NIPSS lecture: Nigerians praise Osinbajo over call to end divisive rhetoric, prejudice

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in a group photograph after he delivered the inaugural lecture at the maiden edition of the Policy making and Good Governance Lecture Series at the National Institute in Kuru Jos, Plateau State, on Monday, April 17, 2023. Photo: Statehouse/Tolani Alli

By Oluwafemi Popoola

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has been lauded by many Nigerians over his speech that has now gone viral on social media where he frowned against political actors and leadership elites for stoking the embers of ethnic-religious sentiments and prejudice, which reportedly led to voter suppression in some parts of the country in the last general elections.

Prof. Osinbajo had given the warning on Monday, 17th April 2023, during his speech at the maiden Policy Making and Good Governance Lecture Series of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.

Osinbajo, who warned that prejudices that tend to impede the progress of Nigeria must be avoided, said there must be a deliberate policy backed by elite consensus that bars Nigerians from using the nation’s diversity to negatively promote their ambitions.

He said Nigeria must prioritize its unity, social cohesion, and progress by jettisoning ethnic rhetorics and prejudices that have impeded the nation’s growth over the years.

The speech, however, has become a social media sensation after the 15-minute video found its way on the internet, with many social media users gasping at the whisk of the VP’s eloquence and oratory wand.

Reacting to the video across all social media platforms, many Nigerians commended the Vice President for his candor and bravery in speaking the truth to power, while some political leaders, they said, pretended as if nothing unusual had happened during the general elections.

Many took to Twitter to express their views on the speech while others social media users on Facebook, Instagram and Nairaland commented on the speech and viral video uploaded by the VP himself on his official social media platforms.

Reacting to the post made by the VP on Instagram, @Josh.Olaade wrote, “I was almost in tears listening to him speak. You would see his sincerity and honesty in every word he spoke. I don’t need an angel to tell me PYO means well for this nation and was ready to do everything possible to give us a Nigeria we all dream of, but then, Nigeria politics happened to us. I believe Nigeria will be great in my own time.”

Also, another responder who commented via @Ancestor_071 wrote, “I still ponder over why they failed to give this man the chance to govern this country. A man who spoke for 15 mins without checking or looking through his tablets or diary. It is well sha.”

ALSO READ: Leaders don’t have luxury of toying with prejudice in contest for power, it’s a threat to our democracy, Osinbajo warns

Likewise on Twitter, a tweep with the user name, @AdewumiCollins wrote in an independent post, “The message in the banners is clear and simple. It resonates loud and clear. I have waited this long for someone in this govt to comment on this. Thank you VP Osinbajo for your courage.”

Also commenting, a Facebook responder, Ogunmola Rotimi Emmanuel wrote, “Eloquent, prolific and intelligent. The discuss well presented. God bless you, Prof, sir.”

Similarly, @Emeka V. Obi on Facebook, wrote, “God bless our Vice President. Very eloquent in speech, powerful oratory, excellent delivery. This is leadership. What we have been looking for all these years has been right before our very eyes but we were too blind to see due to our ethnocentric religiosity and entrenched cultural differences, bigotry, polemism and antipathies.”

Also, Emmanuel Enobong on Facebook had this to say, “Very objective, intelligent, unbaised. One of the most intelligent, elders stateman that has grace the seat of power.
Always a pleasure listening to this Man.”

“As long as this video seems to be,I couldn’t blink. Was smiling while watching to the end.
God bless you erudite Prof, na man you be,” @Avalumun Nenger-Shater wrote on Facebook

Another Facebook user, @Silver Fom wrote, “Unfortunately, the wickedness of our country and the greediness of our delegates did not allow them see man to be the presidential candidate.”

“I always ask my self why we can’t choose and elect the caliber of your type to be our president, but I know it’s matter of time we need you daddy,” wrote @Umar Nasi on Facebook.

“As much as I would love to meet with you in person on my birthday, I would also want to ask you just a question. Thank you for always challenging me Prof. I see myself becoming YOU someday. I know it will take a lot of work. I am watching closely,” @Olalekan Olawale Taiwo wrote on Facebook.

“Osinbajo remains the most vocal,most dedicated, and most committed African leader to the #GreenEnergy campaign in Africa. He has been consistently vocal and pushfull, and I think he deserves to be the leader of Africa Union,” @Kemisola Adekunle said on Twitter.

“Great speech. Thank you. I’m secure and little-minded people c!n often not see beyond colour, ethnicity and language, even when others are more capable for the job at hand,” @Jumoke M. Akinniranye wrote on Facebook.

“Osinbajo speaks about the voter suppression and ethnic bias that played out at the recently concluded elections. He is the ONLY one within the APC that has spoken out again this injustice! People have a right to live and vote from anywhere within their country!” @Olakunle wrote on Twitter.