Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told young Nigerians to participate in politics to help make a difference.
Speaking on Wednesday at a virtual forum where he interacted with Nigerian Fellows of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, he observed that the way to transform society is largely dependent on the actions and decisions of those who occupy public offices.
According to him, this is why young people in Nigeria must get involved in politics.
Osinbajo stated: “You need to go the extra length if you are not already involved, get involved in politics—while a lot can be achieved in civil society, the government still holds the ace in terms of capacity and resources to bring social goods to the largest numbers.
“Besides, being deciders instead of pressure groups at the table in policy formulation are hugely different positions. The consummation of our great ideas to transform our societies ultimately will depend on ‘those politicians’ as we sometimes derisively describe them.”
A statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande further quoted the Vice President as saying: “African nations and especially our country, cannot afford to have its best minds and most committed social activists remain only in the civil space. No, we simply can’t afford it, you have to get involved in politics. You have to be in the position to make the difference on the scale that is required.”
“Of course, there are many who will not be involved in politics but those that are inclined should, and there will be many challenges even in the winning or getting heard in politics. But I want to say to you that it should be an objective that you should set for yourselves, to get involved at whatever level of politics so that you can make the difference on the scale that is required.”
Speaking further about the potentials of young Nigerians to effect the desired change in their communities, the Vice President described the efforts of young African innovators as “Africa’s most exciting story – the story of a present and future that could be steered by our continent’s incredibly talented and optimistic young men and women.”
Commending the innovation and creativity of the fellows, Prof. Osinbajo said “within any generation, only a few wholeheartedly take on that challenge – the challenge of building a society. Most believe that the task is for someone else and that such endeavors cannot pay the bills.”
Recalling his days in civil society engagements and later in politics as Lagos State Attorney-General, the Vice President noted that “it took public office for me to be able to get the scale of change that is required to make a difference.”
Osinbajo further said: “Without public office, I would have remained a pressure group activist, I would have done some nice things, but I wouldn’t have been able to make the changes that my country required.
“I was once where you were. I was part of several civil society groups at the time. I joined the first civil society group when I was 24, I was teaching at the time. I also co-founded the anti-corruption group, Integrity, and then Convention on Business Integrity (which is still existing today and they function out of Abuja and Lagos).
“I was chair of the Legal Research and Development Centre, where we worked on civil rights issues and legal defense for the poor. We did a couple of legal defence initiatives, we got funding from donors and tried to do the best we could.”
He added: “If I count the numbers that we did all the years it will be around maybe a hundred or so. We achieved some good, but compared to the scale of the problem, it was really a little.
“But in 1999 came politics, and I was appointed Attorney General of Lagos. With that platform, we took on corruption in the Lagos judiciary and set a model. We reviewed the issues of corruption in the Lagos Judiciary and how to address it. From remuneration to discipline and we were able to put in place an anti-corruption framework that has lasted several years.
“The reason why I make this point is that other States after what we did in Lagos copied that very example. So, many States improved remuneration and a wide variety of things.”
Osinbajo stated further that “the second thing we did in Lagos at the time is that we established the Citizens Rights Department. For the first time in the history of our country, a department was established in the Ministry of Justice for the rights of citizens.
“That was important because the Ministry of Justice is not just a ministry of law and order, it is a Ministry of Justice for the people. And that department had what was called the Office of the Public Defender, and that was a concept we borrowed from some US States and we were able to do legal defence, the government provided the funding, for thousands of Lagosians.
“But the more interesting part of that story is that almost every state in Nigeria adopted the Citizens’ Rights Department, adopted the Office of the Public Defender. Now, go back to when I was an activist working in the Legal Research and Development Centre, where we tried to do some work on legal defence. We did a few but certainly couldn’t achieve the scale that we achieved when we were in public service.”
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I’m Not Desperate To Be President – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Friday said he is not desperate to be President.
Mr Obi made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
According to Mr Obi, he left the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party because the former did no longer align with his political values.
“I’m not desperate to be President or anything,” he said. “I’m desperate to see Nigeria work. Especially for the youths of this country.
“I’ve moved to where I think the process might allow me.
“I would rather lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing. My politics have been consistent in character and integrity.”
293 total views, 54 views today
Presidential Primaries: APC Afraid PDP Will Pick Northerner As Candidate – Adeyanju
Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, has suggested why the All Progressives Congress, APC, is yet to conduct the screening of its presidential candidates 48 hours to the party’s primaries.
Adeyanju said APC is waiting for the outcome of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP primaries.
He alleged that the APC is afraid that the PDP may pick a Northerner as its presidential candidate; hence the delay.
In a post on Facebook, Adeyanju wrote: “48hrs to APC primaries, no screening of candidates or any single direction because they are so afraid PDP may pick a Northern candidate.
“That’s why they are waiting and going round and round. They are just waiting for the outcome of PDP primaries then in hours they will act.”
APC convention for the presidential primary will be held as scheduled from Sunday, 29th to Monday, 30th of May, 2022.
The PDP presidential primary will be held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on May 28 and 29.
160 total views, 27 views today
JUST IN: APC Postpones Presidential Primaries To June 6-7
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed its presidential primary election to Friday, June 6 and Saturday, 7.
The APC announced the postponement after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday evening bowed to pressure by political parties to extend the dates for the conduct of primary elections.
INEC in a statement on Friday, extended the dates for primaries by six days.
517 total views, 56 views today
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