Nigeria’s vice-president-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday acknowledged that the expectations of Nigerians from the incoming government are very high but promised that everything humanly possible would be done to ensure that “the hopes of Nigerians are not dashed”. Osinbajo also stated that he has reduced his criticisms of the Jonathan led government in recent times.
Delivering a keynote address at The Platform, a business/entrepreneurship programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre (CCC) in Abuja, Prof. Osinbajo, who has always been a constant critic of the outgoing government said he looked forward to being sworn into office to implement some of the programmes of his party.
“I have become less critical of government today,” he said, as the congregation erupted in laughter. “I am really looking forward to the challenges. I am looking forward to May 29. I am looking forward to a new government, and looking forward to see how we can implement some of the things that we have spoken about.
“One of the most interesting things that God does is to ensure that whenever you are passionate enough about something, he gives you the opportunity to do something about it. So I think that the time has come for us not just to be passionate but to participate in making sure that change occurs.”
“With change comes great expectations, very high expectations indeed, as matter of fact I recall that when our campaign train visited Zamfara, in one of the places where we stopped, because so many people were pressing their faces against the bus that we were in, shouting ‘sai baba’ and all of that.
“General Buhari said to me ‘look at their faces, do you see anything there?’ and I said they seem excited to see us, he said look well and I said am looking they are happy to see us.
He said this people who you are seeing here are expecting that if we win, we would solve all their problems on the second day that we assume office.
“Going round this country during the campaign period showed me just how poor people are. “We are going to be very active in working to ensure that the expectations are not dashed.
Expectations are extremely high, and the reason is that we campaigned on the platform of change, because we believe in change and everyone who is a Nigerian also believes that there is going to be a change in the direction of our country.
“There needs to be a change in our value system and all of this would require us, men and women like you and me, to fix it. Spirits are not going to fix it for us; we are those who are called upon in this generation at this time to fix it.”
Osinbajo further spoke on the current economic situation of the country
“In many of urban centres, we don’t even see the poverty until we get to the rural areas all over the country. The poverty is so disheartening that anyone who compares what is going on elsewhere in the country with what is happening here will just be shocked by the stack differences.
“I have been spending a bit more time in Abuja now than ever before because we are in the process of transition, and for the first time in a long time I actually dose off in the car. “I live in Lagos.
Those of us who live in Lagos never dose off in our cars. Abuja has a way of almost misrepresenting the facts about our country. This is a very comfortable place, this is a very quiet place, you get the impression that everything is fine, but any time you get out of the urban here you are convinced that this country needs to be fixed immediately.
“Something has to be done about this country. Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa, we are one of the largest producers of oil and gas but we have 110 million extremely poor people.
“The economy of the country has basically gone sour and there are very various reasons. Aside from the fiscal policies, there is also the problem of misgovernance over an extended period of time.
There is no question and that is what we are experiencing today.”
Other speakers at the event were Olusegun Adeniyi, former presidential spokesman; Ibukun Awosika, founder of The Chair Centre group; Leke Alder, a motivational speaker; Tonye Cole, co-founder of The Sahara group and Caroline Arnold, managing director of The Goldman Sachs.