We Play Politics with Everything in Nigeria – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria is still divided along ethnic and tribal lines because our leaders play politics with everything without putting the fate of the masses into consideration.
Osinbajo said this during the 55th independence anniversary interdenominational church service.
He said “Our nation is sharply divided and has been divided for long. Our nation is divided along religious divide, is divided along tribal lines but the word of God says in Mathew 12: 35 that a kingdom divided against itself shall be left dissolute, it also says a city that is divided within itself can not stand. It does not matter whether that is a nation or a city.
“I have travelled the length and breadth of this nation, especially in the North eastern parts in the last few months and I have seen children, women, men who were bomb victims. I have seen the dead, the wounded, the sick.
“The truth of the matter is that the bulk of all those that I have seen, there were Moslems, there were Christians, there were those who professed no particular faith, but were all Nigerians, and one thing that united them was that they were all poor, and in IDP camps.
“When a bomb goes off in Potiskum or in a market in Maiduguri or Gombe, it does not ask if you are a Christian or a Muslim, it does not. It never asks if you are Yoruba or Ibo, or Hausa. The moment we are divided among ourselves, we cannot stand.
“We should not create further division, true freedom lies in recognizing the reason why Jesus came to save mankind.”
He said leaders “must understand that the terrorism is not a contest between Christians and Muslims, it goes well beyond that. It is our duty not to pursue narratives that divide us. It is our duty to do everything that unites us. We must ensure that we don’t create further divisions, but that we bind together those divisions, that is our duty.”
He added that “we would play politics with everything, but the fate of over 110 million extremely poor Nigerians have not been the central concern of anyone.”
Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri while delivering a sermon titled ‘making Nigeria function as a family: panacea to healthy national integration’ at the event said the survival of our nation is our biggest struggle.
He said “We need Nigeria first before the other contending things that citizens continue to fight for. Take Nigeria away and we will not do the fighting we are doing today.
“Those who are penetrating these evils belong to the house hold of Islam, and the house hold of Islam should rise up and cut the excesses of their own members.
“If there is a Christian militia group in Nigeria today, it is we who will be the first, the Church leaders to confront this militia and say it is not in consonance with the teaching of Jesus Christ, we shall not hide them.
“We have since our amalgamation in 1914, all through our independence as a sovereign state not been successful in harnessing our plurality, diversity into a rainbow of peace and sustainable development because, instead of allowing ourselves to be guided, to be propelled by national interest, we are bedevilled by the blind pursuit, self centred and parochial interest that often toe the lines of ethnic and religious and politically partisan considerations.
“What we should struggle and make sacrosanct is the survival of our nation which is bigger than everything. We need Nigeria first before the other contending needs that we are fighting for, relating this to Prophet Jeremiah in the Bible. That this is the only way to promote national cohesion.”