Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says unity and tolerance are key elements in promoting national security, economic success and greatness.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday said the vice president received a delegation from Arewa Concerned People for National Unity and Religious Tolerance at the Presidential Villa.
The delegation was led by Auwal Maidabino and Usman Ado-Bayero.
Osinbajo said that some of the greatest nations in the world were multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious.
He said that a united people working together were more likely to be economically successful.
“There is no great nation anywhere that has not had this sort of challenge, especially where you have a multi-racial, multi-religious setup.
“And the greatest nations in the world are multi-racial, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic.
“As a matter of fact, some of these things are as important as the economy and security.
“A united people, people who see themselves as one, are more likely to be economically successful, more likely to be able to secure themselves and secure their borders, and more likely to work together for the goodness and greatness of their people.
“It is the duty of the leadership, not just political leadership, but also the leadership of social groups and organisations such as yours, to ensure that we are focused on these issues of unity and tolerance.”
According to Osinbajo, religious tolerance and unity is a matter that goes beyond mere advocacy.
He said he believed strongly that the greatness of nations, wherever the nations might be, had always been on account of leaders who thought it fit to build those nations on the basis of unity and tolerance.
“I think that it is such an important issue that we cannot afford to discount it.
“ There is a need for us to pay more time and attention to these issues in whatever way we can because every once in a while, we see some threats to the unity of our country.
“And we must not allow it to happen at all, we must continue not just in the advocacy, but in action that will bring about unity and religious tolerance,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Maidabino commended Osinbajo for his innovative approach to governance and the several initiatives of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration anchored through his office.
Maidabino prayed God to provide the vice president the opportunity to enable him to continue to serve the nation.
He said that the vice president had impacted many Nigerians across different sectors through schemes such as TraderMoni, National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, N-Power and the Ease of Doing Business initiative, among others.
“We wish to commend and congratulate you for your contributions in the area of promotion of good governance, transparency, and efficiency.
“They are exemplified with the core principles behind the Ease of Doing Business initiative of this government, and for the continuation of your uncompromising dedication to peace, unity, and economic progress, among others,” he said.
Maidabino informed the vice president of plans by the group to convene a national forum on unity as part of its contributions to entrenching peaceful coexistence and unity among Nigerians.