An African Institute has been established by Valparaiso University in Indiana, United States in honour of Nigeria’s former leader, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The institute, which was inaugurated on Saturday, would serve as a cultural exchange centre between it and Nigeria in particular and Africa at large.
It will also serve as an exchange and resource centre for professional studies of Nigerian/African commerce and culture among students, artists, writers, educators and politicians. .
Speaking at the ceremony, Obasanjo identified corruption, insecurity, and infrastructure decay as major problems confronting the Africa.
Obasanjo said that almost every country in Africa had one form of security problem or the other, pointing out that insecurity would not allow development to thrive.
On the security challenges facing Nigeria, Obasanjo said that government must properly identify the remote causes of the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
Obasanjo stressed the need for more attention to be placed on the improvement of infrastructure within the continent.
He said the issue of human development should not be such that the individuals were allowed to leave the continent and be servicing other land.
The former president, however, called on Nigerians living abroad to return home where their knowledge would best be utilised.
“We must develop people and retain them, we must encourage most of them that are in Diaspora, to move back home,” Obasanjo said.
The former Nigerian leader said that corruption should not be underestimated, adding that it is a serious issue in virtually every aspect of life.
“If you pretend that there is no corruption, the world already knows there is corruption,” he said.
Earlier, the President of the 154 year old university, Dr Mark Heckler, said the exemplary leadership of Obasanjo in Africa and in Nigeria was a driving force for the choice of honouring him.
Heckler said that the university was established in 1859, stressing that the establishment of the Africa Institute was a dream fulfilled.
Prof Ade Adefuye, the Nigeria Ambassador to the U.S, also commended the University “for giving honour to whom honour is due”.
Adefuye described Obasanjo as someone who had contributed greatly to the development of Nigeria.
Present at the event were Dr. Ewa Ewa, Chief Financing Officer, Ilinois Human Rights Commission, Chief Bayo Ojo, former Attorney General of the Federation and Mr Frank Nweke, Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group. Others were Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary, National University Commission and Nigeria Consul-General in New York, Habib Habu.