Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has narrated how he perceived Nigeria to be one of the leading nations in the world in the next ten years despite the enormous challenges and noises being made about its division.
He said: “I must tell you that despite everything I see, and I see a lot, despite some of the discouragement that we get, I am so certain that this country is set to be, in another ten years, certainly the pre-eminent country, pre-eminent black nation in the world and we are surely on the way to become one of the pre-eminent nations of the world.”
Professor Osinbajo, who spoke today, Saturday at the public presentation of HIYA Nigeria at NTA Headquarters in Abuja, said
He said: “every day I ask myself a question, and that question I ask myself regularly is where will Nigeria be in another ten years? And may be because of the job I have, I have to keep asking myself that question, where and what is the future going to hold?”
The Vice President said that with the launching of the programme HIYA, designed to inculcate civic values and patriotism in the society, especially by the use of indigenous languages as tools of communication.
Osinbajo said that apart from the fact that Nigeria is a great nation, it is also the largest economy in Africa, adding: “whether here or in the Diaspora, Nigerians are some of the smartest people in the world.
“But our greatest assets are our young people; bright, creative and irrepressible. In technology, music and entertainment, we have proved that we are the future.
“Fortunately, that future is already here. We watched the young people from the Pacesetters International College, creatively render the National Anthem and Pledge, and what do you make of that excellent dramatic piece on the rebirth of Nigeria by the Eda Theatre? How many people have seen the dance drama, Saro? It sold out only a few days ago in London.
“This same nation is a country of the Soyinkas, the Achebes, the Chimamandas, the Abubakar Imans and so many others.
“But this land of hardworking, resourceful and decent people is also a nation where some corrupt politicians have looted the commonwealth, where some parents encourage their wards to cheat in their examinations, where we have some 419 artists, some peddlers of hate, ritual killers, cultists and all manner of other rascals. But so it is in other countries.”
The Vice President noted that the difference is that Nigerians sometimes allow themselves to be defined by their worst and not their best.
“We must define ourselves and our nation by the best that we have and not by the worst. In any event, the worst that we have are so few in number, their noise may be loud, sometimes much louder than some of the great minds and people that we see all over the place every day.”
He insisted that Nigeria is gifted with some of the best in the world and that is the majority of Nigerians, adding that there is no reason at all why Nigerians should worry about the future of the country, “because our country has everything it takes to be truly great and to be greater than any other nation anywhere in the world.
“I think we are on the right path, and today when you listen to what we have heard already and listen to the plans that many here have for the future – a group of people, the NTA, the NOA, and the private organisation, Zeitgeist Aesthetics LTD/GTE that put this together, they decided it was worth talking about. Patriotism, civic and national values are worth talking about.
“It shows you that our country is one where there is so much hope, energy and creativity and every one of us is waiting for it to come together. It is a duty that we all have.
“Sometimes we think that the leadership of the country, especially the political leadership have all the responsibility, far from it. Each and every one of us has the responsibility.
“I think it was John F. Kennedy, the great American president who said that we should ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. I think it bears paraphrasing that we Nigerians, young and old, should also ask, what can we do to make this country truly great? What is our contribution? In what way can I by word, deed, action, really bring about a country that is great? A country that you and I can be proud of? A country that people all over the world will come to and be truly proud.
“I believe this country has excellent hope, and I am firmly convinced that the future of our county is extremely bright. Our nation will definitely reap all of the work and sacrifices, not just that our heroes past have made, but of all what you here today are making day by day.” [myad]