The Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad (rtd), has conferred on Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo the traditional title of Madugu Jihan Nasarawa (Leader and Captain), saying that that the people of Nasarawa have resolved to following him to anywhere he goes as a worthy leader and true democrat.
Speaking when he received, in his palace, the vice president, who was in the state for a working visit, the monarch said that the traditional title conferred on the Vice President followed due consultation with the state traditional council, describing Osinbajo as worthy recipient of the title.
He said: “After due consultations with all brothers that are seated, we have decided to confer on you a traditional title, please accept it. And the title that is carefully selected, in Hausa, it is called Madugu Jihan Nasarawa. Madugu means a leader and a captain. Today, you are the captain of Nasarawa State; as you pilot the affairs of Nigeria, you also pilot the affairs of Nasarawa State as the captain of the state.
“As from today, we will continue to follow you wherever you go as our leader and the captain of the state. Thank you for accepting this honour and I will take this singular privilege to decorate you a little with some part of this traditional title conferred on you.”
Responding to the honour, Osinbajo commended the Nasarawa State Traditional Council for the honouring him, noting that though “our country is in a period of great challenges because of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and also on the aspect of security, this is a time of great opportunity; everywhere we look, the potential is there and we surely can reap this potential.”
The vice president said that his visit to Nasarawa State was in support of the State’s realization of its aspirations of becoming a better place, adding President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is doing a lot to better the lots of most Nigerians.
The VP said: “We are here to do a number of things just as the governor has said. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have realised the importance of healthcare and there is no gainsaying the fact that we need more sophisticated institutions, better equipped medical facilities; we just need more and more.”
Meanwhile, the Vice President who also commissioned a number of projects including the Infectious Diseases Diagnostic and Research Centre in the state during his working visit, expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome all its challenges.
According to him the conceptualisation and completion of the world class centre for infectious diseases diagnosis and research, wholly by indigenous experts is a landmark achievement and yet another proof that Nigeria can be ranked among great and prosperous nations.
Osinbajo made the observation Monday in Lafia at the inauguration of the Nasarawa State Infectious Diseases Diagnostic and Research Centre, which was part of activities scheduled for his one-day visit to the state.
According to him, “the Nasarawa Infectious Diseases, Diagnostic and Research Centre is a landmark achievement. There is no question at all that, anywhere in the world, this type of achievement deserves to be celebrated. This is not just some Mickey mouse, tiny club achievement. This is a phenomenal achievement in technology terms, and it was done and fulfilled by Nigerians, and done here in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the significance of the new diagnostic and research centre, the Vice President added, “perhaps, the most important lesson is that this country has everything that it takes to be the best anywhere in the world. We have everything it takes. We have the talents. We have men and women of vision, and we have all of the resources that it takes to be just as good as any country, anywhere in the world.”
Continuing, he noted: “As we have heard, the centre here comprises a bio-safety level-three laboratory, a molecular biology laboratory and infectious diseases isolation unit, and an epidemiology unit as well. And we are told that these are top of the class, first-rate facilities that you could find anywhere in the world.”
Urging Nigerians not to despair, but to remain faithful as the President remain committed to addressing present challenges, Osinbajo assured that Nigeria will overcome the problems, noting that “just as the scripture says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, I am very assured and continually assured by the people of this country, by the kind of leadership that we have in our President, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is focused. I want to say that I am reassured that the dawn for this country is coming.
“Our greatness is only hidden slightly now by the clouds, but these clouds will clear. And what we will see for ourselves, is a great nation, the nation that God has purposed us to be. And one of the things that tells us that so eloquently is what we are here to commission today.”