately, most of Africa’s crises, conflicts, restiveness, and separatist agitations have their roots in injustice and inequity, especially the failure of leaders to do justice to all manner of people as contained in their oaths of office.

“If Africa has to move away from conflicts and underdevelopment, then we must first enthrone justice and equity to give everyone a sense of belonging and create opportunities for everyone to happily and patriotically contribute his or her quota.

“We must learn to accommodate and provide equal opportunity and development for all parts of our countries, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, and political persuasion if we want peaceful and indissoluble nations”.

Ekweremadu reminded the graduands that Africa was for Africans to develop as “Nobody will drop from the moon to develop Africa”.

“Nobody abandons his or her farm because it is overgrown by weeds. When you succeed, whether in or outside Africa, always remember that Africa is your home and looks up to you to change her story for good”, he said.