Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Nigerians to always work for the unity of the country as a divided nation does no one no good, warning also that hate speech and hateful conducts cannot be tolerated.
This was part of the Acting President’s message as the country marks its eighteenth democracy day celebration.
Osinbajo said that Nigeria belongs to everyone and no particular person or ethnic group is more important than the other.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. No one person or group of persons is more important or more entitled than the other in this space that we all call home.
“And we have a responsibility to live in peace and harmony with one another, to seek peaceful and constitutional means of expressing our wishes and desires, and to resist all who might seek to sow confusion and hatred for their own selfish interests,” he said.
Acting President Osinbajo acknowledged that it is normal that grievances or frustration may arise at one point or another as is expected in a large multi-ethnic setting as Nigeria, but added that hate speeches and violence are never the way to go and cannot be tolerated.
“And while we all daily preoccupy ourselves with pursuing the Nigerian Dream – which is the desire to better our lives and circumstances vigorously and honestly – it is inevitable that grievances and frustrations will arise from time to time. This is normal,” he said.
“What is not normal, or acceptable, is employing these frustrations as justification for indulging in discrimination or hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, or for seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity that has brought us all together as brothers and sisters and citizens.”
Quoting President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo said: “The old Nigeria is slowly but surely disappearing, and a new era is rising.”
He stressed that the vision of the current administration for the country is “for a country where the wealth of the many will no longer be stolen by or reserved for a few; and where the impunity of corruption – whether in the public or private sectors – will no longer be standard operating practice; a land rid of bandits and terrorists.”
“As citizens you all deserve a country that works, not merely for the rich or connected, but for everyone.
“And our promise to you is that we will, with your support and cooperation, take every step needed to create that country of our dreams.
“We also know that this journey will of necessity take time. But we will not succumb to the temptation to take short-cuts that ultimately complicate the journey.
“We did not find ourselves in crises overnight, and we simply do not expect overnight solutions to our challenges.
“The most important thing is that we are on the right path, and we will not deviate from it, even in the face of strong temptation to choose temporary gain over long-term benefit.”