Kenyan activist and iconic public speaker, Professor Patrick Lumumba has said that the African continent looks to Nigeria for direction and inspiration. He noted that democracy in Africa will depend to a large extent, on how Nigeria manages its democracy. According to him, Africa will get it right the day Nigeria gets it right. Lumumba, who spoke to newsmen in Okija, Anambra State where he delivered the keynote address at this year’s Face of Okija Cultural Festival, said Nigeria stands in a very unique position in Africa and for all African countries, and that many believe Nigeria holds the key to the problems of the continent. He also urged Africa to focus on the things that matter; the things that build and grow the continent, things that impact the people. Commending the founder of the Face of Okija Festival and the Obi Jackson Foundation, Dr. Ernest Obiejesi, MD Nestoil Limited, Lumumba urged leaders across the continent to embrace the ideas espoused by the Obi Jackson Foundation which is lifting and empowering young people across Anambra State, making gradual but steady gains, building capacity and rewriting the narrative of a people. “Africa will not develop with a bang. It will develop village by village; town by town and state by state. It would not take politicians to achieve this, it will take men with ideas and Obi Jackson Foundation is doing exactly that. And these ideas, I must say, deserve a place in our university curriculum.” Speaking on democracy and the political process in Africa professor Lumumba said: “By February 2019, Nigerians will go to the polls to elect their leaders. And I must state that the day Nigeria gets it right, Africa gets it right.” He continued: “Young people in Nigeria and across Africa must identify what is in their best interest and actively participate in the electoral process. They must understand the significance and power of their votes. “But unfortunately, the electorate is easily persuaded with bribes. We must begin to interrogate how we use our votes. Who and what determine the direction we vote. What are the policies on the table? Are we voting people for what they have done, for what they can do or for the hand-outs they offer before the elections? “Most of us think right before the election but on the election day, most of us are taken over by a strange spirit and we are suddenly confused on our choices. We only wake up to reality after the election.” Lumumba noted that the people have a duty to remind leadership of their responsibilities arguing, however, that when given power, without the diligence of the electorate, all men are likely to abuse power.]]>
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