From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that notwithstanding the challenges currently plaguing the country, no region can survive on its own.
This is even as he called on Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to promote the message of one country, noting that “anybody who looks at how Nigeria operates will recognize that we are better off in this system, and that is the truth.”
The Vice President stated this at the weekend during an interactive session with top officials of Nigeria’s High Commission in the United Kingdom, held at the Abuja House residence of the High Commissioner in London.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said, “If you look at all of us sitting here, we represent all the geo-political zones. This is the Nigeria that will succeed, anything else doesn’t make sense.”
He added, “Yorubas are not better off on their own, Igbos are not better off on their own, the North is not better off on its own. We are better off as one nation, that is why we are strong and that is why we can face the world.”
Still emphasizing the point about unity, Osinbajo noted that “everywhere in the world today, people are coming together to form stronger units, they are not breaking up, this is not the time to break up.
“If you read of the economics of smaller nations, they are looking for ways of how they can become stronger by aligning with other nations. How does a country with all the potentials and everything that we have, think that the best way is to break up?”
“We are at a point in time in our history where we have security challenges, we have economic challenges, and if you talk about security, there are so many dimensions to it.
“If you look carefully, all of these could happen to any government and I think we are in the very best position to solve the problems that face us today.
“Security challenges that we have didn’t show up in one day but it is the government, the people, the men and women that will handle them.
“We happen to be that government, and I am very convinced that we are entirely capable of handling it. I think we are in the best possible position to solve these problems,” Osinbajo added.
The Vice President while speaking about the popularity and credibility of President Muhammadu Buhari, identified it as a crucial factor in galvanizing the entire system in resolving the challenges.
Osinbajo said: “The President is possibly the most popular Nigerian politician that we ever had in generations. He is possibly the only person who can go into a place or somewhere without bossing people to gather and they will come and listen to him speak.
“We need that level of credibility to be able to solve problems in our country. And I think because of his level of credibility, despite everything, he is still the only one that can call everyone, and even people who do not necessarily agree with him know that he is a man of his words.”
The VP urged staff of the High Commission to remain good ambassadors of the country and endeavor to promote justice and fairness in their activities even as they make more efforts to promote government programmes and policies.
His words: “we must promote one country. But, of course, everybody talks about justice, fairness and balance, and that is what we must try to do on a continuous basis.
“Let us not be discouraged, let us be very confident because our country will come out of all these problems and emerge stronger.
“So, I urge every person who represents our country to ensure that we must represent the country well and be able to speak up at the right forum about the country and what we are doing.”
Commending the High Commissioner and top officials of the mission, the VP said “let me say first, how very pleased I am about the great report of developments here at the High Commission.
“And I agree entirely with the High Commissioner that clearly there is a demonstration here of high professionalism, and a desire to completely correct the image that might have been created about Nigeria. I want to really commend you and to say the news we hear about the High Commission is very commendable.”
Aside from the High Commissioner, Ambassador Sarafa Isola, other staff present at the meeting include the Deputy High Commissioner, Ambassador Sanni Suleiman, and the Defence Adviser, Brigadier-General Buhari Baffa, among others.