Nothing Can Separate This Country – Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the indivisibility of Nigeria, saying that religion, ethnicity or class cannot separate the country.

He stated this on Saturday during the wedding of Fatima, the daughter of the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu in Azare, the headquarters of the Katagum Emirate in Bauchi State.

“This is one occasion where you will find that our country is truly a united country and that nothing can separate this country, not ethnicity or religion or class,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

“There is nothing that can separate this country. In fact, this is excellent evidence of the fact that this country is united.”

READ ALSO: Bandit Attacks In Zamfara ‘An Act Of Desperation’ – President Buhari

The Vice President, who commended the Emir of Katagum for ensuring unity among everyone residing in the emirate, noted that “Katagum Emirate is a place where your Royal Highness has continuously demonstrated the willingness to accommodate people from all parts of the country.”

He also commended the Education Minister for believing in a united country and also building bridges across party and religious lines to affirm his belief.

“Every one of us is here because of our personal relationship with you, this is the way leadership should be,” Osinbajo stated.

In his remarks, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed commended the Vice President for his love for the people and most importantly, his leadership qualities.

He stated that Osinbajo made it to the north-eastern state despite his busy schedule, recalling how the Vice President just returned from a foreign trip.

The Bauchi governor described Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, as a leader with distinguished qualities.

Mohammed said, “The people and government of Bauchi State are extremely grateful to you in particular. We know how you defied all the odds to come here from a foreign trip and this morning prepared to come here. This is the amount and the testimony of the respect you have for all of us, not just Mallam Adamu Adamu.

“Thank you very much, sir, you have distinguished yourself as a leader defying all the odds. I remember you came and attended my daughter’s wedding. That was very refined and it was very unique.”

Dignitaries present at the event include Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Governors Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi; Babagana Zulum of Borno; Mr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa; Simon Lalong of Plateau; Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and host, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi.

The founding Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande and National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were also present.

Nigeria’s Unity Should Be Strengthened, Not Negotiated – Babangida

File photo of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida.

 

Former Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida believes Nigeria’s unity should be strengthened rather than negotiated.

Calls for secession, especially from the southern part of the country,  have made headlines in recent years.

Despite the agitations –  largely led by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB ) and most recently the Yoruba Nation agitators – Babangida is calling on Nigerians to support the country’s leaders.

“I don’t think it is right for Nigerians to start talking about the unity of this country. I believe it is a settled issue,” he told Channels Television’s Newsnight.

“We all agreed that we are going to be a united country. So, nobody should be talking about an enclave that he calls his own. What we should be doing is how we strengthen our unity.”

 

READ ALSO: June 12 Annulment: I Did The Right Thing In Nigeria’s Interest – Babangida

On the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, the ex-military president defended his decision, saying it was taken in the best interest of the nation.

“It is a decision we took. I had to take that decision, I did that to the best of my knowledge, in the interest of the country,” he explained.

“I did the right thing. I can sit back and say some of the things I said manifested after I had left. We had the coup and that coup lasted for five years.”

The poll, considered as Nigeria’s fairest election, was keenly contested between the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Moshood Abiola and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).

The SDP flagbearer, better known as MKO Abiola, was believed to be coasting to victory before the election was annulled by Babangida who cited irregularities at the time.

Better Security, Economy More Likely Where There Is Unity, Says Osinbajo

A file photo of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

A united people working together are more likely to be economically successful, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said.

Professor Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa by a delegation from the Arewa Concerned People for National Unity and Religious Tolerance from Kano, led by Auwal Maidabino, and Prince Usman Ado-Bayero.

“There is no great nation anywhere that has not had this sort of challenge, especially where you have a multi-racial, multi-religious setup,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

“The greatest nations in the world are multi-racial, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic. As a matter of fact, some of these things are as important as the economy and security … for the reason that a united people – people who see themselves as one – are more likely to be economically successful, more likely to be able to secure themselves and secure their borders, and more likely to work together for the goodness and greatness of their people.”

The Vice President told the delegation that it was the duty of the leadership – political and social – to ensure that the nation focuses on the issues of unity and tolerance.

According to him, religious tolerance and unison is a matter that goes beyond mere advocacy and the greatness of any nation is on account of leaders who deem it fit to build it on the basis of unity and tolerance.

“I think that it is such an important issue that we cannot afford to discount it,” Professor Osinbajo said. “There is a need for us to pay more time and attention to these issues in whatever way we can.

“Every once in a while, we see some threats to the unity of our country, and we must not allow it to happen at all. We must continue not just in the advocacy, but in action that will bring about unity and religious tolerance.”

In his remarks, Maidabino commended the Vice President for his innovative approach to governance and the several initiatives of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, anchored through his office.

His host, he stated, has impacted many Nigerians across different sectors through various schemes such as TraderMoni, National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, N-Power, and the Ease of Doing Business initiative, among others.

“We wish to commend and congratulate you for your contributions in the area of promotion of good governance, transparency, and efficiency as exemplified with the core principles behind the Ease of Doing Business initiative of this government, and for the continuation of your uncompromising dedication to peace, unity, and economic progress, among others,” said Maidabino.

He also informed the Vice President of plans by the group to convene a national forum on unity as part of its contributions to supporting peaceful coexistence and harmony among Nigerians.

Nigeria At 60: Bayelsa Governor Calls For Unity, Peace

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri,

 

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has emphasised the importance of unity as Nigeria and Bayelsa marked their 60th and 24th anniversaries respectively on Thursday.

Governor Diri in a statewide broadcast aired on Yenagoa-based radio stations on Thursday called on Nigerians and Bayelsans “to emphasise the things that unite us as we have much in common than those things that divide us.”

A press release by his spokesman, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as specifically calling on Bayelsans to focus more on promoting unity, peace and sustainable development rather than dissipate energy on issues that cause disunity.

He also urged the people to join hands with his administration in building Bayelsa in line with the vision of its founding fathers.

He stressed the need to honour the memory of those that fought for the country’s political freedom in order to liberate the people from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, injustice and underdevelopment.

Describing the October 1 annual celebration as solemn and significant, Senator Diri congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for achieving the remarkable milestone.

The governor also saluted the courage, sacrifice and tenacity of all frontline medical personnel in the fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting some of his development efforts, he noted that the state’s progress might have been slow but it is no longer where it was at creation 24 years ago.

“Whereas the noble dreams and lofty heights hoped for may not have been fully attained, we are nevertheless not where we started from. Progress may have been slow, but slow progress is still progress,” he stated.

Senator Diri identified agriculture as his administration’s major sector targeted at engendering sustainable development and growth.

“We have already identified some strategic areas to substantially invest in, which include rice, fish, cassava and plantain production.

“Furthermore, we are seriously supporting SMEs to diversify the economy of the state by empowering over 1000 Bayelsans through the ongoing Diri Boost scheme.”

Speaking on the ongoing Etegwe-Edepie roundabout expansion, the senatorial districts roads, Bayelsa Palm-Igbogene Ring Road and the Gateway Road projects, he expressed the commitment of his government towards ensuring their completion.

“Work is far advanced with fencing of the Bayelsa International Cargo Airport to ensure full operations.”

“We are pleased to have also undertaken various measures to give the city a facelift in our urban renewal policy. Of note is the sanitisation and fencing of major markets at Swali, Kpansia and Etegwe.”

The governor averred that his administration had demonstrated commitment in the prompt payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity despite the dwindling funds from the federal allocations.

He also noted that teachers had been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols to enable students and pupils to return safely to school just as he had also signed into law various bills to improve the governance processes.

In the education sector, Diri said the government would build three new technical schools and upgrade existing structures in schools while general hospitals are being renovated in the eight local government areas.

On security, he said the situation had improved significantly through the proactive stance of his government, which had also taken steps to engender an improvement in power supply within the Yenagoa metropolis.

Makinde Calls For Religious Harmony, Tolerance As Muslims Mark Eid-El-Maulud

 

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has emphasised the need for religious tolerance and harmony in the country.

The Governor, in a message to Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud celebration said that the current times call for greater emphasis on religious harmony, tolerance, and peaceful co-existence.

He said: “We are at a time where religious harmony is a necessary ingredient of our daily life. This is because a number of revisionists are trying to hide under the passion that is usually inflamed by religion to cause disharmony and disrupt the peace.

Read Also: Eid-El-Maulud: Follow Examples Of Prophet Muhammad, Buhari Charges Muslims

“We must resist such revisionists and tell them in clear terms that ours is a society that values peaceful coexistence, brotherhood, and unity. Like the Motto of our Dear Country, Unity, and Faith, we must continue to remain united even when we practice a different faith.

“On behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, let me congratulate all our Muslim brothers and sisters on the turn of another Eid-el-Maulud and reiterate that we all remain faithful to the teachings of the Holy Quran, which emphasis tolerance, respect for one another, humane conduct and love for fellow human beings.

“We can only build a great nation when we are truly our brothers’ keepers and adhere to the teachings of the prophet who emphasise love as a golden virtue among humanity.”

Promoting Unity In Diversity Is In Our Best Interest – Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace and promote unity in all parts of the country.

Professor Osinbajo believes this is in the best interest of the nation and its people, adding that the country is better and stronger staying united.

“It is a significant lesson that we have learned from history that we are better together than apart. In other words, promoting unity in diversity is in our best interest,” he said on Saturday in Osun State.

The vice president made the remarks in his speech at the 8th Convocation Lecture of the Osun State University in Osogbo, the state capital.

In the speech entitled ‘Six Decades of Chequered Nationhood: Nigeria Still Holds Key to Africa’s Development’, he insisted that Nigeria “is bound to succeed.”

Professor Osinbajo traced the history of Nigeria’s unity to its leaders who championed the nation to gain independence in 1960.

He noted that unlike countries such as Ghana and Kenya among other African nations that had a single dominant political figure to lead them at independence, Nigeria had three remarkable men and several others.

The vice president said, “Nigeria had Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, and Obafemi Awolowo. These three influential leaders came from diverse backgrounds.

“They possess strong will and naturally had diverse and conflicting views but interestingly, all three of them were in agreement. Everywhere in the world where people have succeeded, the rule is first, merit.”

Professor Osinbajo described the country as a leading nation among other African countries and urged the citizens to support efforts at ensuring unity.

He insisted that despite the challenges facing the country, Nigeria has continued to hold the key to development in the continent.

In his address, the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, congratulate the graduands and urged them to give back to the society what the institute has positively impacted on them.

The event was also attended by academics, politicians, traditional rulers, as well as various public office holders among others.

Queen Urges Divided Britons To ‘Seek Common Ground’

 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. Carl Court / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II has emphasised the need for Britons to come together to “seek out the common ground”, in what has been viewed as an appeal to overcome divisions over Brexit.

Speaking to members of the Women’s Institute (WI) near her Sandringham estate in eastern England, the 92-year-old said people should never lose sight of the bigger picture.

“Reflecting on a century of change, it is clear that the qualities of the WI endure,” she said, noting the foundation of the institute in 1915, to encourage contributions to World War One.

“The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago.

“Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities.

“As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground, and never losing sight of the bigger picture.

“To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.”

Her message, delivered in a meeting late on Thursday, comes amid intense argument in parliament about Britain’s exit from the European Union, which is scheduled for March 29.

The royals tend to steer well clear of politics, and as head of state, the queen, in particular, is careful to stay neutral in public.

In her traditional Christmas broadcast to the nation last month, she offered a similar message of unity, warning against “tribalism”.

“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding,” she said.

AFP

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh

 

Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, has identified the threat to national unity as one of the greatest challenges facing the country.

Mr Momoh, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, stated this on Saturday in Ekiti State, while delivering a speech at the sixth convocation ceremony of the Afe Balalola University.

“One of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria today is the threat to national unity, as centrifugal tensions, resource control and self-determination, ethnicity-based identity politics and religious cleavages have enveloped national consciousness,” he said.

READ ALSO: Speech By John Momoh At The Afe Babalola University Convocation Lecture

The BON chairman believes the issue of ethnicity and the exploitation of its residual gain has been existing in the nation since inception.

He faulted some politicians whom he said were placing private interests above common and national interests, contrary to their campaign promises.

According to the media guru, this has led to lip service and a slow pace of development in the country.

Threat To Unity, One Of Nigeria’s Greatest Challenges – Momoh
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh (OON), delivers a speech at the sixth Convocation Lecture of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti on October 20, 2018.

 

“Many politicians see the treasury as a tool for enrichment,” he said, adding, “There’s hardly any distinction, as have been shown in many cases in the past, between their private purse and that of the public.”

“Once an access to public funds is created, its misuse and its abuse begin in earnest. While there may be some accountability at the federal level, there’s little or none at the state and local government levels.”

Momoh explained that the results of the activities of such individuals have been failed promises, poverty, lack of economic development, deprivation, and insecurity.

“The people are alienated from government at all levels. It’s like we are back to colonialism, where the politicians are the ‘colonial masters’ and the people the subjects,” he stressed.

The Channels TV boss, however, said he was aware of the conscious efforts being made at different levels to resolve the challenges facing the country.

He, therefore, advised the youths to believe in themselves and be willing to adapt to any situation, as they remain the hope of the country.

“I encourage you to have faith in your country and defend it,” said Momoh. “The future of Nigeria, lives in, and rests on you.”

He added, “Every of your effort in deconstructing Nigeria’s conundrum for national integration, cohesion and transformation would position you for national greatness.”

Former Military Leader, Babangida Preaches Unity In New Year Message

Nigeria Needs A Viable Opposition, Says Babangida
File photo

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida has called on Nigerians to be united, in a New Year message to citizens.

Babangida stated this in a statement he personally signed on Monday.

“As Nigerians, our unique strengths and characters to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt, what we need now more than ever is to galvanize these unique qualities for the good of all as permissible under a democratic setup,” he said.

While congratulating Nigerians for making it to the New Year, the former President appealed to Nigerians to use the year in renewing their commitment to the collective growth, prosperity, and development of the country.

This, he said could be achieved by contributing more to nation-building and shun any form of negative tendencies.

Although he admitted the security and economic challenges faced by Nigerians, he, however, stated that diversity of the country remains its strength.

He added, “I have the hope that the nation we so sacrifice to keep going and to this age can only be better notwithstanding various security and economic challenges that have become a world order; confronting every country of the world in different magnitude and in a different way.”

Babangida further appealed to both citizens and leaders at all levels to build on the legacies of the past leaders.

Unity Must Exist Before We Talk About Restructuring – Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has asked advocates of restructuring in Nigeria to prioritize the unity of the nation.

This, according to him, is because there must be unity before talks about the structure of the country can be held.

The Senate President said this on Saturday at the Southern Senators Forum’s retreat in Calabar, the Cross River capital.

“Indeed, unity must exist before we can even talk about restructuring or reform,” Saraki said, adding, “One of my messages to you today as I declare this retreat (open) is, how do we stay together? How do we deliver on the task entrusted to us at this critical time?”

There have been calls from across the country for the restructuring of the country with some arguing that doing that would bring an end to agitations in parts of the country.

Saraki, however, called for focus on unity.

“The only way for us to see ourselves is, first and foremost, as Nigerians; not as language, not as tribe, religion or region or any other consideration out there that serves to deflect our attention from national unity. We must see ourselves as Nigerians first,” he said.

The Chairman of the Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma, told those at the retreat that its aim is to find solutions to issues threatening the nation’s unity.

“We in the Southern Senators Forum are using this unique platform to arrive at the surest and the most peaceful means of achieving national unity on all issues capable of destabilising our polity,” he said.

“A clamour for the restructuring of our federal structure is on the front burner at the moment. However, the Southern Senators Forum has an equal stake in every national, political, and economic challenge. As legislators, we cannot afford to be indifferent to any national issue.”

The host, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, who is a former Senator, said the retreat is timely as it addresses many concerns.

He commended the forum for discussing major issues in the country, especially restructuring, stressing that it is the duty of elected officers in the country to create a direction and provide the focus it needs to thrive.

Buhari Has Done Nothing To Push For Unity – Nwabueze

Professor Nwabueze

An Elder Statesman, Professor Ben Nwabueze has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for what he describes as his failure to mobilise Nigerians in the pursuit of unity, after over two years of assuming duties as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

He made this known on Thursday, during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, while speaking on the ongoing restructuring debate.

The Professor of Law, who also served as a former Minister for Education in the third republic of Shonekan’s Presidency, claimed Mr. Buhari had rather remained resolute in his word that Nigeria’s unity was non-negotiable.

“The President as the elected leader of the country has the primary responsibility to mobilise the whole country for unity.

“Two and half years now since he was installed as President, what has been done or what is being done?

“Nothing has been done, except to talk about unity not being negotiable. So that is the object, and that is why I consider that restructuring is an absolute and compelling necessity,” he added.

True federalism, according to the renowned legal luminary, is the only way out. “True federalism is a union of government and you cannot have a government without a constitution.

“That is a contradiction in terms. Each of the constituent units must have its own constitution. That was the way it was in 1960 and 1963.

“So we must go back to that. We cannot also have government without a coercive force and authority – government must have the power to enforce their laws. When we talk about power, we mean independent power,” he added.

While backing the call for a creation of state police, the elder statesman faulted the inability of states across the country to exercise authority through a single Police Force.

He explained further that: “A situation where the state governments depend on the one common police force is another contradiction.

“What we mean by true federalism is that the federating units must have sufficient autonomy to manage their own affairs, to govern themselves in matters that concern them. That is what the agitation is all about”.

Nigeria At 57: IGP Advocates Unity Among Nigerians

Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (file photo)

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has joined well-meaning Nigerians in advocating for a peaceful co-existence and unity among citizens.

In his independence message, the police boss charged Nigerians to demonstrate love by being their brother’s keeper, while giving the assurance that his men wouldn’t relent in ensuring lives and properties are being protected.

“The Personnel deployed are under strict instructions to be civil, polite but firm in the discharge of their responsibilities. They are to pay special attention to places of celebrations, public places and other locations where people will gather to celebrate the Independence Anniversary.

“Sustained surveillance and proactive crime prevention strategies will be adopted, while the ongoing raids of criminal hideouts, black spots, identified troubled spots and other vulnerable points to remove criminal elements will be continued throughout the period.

“While congratulating our Dear Nation, Nigeria and the good people of this great country on the occasion of the 57th Independence Anniversary, the Inspector General of Police implores Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper and demonstrate love, as well as promote harmonious co-existence with our fellow Nigerians,” he said.

The IGP further directed all Assistant IGP across the various zones to identify flash points and work with the respective Commissioners of Police so as to build confidence.

He added, “Consequently, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police in charge of Zonal and State Commands have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to be personally on ground to deploy and supervise Police Personnel on visible police patrols and police presence at strategic locations and other identified flash points within the cities, and along the Highways and Major roads in all States of the Country and FCT to build confidence of safety in the people residing everywhere in the country,” according to a statement signed by the force’s spokesperson, ASP Jimoh Moshood.