WHILE the world celebrates Nelson Mandela Day today, some of the country's politicians say leaders should learn from Mandela's legacy of putting national interests first.
NFP leader Biman Prasad said leaders should not put their personal interests if they believed in the philosophy of a united, harmonious, prosperous and stable Fiji.
"Mandela became president because he, together with his predecessor F W De Clerk, put aside mistrust, fear and hatred that had gripped South Africa.
"They prevailed because Mandela genuinely believed in a common future.
"In Fiji, former NFP leader Jai Ram Reddy and SVT leader Major General (Ret) Sitiveni Rabuka's legacy of uniting to give Fiji the 1997 Constitution is a good example of how the oppressed (Mr Reddy) and the oppressor Major General (Ret) Rabuka) put aside their fears and mistrust for national interest."
Prof Prasad said the barrel of a gun, alienation of political rivals, entrenchment of discord, fear and mistrust has not succeeded anywhere in the world and Fiji is no exception. Aspiring politician Roshika Deo said Mandela started the fight for justice and freedom when he was still in school.
"We need to create that culture of active citizenship and civic resistance among our children and youths, to be able to speak out and remove oppression and discrimination."