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Awolowo’s impacts enduring, fought in defence of democracy – Shettima

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Awolowo’s impacts enduring, fought in defence of democracy – Shettima

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima has applauded the legacies of the late Obafemi Awolowo, former premier of the defunct western region, as enduring.

Shettima, who spoke on Wednesday during the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo prize for leadership, which took place at Victoria Island, Lagos, said the principles of the late sage are withstanding the tests of time.

In his lecture titled “Leadership: An alliance with time”, Shettima described the late Awolowo as a “compass and guiding light for several generations of leaders”.

The vice-president said the impacts of Awolowo are enduring despite the efforts of revisionists.

He added that “overcoming the conspiracies of mischief-makers and saboteurs” is the very first test every true leader must undergo.

He averred that time has been the greatest ally of Awolowo, adding that the late premier fought for democracy till his death.

“For the great sage from Ikenne, his enduring impact persists despite revisionist efforts. Time sifts through biases and lies, and through hidden agendas and propaganda,” Shettima said.

“Time delivers to us the naked truth that defines the tough decisions and sacrifices every sincere leader must make to create a difference.

“But, in all we do, we must always find strength in the belief of those who trust the process, those who give us the benefit of the doubt.

“There is no greater honour than the privilege to lead one’s people, and assuming a position of leadership during times of turbulence is the ultimate test of our mettle as leaders.

“It is in these moments of uncertainty that true character and capability come to the forefront. While the immediate judgment may be rendered by the people we either impress or displease, the long-term verdict is carved by time, the passage of time.

“He (Awolowo) fought until his very last days in defence of democracy in Nigeria, and these are the examples that make him a hero of the nation.

“There is no doubt that time has been Chief Awolowo’s ally. Time has revealed the enduring impact of his ideas and actions.”

Akinwunmi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), won the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo prize for leadership.