Osinbajo: Welfare of Average Nigerian Paramount to APC

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) remains committed to the welfare of the common man.

He attributed this to the party being that of the people and will continually ensure that the common man benefits maximally from government.

Osinbajo, according to a release issued on Saturday by his Media Assistant, Laolu Akande, made this disclosure when he played host to a delegation of the APC Professionals Forum at the State House, Abuja.

According to him, “This is a party of the common man, a party of the people, a party that takes as its cradle, the importance of ensuring that the common man benefits maximally from government which is why we have the big programmes like the Social Investment Programmes, the largest of its kind in the continent and several of such other programmes that emphasize how serious we take the lot of the common man.”

Reminiscing on the party’s formation about nine years ago, the vice-president noted that APC has made an impact and is determined to improve the well-being of Nigerians.

He added that the party is also where many young people are stressing that “we are the ruling party in Africa’s largest democracy which by itself is a phenomenal achievement for such a young party.

“But you’ll find that in the particular ideological direction of our party, it’s one that it was clear to the original founders of the party, the initial persons and groups that came together to form the party and they came from different parties, but it was to present a left of centre, a social democratic alternative to the ruling party”.

Osinbajo further stated that the APC is determined to ensure the country’s further growth and development, noting that the party carries with it, the hopes and expectations of millions of Nigerians.

“The party is not a mere platform for running for political office, it carries with it the hopes and expectations of millions of Nigerians and we must make it a place where they are comfortable, a place where they feel this belongs to us. We can even put our resources into it; it is not just for politicians; it is for us all,” he said.

The vice-president said leaders and politicians are there to serve the people and give them reasons to believe in a better country.

“Our people, the Nigerian people, need hope; they need to be able to believe in the politicians; they need to be able to believe in their leaders and if the leaders are within the political party, that political party must have an ideology that is attractive to them, that makes them feel wanted, that makes them feel cared for and I think that role is so crucial.

“It is the role this Professional Forum must take on to itself. And what it entails aside from that logical objective of the forum; what it entails is actually defining in writing in various ways what our party stands for,” he said.

Acknowledging the significance of the APC Professionals Forum in the scheme of things, Osinbajo urged the Forum to play more important roles in shaping the party’s ideology.

He said: “There are many people that say well, we have not done this, we have not done that. There are so many ways of looking at it, but the truth of the matter is that the party was committed and is seen across the country as a party of the common man, which is why I think the role of the Professionals Forum is particularly important because we are trying to shape the ideology of the party.”

The vice-president stressed that professionals are integral to ensuring the party stays focused on the wellbeing of Nigerians and its ideals, as stated in the constitution and manifesto respectively.

According to him, “if the professionals cannot do that, then our party becomes all comers, anything goes so long as we have a platform to run for political office. But I think that we, especially professionals, have a unique advantage.

“We have many who have run their businesses, who have professional organizations or who have excelled in their own professions and we know that the only way to do things properly is if we are able to press on without relenting.”

Osinbajo further hoped that the APC Professionals Forum will also carry the hopes and expectations of millions of the party’s supporters nationwide.

He also believed that the Forum, made up of professional elite, will be of great benefit to the party and Nigeria because of its leadership and quality of professionals on its board of trustees and as members, who he noted “are not just politicians, but people who have distinguished themselves” in their respective fields.

“I think our party will rely a great deal on this forum and I hope and pray that the Forum will realize all of its objectives, including the extra ones that our party must place upon you, especially at this time in the life and history of our dear country,” he said.