BEING THE TEXT OF AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE SECRETARIAT OF THE WEST AFRICA STUDENTS’ UNION (WASU) ON THE OCCASION OF THE CONFERMENT OF 2011 / 2012 KWAME NKRUMH LEADERSHIP AWARD ON ADMINISTRATION AND ICON OF SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT, HON JIMOH ABDULRAHEEM OLAJIDE, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, YABA LCDA LAGOS STATE NIGERIA, TODAY MONDAY 18TH OF JUNE, 2012.
From the deepest depth of my heart, I sincerely welcome our distinguished awardee, eminent scholars, members of this great organisation of excellence, members of press, invited guests, students from member union of WASU and my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen here present at this historic occasion of Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award.
This event I must state here is a template to the forthcoming West African Diaspora conference of the organization which by the grace of God will hold at the Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland USA.
WASU is the initiator of the popular Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award and lecture series, which had featured in Ghana for the last ten years , adding that the aim of the award by WASU is to promote all forms of action of good leadership designed to ‘’construct the defenses of West African Culture of Leadership and integrity in minds of men’’ by rewarding particularly outstanding leaders with vision towards the upliftment of west Africa with the purpose of serving as role model for younger generation in line with the constitution and charter of WASU, in the spirit of pan-west Africanism of Late Dr kwame Nkrumah.
The winners were decided by the Executive Secretariat on the basis of proposals and nominations submitted by an international jury consisting of eminent personalities from WASU’s member unions and friendly international organizations around the globe. I have chosen the topic for my speech here today as ‘’Living the Dream’’
This is carefully chosen in view of t urgent need for the present crop of west African Leaders especially in our educational sector and aspiring leaders in all human enterprises to start realizing dreams of west African founding fathers; while also dreaming new dreams to advance the progressive course of humanity, because philosophers have interpreted the world. It is for us to change it so that the society is moved to greater heights and higher ideals by the numbers and strength of dreamers and thinkers that are available to it. Giving expression to these dreams required continuous dose of patriotism, selflessness, determination and courage to trudge on, against all odds.
The landmark election of Senator Barrack Obama as the first black African-American President of United State of America in over two centuries of the nation’s history of ‘colour democracy’ is instructive here. The emergence of black man in America race to see an America of equity, equality and Justice where everyone is a free born with equal opportunities. Today, the dreams of Reverend Martin Luther King (Jr) and other black American nationalists in the struggle for freedom as captured in the King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech of 1963 came to fruition forty five years after and forty years and seven months after King himself was brutality assassinated.
The lesson to be drawn here is that the burden of dream is not of the dreamer alone but of all the target beneficiaries, the people. Change seeking youths and government should provide enabling environments. Where there is no sweet dream, there is bound to be nightmare, where there is no altitude, there won’t be latitude, when there is no progression, there will be depression and where there is no vision, the people perish.
With its vast natural and human resources, it is still confounding that West African continent is at the lowest rung of development, with highest incidence of illiteracy, mass poverty, hunger and starvation, constant outbreak of preventable and incurable diseases and epidemics like malaria and HIV/AIDS.
The continent is perpetually enmeshed in regional war of attrition and communal conflict because of the greed and insatiable appetite for political and economic power which daily threatens the achievement of democracy and good governance. Yet most leaders have displayed gross incompetence to govern but refuse to allow the needed democratic change in their countries which they have converted into a mere captured enslave.
This unacceptable situation cannot continue in Africa. We call on all West Africans at home and in Diaspora to rise and defend their continent from the grip of those that hold on to power for self and self alone. I want to use this medium to call on the youth of West Africa to wake up and participate fully in the process of change which should commence now. The founding fathers of Africa like kwame Nkrumah gave their all to liberate African from Colonialism and neo-liberalism in order to live in the dreams of our great founding fathers and realise our own lofty dreams, as it is been demonstrated by our amiable leader, an erudite and a lover of Education, Hon Jimoh AbdulRaheem Olajide
That Hon. AbdulRaheem Olajide Jimoh is for this award is a testimony of dedication of true West African son to the development of our continent. An erudite politician with an outstanding dedication to the promotion of independent and economy development, an astute defender of the right of all West Africa origins. .
We hereby state that our decision to confer this honour is not just the celebration of the achievement of an outstanding performer but also should be considered as a clarion call on the awardee not to relent in his effort towards redefining the standard of economy development in Africa. This award should also serve as awake up call on others to realise that there is a critical observation of their efforts and every deeds, either good or bad has a result
We sincerely congratulate our distinguished awardee and thank all those who have contributed immensely to making this occasion possible and memorable.
On behalf of West Africa Students Union (WASU), we say thank you.
Aluta Continua! Victoria Ascerta!