Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked former Nigeria’s President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his fellow travelers to stop the religious rhetoric and focus on things that would unite the people of the country.
“So I want to urge all our leaders here that we must not allow the rhetoric of religion to supersede the rhetoric of unity. We must also speak up; we must seek ways that will unite our country.
“We cannot keep quiet because there are so many negative statements being made every day and sometimes we ignore those statements and say these are people who have no understanding. But if we allow these negative statements to continue then they will define our country and will define the situation of our country.”
Professor Osinbajo, who spoke today, Tuesday, when he led Abuja residents on Sallah homage to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was obviously reacting to Obasanjo’s latest attack on Buhari’s government, which he accused of Islamising the country.
Professor Osinbajo made it clear that God has been extremely good to Nigeria and President Buhari as well as the government, recalling that about two years ago, he had to host the Sallah homage because the President was away on medical leave at the time.
He said that God has been so good, not only did He bring the President back healthier than when he left, but has also been gracious enough for him to have a second opportunity to lead Nigeria.
“I thank the almighty God for you and for all of us who have been a part of your government and who have been a part of what God has done in our midst.”
Osinbajo swore that Nigeria today, is at a threshold of greatness, saying that any situation where something great and important is about to happen, “usually you will have very many and negative opposing voices that want to keep that thing from happening.
“I believe that our country is at a threshold of the breakthrough that we have been praying for and hoping for all these many years. And this is why many challenges are going on. Challenges around security, religion, people who are stoking up ambers of lagoon, religious grievance and ethnic divisions and all that.”
He noted that the gathering of people of different political and religious colours to greet the President is a proof that the country is a country of one people, adding that they might be different in their faith, ethnicity “but we are one people? We are one and unity people.”
Vice President Osinbajo commended all the leaders present at the event “for making this tradition, that we will come together – Christians, Muslims, and people of different faith to demonstrate that this country is a united country. And that those who will want to stoke up ambers or division we will not allow them to do so.”
Osinbajo also commended President Buhari for the great leadership he had shown in the past four years and in this second term and prayed that may God almighty will help him and strengthen him, give him the grace and understanding and empower him even more to be able to do the things he desires in his heart to do to make Nigeria really great.
Those who accompanied Professor Osinbajo on the homage are the former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Others are the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and the Director General of Department for State Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi; Civil Defence FCT Commandant; Permanent Secretary in the State House, Jalal Arabi; Senator Philip Aduda; former minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.