Ethnic, interfaith collaboration in Kuje, national model—Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the collaboration among people of different ethnic groups and faith in Kuje, a suburb of the FCT, is a national model.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president received a delegation from the Kuje Interfaith Community at the Presidential Villa.
The delegation was led by the Senior Pastor of the Kings Palace Church International, Rev. Sam Ogbodo.
Osinbajo received a presentation on the challenges facing people of the area, including issues of health, education, sanitation and infrastructure.
“One of the major issues that our country has to face is unity of our people – unity of the ethnic groups and unity of the faiths also, so that we are able to make real progress in the various respects that out country needs to make progress.
“One of the fault lines that we have is religious divisions and the tensions that are created when religious leaders do not act responsibly enough in bringing together men and women of different faith.
“I am really excited about what you are doing; the interfaith community in Kuje is not just a model for this zone, but a model for the country.”
The vice president commended Ogbodo for uniting the people in the area saying he had identified the social and economic issues that concerned the people in Kuje.
According to the vice president, the people are Christians, Muslims and some who do not even believe in God or who even say there is no God, but they are Nigerian citizens.
“They have every right to every one of the provisions, services and opportunities that the Nigerian nation offers anyone else.
“And I think it is so heartwarming to note how you have seen that as a primary objective, and how you are doing everything that you can to make sure that we focus on what is important for the people.
“Everyone has a right to their faith; constitutionally, there is freedom of worship, but it is leadership that must deliver on the most important thing; government must deliver on services, development issues.
“Development and civic leaders like yourself must bring this to the attention of government, as you are doing, and must champion these causes on behalf of the people; and I think that this is a real model for the rest of the country to follow.”
Osinbajo said that some of the issues raised by the delegation were already being addressed and emphasised the need for constant engagement between the people and relevant authorities.
“What might be important is continuous engagement; your being able to reach out to the authorities to know exactly what is going on so that people can be informed properly and timeously about the issues,” he said.
Earlier in his presentation, Ogbodo commended the efforts of the vice president in championing the cause of poor Nigerians, especially in the implementation of government and non-government programmes and policies.
He thanked Osinbajo for the visit to the area in 2021 and appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action in dualisation of the Kuje-Airport road and the completion of other ongoing projects and the provision of potable water in the area.
Other dignitaries at the meeting included the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Shehu Hadi Ahmad, representative of the Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Mohammed Bala and representatives of different ethnic groups and faith in the area.