By Emeka Mamah
Kaduna-FOUR former heads of state were among thousands of other Nigerians and prominent politicians and businessmen who attended the N20 billion Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation launch in Kaduna, yesterday.
About N2.5 billion cash was realised on the occasion with the chairman of the Northern Governorsâ€™ Forum (NGF) who is also Niger State governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, saying the only way the north could move forward was for its leaders to emulate the virtues of the late premier of the defunct Northern Region and Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
The former heads of state who collectively ruled Nigeria for a total of about 17 years included Gen. Yakubu Gowon, ex-president Shehu Shagari, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Governor Babangida Aliyu said: â€œFor us at the NGF, we have recognized that if we must make a difference as political leaders of this generation, who have a covenant with history and posterity, who desire to make our states and nation much better, then we must continue to emulate people like Sarduana and appreciate the sacrifices made by our past leaders, so that as our national anthem states, the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain.
We must emulate the virtues and values of honesty, justice, fair play, hard work, transparency and accountability for which they lived and died.
â€œWe are convinced that Nigeria can get back on track if we go back to our lost social and moral values of discipline and respect for law and order in the land, among other things. Nigeria and Nigerians still possess those sterling qualities and attributes of a great nation and a great people, envisioned by the international community at our independence in 1960.
We, therefore, call on our elders and leaders to have a common interest and desire to help our people to live above partisanship and above selfish and parochial interest. We want to believe that our elders and leaders can rise above lower interests and together seek for greater good for the greater number.â€