Obi Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, has urged leaders in all spheres of life to build lasting legacies and live impactful lives in the society while still alive.
Ezekwesili said this on Thursday in Abuja at the maiden Innocent Chukwuemeka Chukwuma Empowerment Foundation (ICCEF) Annual Impact and Legacy Lecture Series.
According to her, life is about impacting lives and leaving behind indelible positive prints in the hearts of people, not just amassing wealth and affluence.
“The legacies of an impactful life cannot be overemphasised and that is why we are here today to celebrate the lives and times and legacies of a great man.
“Friends and families of Innocent should know that he lives on through his legacies and positive impacts to the society and in the lives of individuals.
“Innocent made tremendous impact in ensuring good governance, in the justice system, in enhancing policing, public safety and many more,” she said.
She added that Innocent was a serial entrepreneur, very brilliant and was all about the future and that should be the food for thought from this lecture.
“What is your plan for the future,’’ she asked.
Ezekwesili urged leaders in position of power, authority and resources to think about the good of others.
She also urged leaders to think about the interest of the public, the interest of the youth and the next generation and the future that was an uncertainty to everyone.
She consoled with the family and commended the initiative to inaugurate an organisation in memory of Innocent, adding that it was a well thought out idea.
Mr Muhazu Abubakar, the Chairman, Board of Directors, the Cleen Foundation, said that the organisation plans to institutionalise the legacies of the late founder.
This, he said, was the reason for the inauguration and naming of the foundation’s new cooperate headquarters in his memory.
“The beauty of making positive contribution to the society is the reason why we are gathered here today.
“The inauguration of the annual ICCEF lecture and the inauguration of the new office in honour of our late founder is an affirmation of our commitment to continue the legacies of late Innocent Chukwuemeka,” he said.
Mrs Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, the Executive Director, ICCEF, lauded the commitment of the foundation toward institutionalising the legacies of the late founder.
Effah-Chukwuma, the wife of the deceased said that her husband’s vision was to ensure youth innovation and technological start-ups, mentoring and intergenerational dialogues, community youth empowerment and others.
‘’One year after Innocent died, precisely on April 7, 2022, ICCEF came into existence.
“Its mission is exactly the same supporting initiatives that provide Nigerian youth and women with the opportunities to discover and develop themselves.
“Unbelievably it is two years since Innocent left us and the journey has not been easy but the children and I have nothing but gratitude to God Almighty for bringing us this far.
“Innocent set up the foundation in January 1998, to promote public safety and security; and build partnerships between civil society and law enforcement agencies especially the police, using strategies such as empirical researches and advocacy,’’ she said.
She added: “Innocent was a serial entrepreneur who founded several organisations from co-founding Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), to founding Cleens Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN).
‘’Others as Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) among others.”
She said that her late husband played key role in the introduction of community policing in Nigeria adding that the foundation was first organisation in Nigeria to win McArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2006.
She said that his legacies lived on through the huge impact he made and the numerous legacies that he left behind; and those that were birthed after he passed.
Mr Gad Peter, the Executive Director, Cleen Foundation, encouraged the family of Innocent to continue to push and projects his vision and mission in order to sustain his legacies.
Peter said that the foundation would also not relent in ensuring that they played their part by synergising to project all the laid down guides by the founder to ensure the success of the organisation.
“We are here today to celebrate a man’s vision, mission and now his legacies, we too that have taken over would ensure to live up to expectations and also leave behind legacies such as this.
“We would continue to project Cleen foundation, we would continue to engage to enhance policing which is our core mandate.
“We believe some day people will also gather to celebrate our lives, times, and legacies,” he said.
Peter commended the family of the late founder and reiterated his commitment to sustaining the annual lecture series.(NAN)
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