…Says, We Who Love This Country Must Not Give Up On A New Nigeria
…General Gowon Says Osinbajo Is A Symbol Of National Unity
…State Governors Shower Accolades On VP
…Osinbajo Brings Diverse People Together, Book Is Labour Of Love – Chimamanda
…Emir Sanusi Says He Represents Perfect Picture Of Ideal Nigerian Leader
ABUJA – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has said that leaders owe the citizenry the duty and responsibility of selfless service because public service is a lifelong enterprise that deserves commitment.
ProfAccording to a release e-signed and made available to StarTrend Int’l Magazine and online – www.startrendinternational.com by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President, Osinbajo stated this in the evening of Monday, May 1, 2023 while speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the virtual launch and unveiling of the book: “Osinbajo Strides: Defining Moments of an Innovative Leader.”
The Vice President who thanked the authors said, “on behalf of Dolly my dear wife, my family, and the OVP team, I thank you all, and I dedicate this book to the people of our country to whom we always owe the duty and responsibility of selfless service.”
The 29-chapter book was put together by 25 journalists and writers known as the “PYO Collective,” and the foreword was written by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).
The authors are Richard Akinnola, Azu Ishiekwene, Garba Mohammed, Donu Kogbara, Etim Etim, Arukaino Umukoro, Sadiq Abdullateef, Fatima Mamman-Daura, James Akpandem, Mustapha Ogunsakin, Dayo Akintobi, Dr. Wale Adeduro, Columba Ogah, Haruna Abdullahi, Temilade Okesanjo, Olaolu Beckley, Jude Zoho, Oreoluwa Ogunbiyi, Vitalis Obidiaghaa, Seun Bisuga, Seyi Gesinde, Faith Dafe-Joseph, Muritala Ayinla, Abimbola Olaniyan and Ibrahim Bature. Former Guardian Newspapers editor, Mr. Jahman Anikulapo, was the book’s Editorial Consultant.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, was the father of the day, while former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) chaired the virtual event.
The Vice President was full of thanks in his remarks at the end of the book presentation.
“First let me thank the Almighty God for the privilege of life and the opportunity to serve. I must also thank a role model and all-time mentor to millions, the Chair of this book launch, General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, thank you for the incredible privilege of your company today, and I am deeply grateful to you for doing me this honour.
“Let me also thank former President General Abdulsalami Abubakar for the great honour done to me by the very generous comments he made in the foreword to this book.”
The Vice President also expressed appreciation to the Governors present at the event led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Plateau State Governor Samuel Lalong, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun. The Nasarawa State Governor was represented by the Deputy Governor – Dr Musa Akabe.
According to the Vice President, “public service for all of us who love this nation and its peoples unconditionally only terminates when we die. Our country deserves our commitment and service. And I commend you all, compatriots in the public service, especially those who are not public servants, and social activists for your steadfastness through the years.
“As we march on towards a new Nigeria, we must not give up. So, I would want us to leave this event with a paraphrase of what Chimamanda said a few moments ago “we who love this country must not give up because love is persistent.””
Reflecting on his journey as Vice President in the last eight years, Prof Osinbajo said, “I am deeply grateful to my team of advisers, and assistants and the strong civil service team that supported me these many years.”
OSINBAJO MOST EFFECTIVE VP – GOWON
In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion, Nigeria’s longest-serving Head of State, General Gowon, described Prof. Osinbajo as a leader who brought a collaborative approach to governance.
Thanking Osinbajo for his service to the nation, the elder statesmen added that the VP will leave the office as one of the most effective Vice Presidents the country has ever produced.
“Vice President Osinbajo is known for his collaborative approach to governance which has enabled him to work effectively with different stakeholders in achieving common goals. As you all know, Vice President Osinbajo has been at the forefront of ground-breaking initiatives that have transformed Nigeria’s economy and its people.
“The Vice President has always exhibited a passion for innovation and commitment to the development of Nigeria. Prof. Osinbajo is one of the most effective vice presidents Nigeria has ever had. And that is why I said congratulations to this government. The vice president has put in a lot of effort with the kind of work he’s done.”
SGF HIGHLIGHTS VP’S PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE
The SGF, Boss Mustapha, who stood in for the President thanked Prof. Osinbajo for his selflessness and passion for excellence in the execution of tasks assigned to his office.
“One thing that is admirable about the vice president is his passion for excellence in everything that he is involved with. Besides all of his official engagements as VP, we all saw this attribute exhibited by him right from the campaigns, how he ensured that the right things were done. We cannot thank you enough, sir,” he said.
“Prof Osinbajo is a passionate man, I believe that it is his passion that has helped us to drive youth engagement and employment, and their desire to participate in MSMEs. Another thing I want to talk about is Prof. Osinbajo’s concern for social interventions that he was championing. The TraderMoni, MarketMoni and all those other interventions were informed by his desire and concern for the social welfare and empowerment of the ordinary citizens of this country.
He added further, “Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a God-fearing man, he is conscientious, he is deliberate and he holds his values very high. His principles and actions are always informed by his Godly heritage and he will never, for whatever considerations, give up that heritage and do anything otherwise that would call to question his faith and his belief.”
TAMBUWAL ON BEHALF OF NGF CALLS VP A BRIDGE BUILDER
Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Governors Forum, the Chairman of the Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal praised the Vice President’s leadership of the National Economic Council, describing him as a bridge builder and worthy leader.
Also speaking, Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, acknowledged that the VP was “a completely detribalized Nigerian and the ‘Omoluabi’ poster boy of the current Yoruba generation.”
BREATH OF FRESH AIR – ABIODUN
The Governor noted that the Vice President was a breath of fresh air in Nigeria’s political space.
“We will continue to watch and learn from him because he is a leader who is worthy of emulation in this our journey and resolve to build a New Nigeria. I have been trying to emulate the Vice President. I look at him as my role model,” he stated.
Speaking further, he said, “our very own Professor, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, our Vice President, I will describe as the Omoluabi poster boy of our generation. When you hear the word, Omoluabi, the first person that comes to mind is Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He has distinguished himself as a completely detribalized leader. A nation builder, a statesman, and a leader who has consistently advocated for the unity and strength of Nigeria’s diversity.”
While giving his own remarks, the Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong spoke of the VP’s loyalty to the President.
DEPENDABLE ALLY – LALONG
His words: “the VP as a statesman, leader and dependable ally to President Buhari from the very beginning of their partnership as Vice President, has displayed a level of loyalty and dedication that is very inspiring. Even President Buhari described him as a trusted, dependable and worthy deputy. There have been no altercation or friction of any kind between the VP and the President despite the work of mischief makers.”
PICTURE PERFECT LEADER – SANUSI
Similarly, the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, described Prof. Osinbajo as one who “represents a perfect picture of what an ideal Nigerian leader should look like.”
According to him “Osinbajo is an intellectual, he is someone I will sit with and debate, and as you know, I have been very critical of some of the policies of the government, and he will debate. And he had the ability as we all know, to accept a superior argument.
“Sometimes, he will explain why it cannot be done, sometimes he will explain that it is something he agrees with but he knows would take time to fix, sometimes he would outrightly not accept and would agree to disagree.
“Osinbajo has this picture of a man who has the quality of a leader we need or how a leader should be. As Acting President, he gave us insight into how he would rule this country as President.
Emir Sanusi who is also a member of the National Council on Nutrition which the VP Chairs observed that “I have seen first-hand his concern for the poor people of the country, the question of malnutrition and infant mortality, his commitment, year after year, to see improvements in the structure and the funding and the processes of the institution and I do hope that the work he has done would begin to see light in the near future.”
BOOK A LABOUR OF LOVE – CHIMAMANDA
In the keynote remarks and book review, renowned author, Chimamanda Adichie praised the Vice President for being a great person and inspirational leader.
“The essence of this book comes from a diverse range of writers and they are all very different in style. But they all have a kind of organic enthusiasm to them. You read them with a sense of reading pieces written by people who actually wanted to write them.
“And so, it feels to me that this book is a labour of love, and the fact that it is a labour of love says something about the subject, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It speaks to the humane and human quality that he has, the ability to bring diverse people together and it is also evident in the team that he has worked with the Vice President and I had the good fortune of meeting some of them,” Adiche said.
In his welcome speech earlier, on behalf of the PYO COLLECTIVE, Mr. Richard Akinnola said “the book took our principal, the Vice President by surprise. It was a coup, sort of. Throughout the period of conceptualization, to the planning, writing and various stages of production, we kept it under wraps.
“We didn’t want the Vice President to know and we succeeded in ambushing him with this book. He was gobsmacked seeing a copy of the book when it was presented to him. I must thank all members of the Collective for this literary coup. For a self-effacing man with profound simplicity, our principal actually deserves it and even more.
“For those of us who had known him closely even before he came into public service in 1988, the experiences encapsulated in this book are just the tip of the iceberg of the Osinbajo persona. I use this opportunity to thank my other colleagues in the PYO Collective for a job well done and for the sleepless nights and stress in making today a reality.”
During interludes at the event, video clips and photo reels that revealed some memorable moments of the Vice President’s tenure in office in the last eight years were shown to viewers who live-streamed via Zoom and YouTube channels.
MASTER OF SOFT POWER – AIG
Former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, also commended the VP stating that “Prof Osinbajo is a master of soft power and through this mastery, I believe he is probably one of the most admired Vice Presidents across the world and will be remembered when many Presidents will be forgotten.
“Only recently, heads of state gathered in Kenya for the Ibrahim Governance Week and I couldn’t attend this year, but I asked those who attended how it went and it was plaudits about the contributions of our own Vice President who stood out as always.”
Other dignitaries at the event included Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, prominent broadcaster, Kadaria Ahmed, among other officials.