Nigeria must dump mediocrity for merit in order to make rapid progress – Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has argued that insisting on the dominant culture of quota system, against merit, will never allow the country to get to its desired destination.

According to him, embracing merit and doing away with the quota system in national affairs holds the key to the progress of Nigeria.

Osinbajo stated this when he spoke in Lagos at Greater Nigeria Pastors Conference, which had the theme, “Towards A Better Nigeria” a programme organised by the Senior Pastor and founder of Foundation of Truth Assembly (FOTA), Pastor Yomi Kasali.

The Vice President, who also lamented the role of Nigerian pastors in the fight against corruption in the country, said that corruption in Nigeria had no ethnic or religious coloration and that both the elite and politicians alike were all involved in corruption the saga.

He said, “It is important for us as a nation to change our idea and insist on merit. We must continue to advocate that there must be merit in our appointments and do away with sentiments and Nigeria will be where it ought to be. When our football teams are playing, we do not ask questions where the players come from because we want to win. In the same vein, if we want to win in Nigeria, we must insist on merit. We must insist on fair minded and just people in positions. That is how countries are run all over the world. It is only in this country that the first thing we do is to ask for quota system”.

Osinbajo wondered how many Christian leaders stood up to complain when there was rampant corruption that crippled Nigeria to what it is today. According to him, no nation ever survived the kind of corruption Nigeria went through in recent times.

“It is my view that the Nigerian elite, religious leaders and politicians think alike when it comes to corruption and they were always very selfish playing religious and ethnic cards when it pleases them.

“When you look at the high-level of corruption in the country, it has no ethnic or religious coloration, our elite and politicians are united when it comes to corruption.. I have never seen a situation where an Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and other tribes joined hands to steal money and they argued about it,” he said.

On the issue of restructuring and how Nigeria can build a new nation, Osinbajo reasoned that there was need to raise new men and women of integrity. And to achieve this, he challenged church leadership to avoid religious and ethnic sentiments in their approach to the issue of Nigeria.

“Why can’t we have Christian agenda based on the principle of the Bible as the Lord Jesus Christ teaches? The Church must begin the process of uniting Nigeria by uniting itself. What Nigeria needs to survive is already contained in the Bible. We cannot practice two gospels. The reason the country is what it is today is because we (Christians) do not care to practice what the Bible teaches.”

READ ALSO: Gowon casts doubt on the viability of restructuring, cites multi-ethnic diversity

On the claims that killings by Fulani herdsmen have escalated since the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, Osinbajo argued that the assumption was not true.

He said, “The Fulani herdsmen crisis became rampant as far back as 1996 and it took a devastating effect in 2014 during the Libya crisis.”

He said that the major problem facing the restructuring demands was the inability of its proponents to have a concrete agreement of how the country can be restructured.

He, meanwhile, pointed out that he favoured devolution of power which the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) stood for.



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