The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on the elites to rise up and speak the truth against forces of division in the country. He said this has become necessary to preserve the unity of the nation as Nigeria cannot afford a war.
“We cannot afford a war in this country … it is the political elite that will determine what will take place,” the Vice President was quoted as saying in a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
He warned, “If we keep quiet, if we say nothing and hope that things will just normalise, we may be wrong; and we may find ourselves heading for something much worse than we are seeing today.
“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.”
Professor Osinbajo made the remarks on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East, particularly chieftains and members from Anambra State.
He stated that every conflict was a result of the elite’s failure to speak up and tell the truth to their communities.
‘A War Without End’
The Vice President urged the leaders to speak up, saying there was greater danger in keeping quiet than to stand against any wrongdoing.
“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,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo recalled a personal experience he observed in Somalia in the 90s when he went there to work with the United Nations, saying 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,” he warned.
On the forthcoming primaries for the governorship election in Anambra, the Vice President said a fair process or fairness of justice would be fundamental in ensuring victory for the party at the polls.
Party chieftains present at the meeting included former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, among others.