Thabo Mbeki tasks African leaders on preserving Continent’s heritage
APA-Abuja (Nigeria) - The former South African President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, has urged African leaders to emulate Obasanjo in preserving African heritage.
Speaking during his visit to the Presidential Library (OOPL) of Nigerian former leader Olusegu Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in south-western Nigeria, Mbeki challenged other ex-African leaders to replicate same in their countries.
Mbeki, who served as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008, was accompanied by Mr. Darkey Africa, the Consul General of South Africa in Nigeria, was conducted round the various departments of the library complex.
The complex comprised wild life park (zoo), the museum and the plastic bottles recycling centre.
Mbeki said he was excited and commended Obasanjo for the feat.
“Hopefully, some other African leaders can come and have a look because I think the example that you (Obasanjo) have set here is an example that will be worth repeating in other African countries.
“I think it will make a very important contribution even in the recovery of African dignity and our identification.
“Where do we think we are going? I really want to say congratulations to President Obasanjo and the People of Nigeria because this OOPL is an important part of our heritage,” he said.
He said that he was in Lagos for a meeting “and decided to visit the library which my friend, Obasanjo, told me about”.
He expressed joy that what he saw was more than he expected.
According to him, the library itself, of course tells a very important story about the former President Obasanjo, from his early life experiences to post government and all that.
He noted that the library is a very important story, which is not just a story about Obasanjo, but a good part of the story is about Nigeria and also Africa.
It is very important that record is available, not only to the people of Nigeria, but to everybody, particularly the people of the continent, he noted.
Mbeki said he was particularly pleased with the focus being paid to youths because the youths needed to be exposed to our past because “it teaches them something about the responsibilities that they have to themselves, to their country and to the continent”.
Mbeki added that the idea of the complex was important because it was named after a very important leader of the continent and there was also a number of initiatives.
He also commended the reprocessing of plastic bottles, saying it was important part of the process of contributing to improved environment.
On the zoo, Mbeki said he was pleased about the fact that there was an animal farm which made an important statement about Africans.
In his brief remarks, Obasanjo, who served as Nigerian President for eight years (1999 – 2007) thanked Mbeki for the visit and assured him that everything would be done to maintain the facility to world standard.