Sankara, a true African hero, says ex Nigerian foreign minister

Sankara, a true African hero, says ex Nigerian foreign minister

Saturday, October 15, 2016 6:03 pm

Thomas Sankara

Thomas Sankara

A former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, on Saturday said that former Burkinabe President, Late Capt.  Thomas Sankara, would forever be remembered among other African heroes.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sankara was a Burkinabe military captain, Marxist revolutionary, Pan-African theorist and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987.

Akinyemi in a statement entitled: “Tribute to the late Captain Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara: Ode of Joy,’’ recalled his experiences with Late Sankara.

The former minister under President Ibrahim Babangida’s administration, said that Sankara was in the class of Patrice Lumumba, Amical Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah and Samora Machel.

“President Thomas Sankara still occupies a special place in my heart for three reasons. First, he was the urea spark for the Technical Aid Corps scheme.

“Secondly, he was indirectly responsible for my first and only meeting with the irrepressible and unforgettable Fela. Yes, the same Fela.

“Thirdly, he occupies the high table of African Heroes along such figures as Kings of Ancient Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Patrice Lumumba, Amical Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah and Samora Machel,’’ he said.

Akinyemi said that the late Sankara had a strategic vision of African unity that was devoid of either egoism or parochialism.

He said that Sankara had so believed in Nigeria’s leadership that even when he was due as ECOWAS Chairman in 1986, he recommended that Nigeria ran for a second term.

“By rotation, President Thomas Sankara was due to be the elected Chairman of ECOWAS at the 1986 summit. Houphouet-Boigny insisted that this would not be acceptable.

“But, Sankara suggested that Nigeria should be prepared to accept a second term and he would be prepared to sponsor such candidature.

“The final debt I owe him was reawakening my faith that Africa will continue to always have a hero, no matter how many traitors abound,’’ Akinyemi said. (NAN)

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