Vanguard (Lagos)

14 February 2013

Nigeria Has Come of Age - Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged Nigerians to emulate the qualities of the late General Murtala Mohammed as a reflection of the fact that men may die but their ideas never do.

President Jonathan in a posting to his friends on facebook listed Abuja and what he defined as the prospering democracy in the country as among the ideas of the late head of state who was assassinated in an abortive military coup on February 13, 1976.

Recalling Mohammed's assertion in 1975 that Africa has come of age, Jonathan in a posting to commemorate the death of the revolutionary anti-corruption leader 37 years ago yesterday, noted the victory of the Super Eagles in the recently concluded continental football tourney also demonstrated that Nigeria has come of age.

Jonathan said: "Today marks the 37th anniversary of the death of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed, the great patriot who paid the ultimate price for Nigeria. I urge Nigerians to remember the life and times of this hero of Nigeria who proved the truism in the maxim that people may die but ideas never die.

"Today, his ideas live after him, Abuja as the Federal Capital of a united strong and prospering Nigeria and democracy thriving all over the nation. But perhaps most prophetic is his speech at the Organization of African Unity, OAU, in January of 1976 where he said "Africa has come of age".

He added that: "Almost 37 years to the day, all Nigerians celebrate our victorious Super Eagles who to paraphrase Murtala's words proved that Nigeria 'has come of age'. I thank God for giving us such a patriot and pray that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain."

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