Retired Supreme Court Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, on Wednesday advised Nigerians to emulate the life of sacrifice and forgiveness exemplified by the late former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Mandela, who was jailed for 27 years for his anti-apartheid stance and preached reconciliation when he became president after his release, was buried in his birth place of Qunu, South Africa, last Sunday.
Justice Oputa, 89, gave the advice while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on the way forward as Nigeria prepares to mark its centenary in 2014.
He noted that Mandela, in life and death, had shown that forgiveness remained a potent virtue that propelled people to eschew their differences and work for tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
He urged both the Nigerian political class and their followers to apply the Mandela leadership style at all levels of governance to uphold the greatness of the masses.
“Nelson Mandela should be an object of study by everybody.
“Those who did any and everything to him, he forgave them, teaching us the lesson that there is nothing that would shake the world like the ability to forgive.
“And he is the one who taught us that suffering has a value. Therefore, when you talk about life, you are talking about sacrifice,” Oputa added.
Oputa, who headed the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC) popularly referred to as the Oputa Panel, urged Nigerians to make sacrifices for enhanced progress and unity of the country. (NAN)