Nigeria’s future dependent on long period of honest, truthful leadership – Osinbajo
By Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,
Office of the Vice President
*Adds: 2019 elections about Nigeria’s future
Given the challenges that have hindered Nigeria’s development across different sectors over the years, only a long period of honest and truthful leadership committed to the welfare of Nigerians can guarantee a prosperous future for the country, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The Vice President stated this in his remarks on Thursday, during a courtesy call on Dr Saleh Muhammad, the Emir of Kaltungo, ahead of the flag off of the Governorship Campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Kaltungo, Gombe State
According to him, “I want to emphasize that the reason why we believe that a second term is important, is because it is necessary for our country to have a long period of honest and truthful leadership. The problem of our country has never been ideas or projects. It is honest leadership that has always been the problem.”
Speaking further on the bane of Nigeria’s development, Prof. Osinbabjo said: “the reason why nothing works in our country is that of theft of public funds.”
He said Nigeria’s projected population growth, the attitude of past leaders, amongst other factors, has made it necessary for only persons with proven integrity be voted into elective positions in all future elections.
“By 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous nation of the world, third after China and India. If our leaders steal money the way they have been stealing money over the past years, millions of Nigerians will be dying all over the place because then the population will be more than what we have today.
“So, it is important for Nigeria to have a period of honest leadership, that is why we are determined to tell the Nigerian people everywhere we go that the next elections are about the future of our country. Our country must have an honest, righteous leadership, a man who will not allow the money to be stolen,” the Vice President added.
Continuing, the Vice President said “Between 2010 and 2014, the government at the time earned $383billion; that is the highest any government in the history of the country has earned in 4 years. But there is nothing to show for it, where are the roads, the railways? This money was just wasted or stolen, that was what happened”.
Drawing a comparison of the present APC-led Federal Government and the then PDP government of between 2010 and 2014, he said “after 4 years of earning the highest amount, you can’t point to anything that the PDP government did. Mambilla Hydro project, 40 years and nobody touched it; Aladja-Warri rail line, nothing; Lagos-Kano rail line, nothing; Port Harcourt- Maiduguri line, nothing”.
“From 2015 to 2017 December, we earned just $94billion, yet we started the Lagos-Kano railway, we are now passed Ibadan; we completed the Abuja light rail which they started and could not complete. Lagos-Ibadan, it was when we came in that we did it; in every state, we are doing a major road. Why? It is because the President does not allow anyone to steal the money. If you have small money, you can do a lot if you are not stealing it; that is what we have shown; that with small money if you are not stealing it, you can do a lot”, He added.
The Vice President commended the leadership of the emirate, noting “It is your type of leadership that is required, not just educated, but forthright and committed to doing the things that are right for the people.”
From the palace, the Vice President proceeded to the venue of the campaign rally for the APC governorship candidate for Gombe State, Alh. Inuwa Yahaya, and in his company, were top government officials including Secretary to the Government of Federation Boss Mustapha, Environment Minister Suleiman Hassan and major APC stakeholders in the Northeast.
In his remarks, the Vice President emphasized the need for the electorates to vote APC in the general elections, noting that it is the party for all Nigerians and one that will take Nigeria to the next level.
According to him, “Our brothers in the other party were saying that APC is not a party for everybody, but we are all seeing today that they are wrong because we are seeing that the APC is a party for all Nigerians; it is a party for Christians and Muslims, and President Buhari is a president for all.
“Those who were saying that the APC is only for Muslims are wrong because you can see that it is a party for all, I am not only a Christian but a pastor. I have worked very well and I am very happy with our President, Muhammadu Buhari because he is a just, trustworthy person, honest and straightforward.
“Also, you can see that our SGF, Boss Mustapha is also a Christian and so also is the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, when he was with us, was a Christian and he is from this region. So, APC is for Gombe and Gombe is for APC.”
One of the high points of the rally was the presentation of the party’s flag to the governorship candidate, Alh. Inuwa Yahaya amidst cheers from the crowd.