It is with a deep sense of honour, privilege and gratitude that I write this brief goodwill message on behalf of the government and people of Niger State. I was indeed excited when I received invitation to attend the Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Ceremonies to witness the conferment of award to one of Africa's great leader, former President of South Africa, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki who is the second recipient of the 2015 Award.
Thabo Mbeki is a man of legacies whose commitment to leadership in the continent only deserves prestigious recognition of this magnitude for his indelible contribution in grooming change agents to provide solution for challenges and issues. The Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), Launched in 2010, is fast shaping the perceptions of African youths with the aim of mitigating leadership challenges, promoting productive citizenship and encouraging people based programs for the collective good of all Africans.
Permit me to congratulate our Mother, the matriarch of Awolowo Family, Chief (Mrs.) HID Awolowo and the organizers of this laudable event for using the Awolowo Institute as a premise to expand the frontiers of knowledge on the mission, vision and foresight of the sage and legend, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in leadership excellence and good governance.
It is indeed instructive to intimate that when we consider leadership capacity from the angle of dedication to struggle and dexterous efforts that inspire collective realization of focused, united, progressive and dynamic Africa, we consider the contributions of President Thabo Mbeki, which transcends beyond his capacity as president of South Africa. I therefore pay special compliment to this great African for his development and actualization of new leadership thought aimed at repositioning Africa towards being a continent to reckon with in the 21 st Century. His patriotic contribution in the affairs of Africa has indeed provided the people much-desired confidence in having answers to most questions of development.
Let me therefore emphasize that as leaders of repute, we must keep up efforts to find lasting solutions to challenges of insecurity, underdevelopment, and competing religious sentiments with resultant implication on peace and collective aspiration afflicting our nation and continent. I am truly optimistic that our collective destiny, shared development aspirations and networked direction will lead to social, political and economic emancipation of the continent. I therefore, urge us to keep struggling diligently to provide promising platform like this for our future generations of leaders, who are going to build on our legacies and forge a path for others. I thank you very sincerely.
Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, CON, FSPSP, FNAE
Governor, Niger State