To live up to its status as the giant of Africa, Nigeria needs patriotic leaders like Tunde Idiagbon, speakers at the 20th Tunde Idiagbon Memorial Lecture said on Sunday.
Speakers at the lecture, which held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, included a labour leader, Issa Aremu; politician and legal practitioner, Iyiola Oyedepo; and an Islamic leric, Sheikh Abubakar Kamal.
They took turns to eulogise the late Maj. Gen. Tunde Idiagbon, recommending that the present Nigerian leaders must learn from the leadership style of the former Nigerian military vice president.
The lecture, with the theme, “Patriotism and Selfless Service, Key Ingredients Towards Nation Building — A Case Study of the Late Major General Tunde Idiagbon,” was organised by the Zealous Kwara Youths at the African Peoples Hall, Onikanga, GRA, Ilorin.
In his presentation, Aremu noted that Idiagbon was incorruptible, faithful and loyal to the country.
He absolved both Idiagbon and his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari of blame in the 1984 coup, which toppled the administration of the late former President Shehu Shagari.
Aremu said those who plotted the coup used the integrity of both Buhari and Idiagbon to legitimise their actions.
The labour leader lamented that Nigeria was in short supply of patriotic leaders, needed to make it take its rightful place on the African continent.
He said Nigerians had the duty of checking the profile and accomplishments of those striving to lead them before entrusting them with their mandate.
“Today, we have unpatriotic leaders; they hold double nationalities. It means they do not have total allegiance to Nigeria. We should check the level of patriotism of our leaders.
“To me, Buhari stands out tall as a patriot. He does not have money but he has integrity, which is working for him,” Aremu said.
Oyedepo, who was represented by a veteran journalist, Alhaji Tunde Mohammed, also described the late Idiagbon as a disciplined, honest and transparent person.
In his remarks, the President of the Zealous Kwara Youths, John Adegboye, expressed concern about the level of corruption in the country.
He said, “Look around you today, evidence of indiscipline and corruption are so visible that we do not have to search before we are confronted with them. Indiscipline and corruption made a mess of our economy.
“Indiscipline and corruption made a mess of our political sector to the extent that we now have touts, miscreants and tyrants occupying highly exalted political offices.
“Senior politicians, senior public officers and senior military officers have, through their actions and antecedents, turned our beloved country into a laughing stock in the comity of nations of the world. It is disheartening.”