President Hifikepunye Pohamba has wished Andimba Toivo ya Toivo a long life and good health.
He was speaking a few minutes ago at Independence stadium.
Pohamba also said Ya Toivo a liberation icon is one of the few people to achieve a well celebrated life.
“More often than not, societies fail to praise their outstanding sons and daughters during their lifetime, doing so only posthumously. Dear friends, I would like to say this: Comrade Toivo ya Toivo is an extraordinary man, a dedicated patriot, an internationalist and a progressive thinker,” he said.
Pohamba further added that he has known ya Toivo for many years and that when the Prime Minister spoke of his first time meeting him (ya Toivo) in 1962 he was working with his brother at the compounds.
“At that time when Comrade Toivo ya Toivo came to visit us at the compound, the police came to arrest him and they took him to a cell at the Tsumeb police station,” said Pohamba.
He added that ya Toivo is an extraordinary man and the country recognises and praises him for the liberation struggle of Namibia. According to Pohamba this was as a result of his foresight and understanding for socio economic.
“He became one of the pioneer freedom fighters who spearheaded Namibia’s modern resistance against colonial oppression and the exploitation of our workers. We admire his thirst for knowledge that compelled him to search for education and learning in the country,” he said.
Pohamba also reminisced of the time when ya Toivo together with compatriots petitioned the United Nations to terminate South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia and they spearheaded the formation of the OPC and OPO, the party before Swapo being formed.
“As a result of his activism he was arrested, tortured, detained, put on trial and imprisoned. He was convicted for his strong belief in freedom and justice for all and was sentenced to a long prison sentence, together with his fellow Namibian compatriots and comrades-in-arms of the African National Congress,” he said.