Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, believes the world may have to wait for a century to have a leader in the mould of the just departed Nelson Mandela.
Babangida, in a tribute yesterday, said that with the death of the former South African president, the world has lost one of its best leaders.
The deceased, more than anyone else, he said, exemplified what good leadership is all about.
Babangida, who spoke to reporters in Minna, said Africa should be proud that God gave the continent a man and leader in Mandela whose life and time impacted humanity and the world at large.
“The world has lost one of its best leaders. We should take solace in the fact that his life and his time were something that everybody in the world should be proud of his achievements,” he said.
“Mandela had a moral conviction and his moral conducts was very, very high and powerful. He made sure that what he believed in he stood for it. I think those are very good lessons.
“He displayed one thing which is un-African: he stayed in power for one term which he thought was noble and he allowed the younger generations like Thambo Mbeki to take over from him.”
He said the late Mandela held Nigeria in high esteem during his life time.
“I recall that when he was released from prison, Nigeria was the first country he visited because of our role as one of the frontline states that helped to dismantle apartheid and installed a popular government in South Africa.
“Mandela held Nigeria in high esteem. This he acknowledged when he visited Nigeria.”
Babangida also spoke on his personal relationship with the Mandela family.
“About three weeks ago, his former wife (Winnie) sent her daughter to give me a book which she has just published and that shows you that the relationship is very, very cordial.