General news

Osinbajo rallies Nigeria’s elites on national cohesion



Osinbajo rallies Nigeria’s elites on national cohesion

By Chijioke Okoronkwo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the elite to make responsible input in fostering national unity, stability and creating opportunities for majority of  Nigerians.

Osinbajo made this call in a keynote address  at the 2020 Leadership Conference and Awards in Abuja.

He commended the Board and Management of the Leadership Newspapers and their collaborators for putting together a forum for such dialogue.

Osinbajo said that the meeting was coming against the backdrop of economic adversity, inflamed fault lines and social resentments.

The insurgency in the Northeast, kidnappings and terrorist acts in the Northwest and threats of secession in the Southeast and Southwest.

He said that in  the light of all the challenges, the theme of the conference, “National and Regional Insecurity: The Role of Political and Non-Political Actors in Stabilisation and Consensus Building”, was clearly an inspired one.

“In considering the theme of this event, it is worth noting that often when we explore the concepts of national and regional security, there is a tendency to anchor the discourse around the machinations and intrigues of externally-generated vulnerabilities, external adversaries.

“So, we argue that the problem of state fragility in Africa is on account of the colonial origins of her nation-states, the notion that Nigeria is a hastily and arbitrarily cobbled together patchwork of mutually alienated kingdoms and as a result, has remained plagued by fundamental challenges rooted in its founding is popular, but not the whole truth.

“Indeed, it is my view that the colonial beginnings of African nation-states do not constitute the sort of immutable obstacle to nation-building that it is made out to be.

“In any case, there is a lot of scholarship and research that shows that our ethnic nations share a long history of trade, diplomacy, migration, and conflict – all of which ensured that by the time the colonialists arrived, we were not strangers to each other.”

He said that the external reasons Nigerians cited as reasons for  problems could not thrive without severe internal weaknesses in the society.

According to him, the chief weakness is a human one – the elite, the political, economic, and religious elite.

“An elite that has so far proved to be socially irresponsible; one which either by selfishness, negligence or ignorance or a lack of self-awareness has so far been unable to build the institutions and more importantly, the social and political consensus upon which a just and orderly society can stand.

” And because domice must be premised on some consensus, the elite depend on a dubious one, promotion of tribal and religious fault lines for legitimacy.

“So, where are we today?  On a nationwide and region-wide scale, we are seeing challenges to national order driven by a profound and pervasive sense of exclusion and marginalisation.

“And I do not speak of ethnic or religious marginalisation which is really another elite dog whisper to acquire more for themselves in the contest for booty.

” I speak of a division between the have-nots who have no hope and the haves who seem to have it all.

” So, the attacks we see on law and order are themselves symptomatic and they are driven by emergent critiques of the fabric of order itself.”

He said the critiques were manifesting as insurrections and insurgencies along various axes of identity.

The vice president said that the rejections of formal institutions may be driven by conceptions of religious obligations, ethnic identity and generational antipathies but that could only be superficial.

“What they have in common is that they are patterns of solidarity of those who have no stake in an orderly society because such society offers them nothing, and are fundamentally violent and implacable opposition to a system that appears to favour only a few.

“The recognition that the system is not working optimally for many of our people should inspire a broad-based movement for reform that works to recalibrate the present order and attune it more to the aspirations of our people.

” To be sure, the cost of reforming the system is considerable, but it is certainly far lower than the cost of letting the system to be destroyed in the hope that it can somehow be rebuilt from scratch.

“This is a risk that we cannot afford to take as a nation.”

According to him, first, there is need for consensus building; consensus building is essentially about finding an acceptable ‘middle ground’ among contesting options to the resolution of issues.

He said that when properly agreed upon, it leads to harmony, equilibrium and stability, and generates mechanisms for pacification in political crises and conflicts.

Osinbajo said that the second was mediating elite competition and conflict.

He said that in considering the role of political and non-political actors in stabilisation and consensus building,   threat to peace and safety emanating from society itself must be addressed.

Osinbajo said that the  task before the elite was that of renewing the social contract,  creating more inclusive institutions, growing the economy, and generating opportunities for the population.

“The Media elite must recognise that they have a responsibility to exercise discernment in the deployment of their platforms and must reflect upon whether they are amplifying the most insensate, intemperate and incendiary voices in our midst while marginalising voices of reason.

“The political elite must accept, through policies and actions, that the purpose of power must be to better the lives of those we serve and give our young ones great hope for the future,” he said.

He said that in times of crises, people learn and relearn lessons in solidarity and in the value of pulling together.

Osinbajo said that the old rigid dichotomies between the state, the market and civil society no longer applied.

The vice president said he  remained unyielding in his belief that Nigerians would prevail over current adversity by the strength of their  ogetherness.

Source: NAN

Short Link:


NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @

Recent Posts

Pharmaceutical company reasserts commitment to achieving zero malaria tolerance 77 teachers smile home with laptops in Surulere, Lagos Defection: President Buhari welcomes Femi Fani-Kayode to APC Lack of fice hinders women participation in politics – Emir 85, 265MT of LPG supplied nationwide in August – PPPRA African Development Bank’s SEFA provides $1 million to kick off modernization of Africa’s Hydropower Fleet DPR seals 11 illegal gas plants, 2 petrol stations in Abuja Africa faces 470m COVID-19 vaccine shortfall in 2021 – WHO Wada Maida’s daughter lauds FG for naming HQ after father Somali president withdraws PM’s powers in escalating row China fully vaccinates more than 1 billion people Angola’s National Oil, Gas and Biofuel’s Agency (ANPG) Highly Satisfied with Final Results from 2020 Bid Round Alert raised over quake surge around Canaries volcano Our chairman is hale, hearty – EFCC Putin to attend 2022 Beijing Olympics: minister In Dialogue with Eswatini, Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomes legislative progress and asks about child Health West Africa bloc ECOWAS meets over Guinea coup Meet Africa’s New Generation of Health Innovators Kenyans voice fury over fuel price hike Coronavirus: Africa faces 470 million COVID-19 vaccine shortfall in 2021 The International Organization for Migration is calling on Journalists to enter the inaugural West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award 2021 Majority of fans favour more frequent men’s FIFA World Cups – global survey Short Stories on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by African Young People AMISOM conducts field inspection of ongoing Quick Impact Projects in Baidoa UNESCO steps up efforts for biodiversity conservation with the designation of 20 new biosphere reserves International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation signs ten high-level Trade Agreements representing more than US$1.2bn The Gambia Launches Ambitious Renewable Energy Projects (By Miguel Artacho) Biden backs top general on calls to China over Trump mental state Philippines’ Duterte will not cooperate with ICC drug war probe Pandemics: UK expert advises Nigerian leaders, others on collaborations At least 50 killed in Yemen clashes: military sources Ghana launches National Breastfeeding Week White House offers Nicki Minaj phone call after viral vaccine claims: reports New South Sudan Parliament can ‘infuse urgency’ into peace process Putin says dozens in Kremlin inner circle have Covid ‘Kill them’: Philippines’ Duterte wages war on drugs Indian peacekeepers in Malakal teach youth carpentry, welding, masonry and more Hapag-Lloyd inaugurates its own representation in Morocco Ugo Obasi joins Ingenico to drive new business in Nigeria and West Africa President of Egypt Receives Credentials of Qatari Ambassador United Nations Police (UNPOL) builds community policing capacities to bolster safety and security of residents on Tonj south Liquid Intelligent Technologies connects the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville with high-speed connectivity using wireless optical communication technology Secretary-General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Meets the Ethiopian Ambassador Envoy fears heightened abductions as Nigeria schools resume ECOWAS meets today to decide next step on Guinea DPR targets N3.2 trillion revenue by December 2021 I have no apologies saying Buhari has good heart – Umahi Nigeria to assist DR Congo to establish national fire service Chimamanda tasks German Chancellor Merkel on power deal FG says 25 % of diseases in Nigeria caused by mycotoxins – Minister