The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has tasked Nigerians with diverse grievances to leverage the benefits of dialogue and negotiation to resolve differences and forge a pedestal of national unity.
Stressing the significance of a sustained dialogue in a multicultural society as Nigeria, the vice president added that building a nationhood requires leaders across every sphere of influence to sacrifice personal interest and achieve a consensus that guarantees a win-win for all.
He maintained that a sustained and productive nationhood give access to diverse multi-ethnic strengths and provide opportunities to gain more from being together than otherwise.
Prof. Osinbajo gave the charge in Abuja on Thursday during the 10th anniversary of UFUK Dialogue Foundation, an organisation devoted to the promotion of dialogue and a culture of paceful co-existence.
He said, “It’s true that in the last two decades, we face severe threats to our mutual coexistence, violent extremism in the North-East has resulted in the destruction and unfortunate loss of lives of many, banditry and kidnappings has traumatised families.
“Just also we’ve seen secessionist agitations, especially in parts of the South and the East of Nigeria in particular, these affected and slow down economic activities in those parts of the region.”
While warning against promoting underlying issues that give rise to insecurity, he said even though there are no simple solutions to the challenges, he however, maintained that the federal government will effectively bring its full power to bear in tackling insecurity and its threats to collective existence.
“Our government led by Mr. President is frontally confronting the security challenges and will relentlessly continue to do so, fully aware of their socio-economic and psychological impact on Nigerians everywhere and we Nigerians and we as Nigeria will surely prevail.
“In many instances these are factors of share greed, naked criminality, there are also genuine grievances on suspicions and fears, feelings of exclusion and marginalisation, these understandings and differences of opinion, all of which can be resolved to the benefit of the whole, through sustained dialogue and negotiation.
“The fact remains that nationhood is a hard one that requires lots of leaders who are willing to sacrifice some of their personal interests to achieve a consensus that is win-win for all, leaders not only from within government but across every sphere of influence.
“We need great personal examples along religious and ethnic lines more than ever before, men and women who will go one step ahead of the rhetoric to demonstrate the true meaning of brotherhood and why the common humanity that binds us as Nigerians is greater than the difference that makes or mars us.
“The truth is that living and work together as one people, is also a matter of self interest, because we stand to gain more from being together than otherwise,” Osinbajo stated.