Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on the country’s elites to speak up against forces of division in order to preserve the unity of the country as the West African cannot afford another war.
Osinbajo, a professor of Law stated this in Abuja while speaking with All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from the South-east, particularly chieftains and members from Anambra State.
According to a statement by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, he said, “we cannot afford a war in this country…it is the political elite that will determine what will take place. If we keep quiet, if we say nothing and hope that things will just normalize, we may be wrong. And we may find ourselves heading for something much worse than we are seeing today.”
The VP said: “if the political elite does not speak up if we don’t see anything wrong in what is going on, if we allow it to continue to slide, we will endanger ourselves and endanger the future of our country.”
Osinbajo noted that “every conflict is a result of elite failure, the elite failure to speak up and tell the truth to their communities, that’s the cause of every one of these civil conflicts.
“So, I would urge that we speak up. I would urge that we stand for something. Sometimes it’s dangerous to stand for something. But the greater danger of course, is to keep quiet.”
Continuing, Mr Osinbajo cautioned that “the thing about the kinds of conflicts in these parts of the world is that it is usually a war without end. Everyone who thinks that they have some money stored up somewhere is wrong, you will eventually run out.
Recalling a personal experience he observed in Somalia in the 90s when he went there to work with the United Nations, the vice president said he saw a Supreme Court Justice whom he had known before queuing up for food in the aftermath of civil conflicts in the country.
“Everyone who thinks they can go and hide somewhere, you won’t even find a place. In the end, everyone will suffer. Parents, children, young people, old people, will suffer.”
Speaking about the forthcoming primaries for the governorship election in Anambra State, the vice president said a fair process or fairness of justice will be fundamental in ensuring victory for the party at the polls.
Mr Osinbajo further noted that “to be fair and just is not the responsibility for spirits, it is the responsibility for men and women of our party, especially the leadership.”
By Abel Ejikeme