Osinbajo Calls on Leaders to be Sacrificial

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said to deal with tensions among people of different faiths and ethnicities in Nigeria; leaders must be sacrificial.

He commented on Monday when he received a delegation from the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) – led by its Executive Chairman, Mr Disu Kamor – at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Osinbajo, who cited the efforts of late South African leader Nelson Mandela and Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Barkin Ladi in Plateau State, stated that: “There is a need to understand first of all, that there is no way that we can deal with the tensions between the faiths and ethnicities in Nigeria today unless those in leadership are prepared to make some important sacrifices.”

“Those sacrifices are sacrifices even in what you say, how you say it, and then sacrifices also in the acknowledgement of whatever people are saying and the willingness to accept.”

The Vice President further called for interfaith dialogue, stressing the importance of language and communication to curb violence.

He added that dialoguing is very important, and therefore leaders should adopt it. He challenged leaders constantly to say the right thing.

According to him, “We can all talk nicely and say the right things, but unless people are prepared to make some concessions which may cost them popularity within their group, we cannot move forward.

“It is essential that we don’t diminish the importance of language and respectful non-violent communication so that we can keep our discussions at a level that ensures that we don’t degenerate too quickly to violence.”

“These are stories of people who are not only political or religious leaders but just ordinary people, doing the right thing. Unless we are prepared to not just talk about it but to make an open display, first of all, of those who are doing the right things, but more importantly, challenging our leaders to say the right things and to be prepared to risk some popularity to do so, then we will just be wasting a lot of time,” he stated further.

MPAC is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of peacebuilding and interfaith cohesion, among others.

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