•Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has reacted to the insecurity in the country with particular reference to herders and farmers conflicts, clarifying that no state or community in the country is under any compulsion to release land for ranching.
Osinbajo made the clarification on Saturday during the 2021 International Zoom Conference with the theme: Patriotism, Security, Governance and National Development in Nigeria organised by Global Patriot Newspapers in collaboration with Nigerian Consulate, New York, NiDCOM and NIDO New Jersey Chapter held virtually and monitored by Sundiata Post.
The Vice President, who noted that the topic presents an opportunity to reinvent our economy, said that our security situation in not insurmountable and that government is prepared to co-operate with state governments, community leaders and vigilantes as well as other relevant stakeholders to stamp out insecurity in the country.
He expressed confidence that with the appointment of the new Service Chiefs and the new approach introduced to the fight against insecurity being put it place, life will soon return back to normalcy. Osinbajo also informed that the police is doing it’s best but said that we must admit that there is need for decentralization of the police and that very soon, with the help of the National Assembly, we will see steps to actualising that.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Consul- General, Nigerian Consulate, New York, U.S.A, Ambassador Ben Okoyen said that patriotism is key to building a nation with bond of unity.
According to him, the theme of the conference is an attempt to seek answers to Nigeria’s developmental challenges and what will be done to reverse the bad perception of the country. He also emphasised that Nigeria’s greatness has been challenged and there is need to seek the rebirth and what we need to do to get out of the wool.
To achieve this, he said, “Patriotism is key to redefine Nigerian ideology and Nigerians are obligated to be patriotic to the homeland and that the media has a role to play towards reshaping this negative perception of the country, especially in the area if security.”
Also in his presentation, the Nigerian in Diaspora boss, Abike Dabiri-Erewa while dwelling on patriotism, called for concerted effort to build our country as no one will do it for us.
She also called on government to build infrastructure, build institutions, reward merit and ensure that erring citizens are punished to prevent impunity.
In her words, patriotism is being a Nigerian even when things are going wrong not calling the country a zoo because government will come and go but Nigeria remains our country. It is also sad to see more qualified people ignored when it comes to employment or appointment whereas unqualified people are chosen- that is not patriotism. Patriotism is putting in your best in all areas you find yourself as a citizen, government must play it’s role and we the citizens should do our best. Patriotism is that whoever that falls foul of the law must be sanctioned. Some of the negativities we carry on social media is not patriotism and I expected that journalists should have been part of the panelists in this program to give us clue as to how this fake news would be curtailed.
On his part, the immediate past Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, who sounded furious on the failure of leadership in the country and the dangers of nepotism to the corporate existence of Nigeria today, said patriotism includes rising up to challenge what is wrong and speaking up against the ills in the society even as the expense of our life.
He said patriotism must be a way of life and it also means that we should preserve our culture. He recalled how the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello dropped their English names due to patriotism and believe in culture and called for the reintroduction of history in our curriculum.
Others who made contributions at the virtual meeting are: former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Femi Falana (SAN), President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, among others