By Deji Elumoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Nigeria’s political and ethno-religious leaders to educate the public about the need to live together to ensure unity in the communities.
Osinbajo who made the call Friday while delivering the convocation lecture of the Sokoto State University, said work must be done in the continuous pursuit of Nigeria’s unity to ensure justice, equity and fairness for all segments of society.
According to him, citizens must not overlook any fears or allegations of marginalization or discrimination on account of religion or ethnicity.
He appealed to citizens to consider the importance of national unity, stressing that the country is more than a sum of its many parts and its diversity is a value-add for the nation.
The VP said the country’s diversity if properly harnessed could ensure lasting prosperity for all.
His words: ”Unity is not just a slogan or even merely a good idea. It has manifest expression in our communities where Nigerians from diverse backgrounds are commingling, trading, partnering, inter-marrying and blending in various ways.
”We live in a complex web of multi-layered social, cultural, economic and political synergies playing out in every sector of our individual and national lives. This is why we must understand that even though managing diversity can be politically and administratively onerous, diversity itself is an economic strength and harnessing it properly is hugely rewarding.”
On the way forward, Osinbajo noted that it was essential to establish a culture of tolerance, open-mindedness and acceptance of people of all cultures and creeds.
”There is a Nigerianness that binds us all, there is a shared commitment – no matter how suppressed – to build a better Nigeria for ourselves and future generations. It is who we are, it is in our very beings, that love of country, that aspiration to do better,” the VP said.