Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo says leaders in the country must be ready to risk their popularity just like South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela if they want to promote peace in the country.
According to Osinbajo, leaders must understand the value of respectful non-violent communication in ensuring
that conflicts do not degenerate into violence.
The vice-president opined that leaders in the country must take advantage of their positions to address
ethno-religious crises in the country.
“Those sacrifices are sacrifices, even in what you say, how you say it, and then sacrifices also in the acknowledgment of
whatever people are saying and the willingness to accept,” Osinbajo said on Monday, August 30 to a delegation
of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) according to a statement by Laolu Akande, his media aide.
“It is very important that we don’t diminish the importance of language and respectful non-violent communication
so that we are able to keep our discussions at a level that ensures that we don’t degenerate too quickly to violence.
“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 own group, we cannot move forward.
“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.
He also said, more importantly, challenging the leaders to say the right things and also preparing them to risk some popularity in order to do so, then we will not just be wasting a lot of time.
By Taiyelolu A