Ahead of his second term on May 29, vice- president Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari is considering a government of national unity.
He spoke yesterday at an induction programme organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF) for new and returning governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said,”I have the President’s mandate to say that the federal government stands ready to embark on this historic all-party cooperation to better the lives of all our citizens.
Recall that some prominent Nigerians and NUT have called on the President to form a government of national unity in his second term.
Osinbajo also stated that one of the very critical things that the National Economic Council will have to do in its next meeting is to look at how to more effectively fund security.
According to him, this has to be in collaboration between states, the federal government and the private sector.
He told the governors that several private sector organisations and individuals are keen to contribute in one way or the other to funding law and order and security infrastructure in the country.
Stating that security remains top of the administration’s agenda, Osinbajo said the law and order challenges in parts of the country, for example, the opportunistic attacks of Boko Haram in the Northeast; incidents of attacks by herders and frequent clashes between herders and farmers, similar incidents now occurring in parts of the Northwest, have stretched the capacity of the law enforcement agencies considerably.
He restated the commitment of the administration to recruiting more men and women into all the security agencies and improving their capabilities to maintain law and order.
He said, “at our discussions at NEC, we have recommended more effective collaboration with state governments; a major plank in that collaboration is Community Policing. This involves more practical collaboration between the citizens, civic groups, traditional institutions and the Police.
“As Mr. President has said, maintaining security is the first order of business for us as chief security officers at the federal and state levels. We must work together and seek even more creative ways of making our country completely safe for its citizens.
‘’I must commend the excellent support that governors have been giving the Police and Armed Forces posted to your various States. I know that large amounts of money are voted practically every month in support of law enforcement and security.
The vice president said the challenges that confront Nigerians in the next few years, especially in the areas of human capacity development notably education, healthcare and jobs for young people, are monumental and historic.
According to him, “But we are more than able to surmount them.To do so, all the states of this federation and the federal government, must see ourselves as one government.
“Our people in every state want the same things and suffer the same deprivations; they really don’t care who puts food on the table, just put the food on the table.
In the next four years, Osinbajo said President Buhari has made it clear that his administration will be focusing attention on human capital development and physical infrastructure.
He lamented that the number of out- of- school children is an embarrassment, stating that the federal government will, as is usual, possibly be blamed for the number of out-of-school children.
He, however, stated that the primary responsibility for education and healthcare lies with the states.
“Large numbers are unable to afford good healthcare and malnutrition remains a major problem. Children in many of our states run the risk of being permanently mentally stunted because they are malnourished. Illiteracy is still significantly high and the number of out- of -school children is an embarrassment.
“Yet in all these, our population continues to grow at over 3% per annum. We will by current projections, move from 200 million to 400 million people in the next three decades. And then we will become the third most populous nation in the world.
“Most of that population will be young people under the age of 25 looking for jobs. Every one of these people, except a few living in Abuja will live in the states, your states, where you govern. They will seek schools in your states, health services in your states, food in your states and jobs in your states.
The federal government will, as is usual, possibly be blamed for the number of out-of-school children and for not investing enough in healthcare. But you and I know that the primary responsibility for education and healthcare lies with the states.
“The burdens of the citizens of our states, the pains and deprivations of their poverty is what the hope would be alleviated by electing us. No matter how we slice it, we are responsible for the quality of lives and livelihoods of the millions who live within our states and National borders,” he said.
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