Following Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the country advanced towards a turbulent politics defined by chaotic transitions and regional tensions. Through the years, the country is still plagued with different crises with ethnic and religious colourations and the worst of them all remains the civil war of 1967, which different sources say claimed the lives of over two million Nigerians and crippled the economy of the nation.
Therefore, since independence, one of the most difficult things successive governments across all levels find difficult to achieve is running an all-inclusive government where every segment of the Nigerian population will not cry marginalisation.
One is therefore not surprised that cleansing the nation of its deep-rooted ethnic, regional and religious suspicions, while leveraging the diversity of the nation’s political, economic and cultural assets has been the thrust of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). This further explains why Professor Yemi Osinbajo sends the message of inclusiveness to every nook and cleft of this nation.
As a loyal party man and a committed patriot, he stands for all Nigerians at all times. Nothing exemplifies this fact than his recent visit to a farm in Gaa’te, Nasarawa State, a farm which was started by an ex Niger Delta militant, Reston Tedheke, two year ago.
Although Vice President Osinbajo’s visit to the ex-militant’s farm has generated mixed feelings and reactions among Nigerians, those who know this indefatigable, intelligent and dependable man, would agree that he is not just an enigma, he has unquenchable and undiluted love for Nigeria and Nigerians. He spares nothing to leverage on our diversity for the prosperity of the nation.
The vice president knows that the country cannot move forward without the involvement of all stakeholders, irrespective of creed, political leanings, and party affiliation. As a liberal statesman, every state is his constituency and every individual, his subject of affection. This explains why he freely interacts with Nigerians across all divides.
Osinbajo’s words and actions at every forum attest to his upright and liberal posture. In fact, on daily basis, he strives to dissolve all the man-made stratifications that have become major impediments to the moving forward of our dear nation. He constantly raises the consciousness of the youth, enlightening them on the need to remain united as one nation bond in freedom.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a perfect alliance with his vice, is positively moulding the fortunes of this country. In 2017, President Muhammadu sent Prof. Osinbajo to the boiling region of Niger Delta. Osinbajo’s singular mission was to quell the tension and put an end to the incessant assault on oil pipeline by the angry militants.
Few weeks after Osinbajo left the Niger Delta, efforts of his impeccable leadership direction had quashed the tension and the occasional assault on oil pipeline almost went into oblivion as peace enveloped the oil rich region. Indeed, what could have brought drawback to our economy was reverted.
While Osinbajo was in the Niger Delta, he interacted with key stakeholders and urged them to sheath their sword. Reston Tedheke, founder of National Farmers Group and Cooperative Society Ga’ate, was in the audience when Osinbajo visited the Niger Delta. Although he has always had the entrepreneurial spirit in him, he needed a light to spark this rare gift. In Osinbajo he found the light in sufficient watt. Some years later, Tedheke has become a star and his light sparks so bright, illuminating the dark paths of others.
The pleasant tale of the ex-militant billionaire farmer is indeed the fruit of Vice President Osinbajo’s inclusive magic wand. The militant, now on the way of becoming a billionaire farmer, started his innovative farming enterprise with just three hectares of land but now occupies 3,000 hectares which is worth about N1bn and has employed over 300 people, suggesting that agriculture is the new oil well. Instead of waiting for government to provide everything for him, or sitting in one corner to post on social media about what is not working in Nigeria, he rekindled hope for a better Nigeria. Though not yet a billionaire farmer with his business worth and its cooperative model and community and investors involvement, Tedheke is on the throne to greatness.
The beauty of Nigeria lies in her diversity and Tedheke’s success story crystallises such beauty. Even though he is from Niger Delta, the vast farm is situated in Nasarawa State. The tale is a reminder that there is a drop of greatness in every Nigerian. It takes the right motivation; it takes the right quantum of inspiration and it takes an Osinbajo to unravel such greatness, no matter how hidden and insignificant is the weight.
Vice President Osinbajo is a symbol of peace, as his words are like soothing balm that heals the wound of the past created by marginalisation, discrimination, bigotry and nepotism. He is the bridge between the ruling class and ordinary Nigerians who have been neglected, abandoned and relegated to the background by successive governments.
True Nigerians like Osinbajo do not discriminate. The seed of inclusiveness he sowed into Tedheke’s life some years ago is yielding bountiful harvest. Like a living seed, it sprouts and blossoms into maturity. The 3000-hectare farm at Ga’ate is a living seed. It is a story about Nigeria. It is about unity, togetherness. It is a story about the beauty in our diversity.