Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has described the All Progressive Congress Party (APC) as a grassroots party of the people that focuses on the welfare, prosperity and well-being of Nigerians.
The Vice President stated this on Tuesday, while addressing the country’s challenges of insecurity and criminality at his home town, Ikenne, Ogun State, where he participated in the ongoing APC Membership and Revalidation exercise of the party.
Osinbajo, who noted that “the people are the party and the party is the people, said, ” Ours is a grassroots party; a party of the people. Our focus is on the welfare, prosperity and well-being of all our people.”
Making reference to polices and programmes put in place by this administration to ensure the welfare of the people, the Vice President stated that “because of our grassroots orientation, we have and continue to put in place the best programmes for the welfare of our people. Our focus on jobs for our young people is a resolute commitment of our party. Aside from the various microcredit schemes, Payroll support scheme (under the MSME Survival Fund), we have the N-Power (under the SIPs), and now the 774,000 jobs programme and N75B Youth Fund.”
“We also have a mass housing scheme, mass agriculture scheme, and solar home systems for 5 million homes (under the ESP). All of these things are programmes and policies of a progressive party.” He furtherr added that the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) were proof of the Buhari administration’s focus on the welfare of Nigerians.”
As regard the need to uphold the unity of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo, who was received by party leaders and members led by Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on his arrival, stressed the need to resist the temptation to destroy the country.
He said “we must resist any attempt to destroy the unity of this country. Our people have lived and worked together for decades, even centuries. While we must attend to the cries of communities, and the cries of our people for justice, equity and fairness, we can do so within this same union. Ultimately we are stronger together than apart.”
He said despite the security challenges, the values of justice, equity and fairness across communities nationwide can be addressed within the Nigerian union.
Speaking on the efforts of the Buhari administration to tackle the country’s security challenges, Prof. Osinbajo noted that greater emphasis is being placed on technology for surveillance, intelligence gathering and attack.
He explained that with the appointment of new Service Chiefs, the nation’s security approach has “fresh set of eyes, intellect and skills and a fresh look at strategies against the insurgency in the North East, as well as banditry and kidnapping elsewhere.”
The Vice President stated that the establishment of a State Police structure and stronger collaboration between the security agencies and Justice ministries will help to improve security nationwide.
He said, “we must speed up and strengthen the community policing structures, States must continually train, educate and formalize their local security structures so that they complement the Federal law enforcement agencies. Policing must be a collective effort, from the Local Government to the State Government, and all the way up to the Federal Government.
Concerning the need to ensure that justice is served in connection with kidnapping and banditry, he said: “We must ensure the prosecution of all those who have been arrested for kidnapping, banditry. There must be evidence that justice is being done. This is achievable by stronger collaboration between the police, States Ministries of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Lamenting the challenges posed by the timing of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said “We are in government at one of the most challenging times in history. The pandemic has not helped matters, and we also have had security challenges that have stretched our law enforcement capacities all over the country. But we remain the best party to solve these problems.”
Expressing his delight to participate in the APC’s membership and revalidation exercise, the VP commended the smoothness of the process in the State. He said the exercise was important for the party to have a credible roll call of members and to reach more Nigerians, especially at the grassroots.
“Permit me to welcome you all to Ikenne, my home town, and more importantly, the home town of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, the father and progenitor of the great movement that we call “the progressives movement” today. It is on the broad shoulders of the social democratic philosophies of the maximum happiness and well-being of all the people that we, in our great party, the All Progressives Congress, stand firmly and confidently today,” he said.
Speaking about the roles Party members in ensuring good governance, he stated that “Party members must understand their importance in the scheme of things. They must fully understand party’s philosophy and programmes; they must be actively mobilized to participate in, propagate and support government policies and programmes.”
Besides the Ogun State Governor, the event was also attended by the Niger State Governor, Sani Beĺlo, Senator Lawan Shuaibu and the former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba. The Chairman of the APC Ikenne Ward One, Prince Segun Awomuti, who hosted the event, endorsed the Vice President’s membership registration.
Contributed by — Ayodeji Oriyomi