The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African President, Nelson Mandela, for his commitment to global peace and good governance, charging world leaders to emulate his dedication to better human society.
Obaseki who gave the charge on the occasion of the commemoration of the Nelson Mandela International Day, marked on July 18, each year by the United Nations, said Mandela remains one of the greatest gifts from the African continent to humanity.
“A special day for the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who fought with all he had for the liberation of black South Africans from the shackles of apartheid and the enthronement of a rainbow nation of many colours, is a call on world leaders to take actions that will enhance the wellbeing of majority of the people we swore to serve,” the governor said.
Obaseki added: “Mandela demonstrated his unshakable faith in one diverse and united South Africa at great personal cost, and led from the front to challenge obnoxious, divisive and retrogressive laws and tendencies in order to foster a community where peace reigns supreme.”
He urged leaders to use the Nelson Mandela International Day to reflect and draw up a checklist of workable solutions to pressing problems facing humanity, namely; health challenges, global security, food security, climate change, infrastructural deficit amongst others.
According to the United Nations, “Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.”
The UN explained that “in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, UN General Assembly declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day.
“Resolution A/RES/64/13 recognises Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice.
“The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.”
The organisation urged everyone to mark Nelson Mandela International Day “by making a difference in their communities as everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.
“Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change. Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918).
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.”