Prof. Yemi Osinbajo – Avoid identity War in Nigeria: The Nigerian identity War explains the dispute in our aspiration and political acceptance in Nigeria. In an emotional and impactful speech, Vice President, Prof Yemi osinbajo brings a compelling argument to the future generation on the need to avoid identity war in Nigeria.
Article is courtesyYemi Osinbajo In the contest for power, leadership elites must not toy with prejudices that alienate or divide any section of the country, rather they should conduct themselves with a high sense of responsibility in order to build a new Nigeria where there is justice, equity and shared prosperity.
Besides, deliberate efforts have to be taken to deal with ethnic profiling and prejudices before they influence political contests. These were some of the highlights of the speech delivered by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the maiden Policy Making and Good Governance Lecture Series of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.
According to the VP, “the leadership elites have a duty to conduct themselves with a high sense of responsibility even as they prosecute their contest for power.”
Explaining further, he noted that, “historically conscious and patriotic elites all recognize that, beyond what the letter of the law asserts, there are lines that cannot be crossed in the pursuit of political power. “One of such lines is the willful exploitation of sectional sentiments and the invocation of ethnic antipathies to mobilize a political constituency. It is dangerous because it is an attempt that seeks to mobilize by fostering division and hatred.
Prof. Osinbajo outrightly condemned reported attempts in some parts of the country that denied some Nigerians their right to vote in the last elections. “These elections witnessed the exploitation by political actors of the fears and anxieties of people about so-called outsiders. Any attempts to deny people the right to vote in any locality on the basis that they do not belong in that place is condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” he stated.
The Vice President also noted that “when ethnic or religious prejudices are weaponised for political purposes, we are confronted with a lethal potentially destructive situation.” In a speech that also addressed the way forward in building a new Nigeria, the Vice President noted that “the most prosperous places are countries that have learned to harness diversity while building ever more inclusive institutions.”
He observed that “discrimination against people on the basis of their identity is explicitly condemned by most legal codes, including our own Constitution. But there is still a tension that exists between this new Nigeria and the old Nigeria as understood by a generation that is much more accustomed to political mobilization on the basis of identity. But we must ennoble and validate the Nigeria that our young people are consciously or unconsciously building. This is the future we want.”
The official YouTube channel for Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON. Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo is a Nigerian Lawyer and Politician who is the current Vice President of Nigeria, in office since 29 May 2015.
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