Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President, has emphasized the importance of Nigerians building a country that works for everyone, a peaceful and secure society based on law and order and the rule of law.
The vice president, speaking in Abuja yesterday after receiving the Leadership Newspapers’ Leadership Person of the Year award, wished for a society that allows commerce and values productivity so that large and small businesses can grow and provide jobs and opportunities for millions of young people; a society in which no one is left behind.
Leadership, according to Osinbajo, must also create a country that can provide “a safety net for the very poor and vulnerable through an effective social welfare scheme; a united and tolerant nation where all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or political persuasion, are respected, treated fairly and justly, and have equal access to all opportunities.”
“We must build a Nigeria where a boy or girl does not say, ‘I am from the south-west, or the north-west, or the south-south, or the north-east, or the north-central, or the south-east, but that I am a Nigerian, a citizen of one of the world’s greatest and most prosperous nations,” he says.
“This is the kind of Nigeria that all of us in this political movement, including Sam Nda-Isaiah, attest to and believe in.”
“And who retain faith in our possibilities as a people and are doing their best every day in their various corners to build this nation through honest endeavour,” Osinbajo said, dedicating the award to millions of Nigerians who believed in the new Nigeria.
“To these people of goodwill who are working hard to promote peace, tolerance, and the construction of a country that truly represents all of our dreams; to those who are working hard to build bridges, those who have refused to be frustrated or even worn out by our country’s trials as it grows and continues into the fullness of its manifest destiny.”
“I am confident that, despite the great challenges we face on our path to progress, we will build the great Nigerian nation that we all desire.”
Thanking the Leadership Group’s Management, led by its Chairman, Mrs. Zainab Nda-Isaiah, for the honor, Osinbajo also praised the Group for “forging ahead” after the death of its Founding Chairman and Publisher, late Sam Nda-Isaiah, in December 2020.
He described the late Sam Nda-Isaiah as a dogged achiever who stood for public integrity and embodied Nigerian journalism’s finest traditions.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a globally recognized finance and development expert and true Nigerian patriot, was also honored by the vice president.
“Every glass ceiling she has broken, and there are many,” he said of her. “She has inspired girls and women all over the world to reach for the highest heights in all fields of human endeavor.”