Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, on Tuesday, encouraged Nigerians to regulate, discipline and hold their next set of leaders accountable at the ballot come February 25 and March 11.
Osinbajo gave the encouragement at the National Delegates’ Conference of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja, according to a statement from Laolu Akande, his spokesperson.
“It is through the instrumentality of the ballot, that citizens regulate and discipline their leaders and hold them accountable,” Osinbajo said.
Osinbajo who spoke on the theme of this year’s conference, Building People Power, National Unity and the Quest for a New Social Contract, noted that when all Nigerians, especially its political elites, begin to see the country’s diversity as an asset, rather than a tool for division, its socio-economic and cultural capital can be further deepened.
“It is through the instrumentality of the ballot, that citizens regulate and discipline their leaders and hold them accountable.
“In a few weeks, Nigerians will have the opportunity to demonstrate their power by voting in favour of which candidates and parties have what it takes to manifest the future that we want.
“Our diversity is neither a liability nor a curse; it is, in fact, a blessing and an asset. Diversity deepens the pool of sociocultural capital available to us; we are enriched by the frothy ferment of the vast multiplicity of perspectives which provide us with a treasury of tools for innovation and productivity,” he said.
He said countries that had learnt to hack the diversity principle are now leading the global race for prosperity and progress.
The VP added that politicians who continue to traffic in division and discord are behind the times and have failed to take note of how much more integrated the Nigerian society has become.
“I submit to you that it is the elites of our nation that must adjust themselves to this reality and conduct their politics accordingly.
“There is no denying that diversity can be a harbinger of friction. It is natural.
“As different groups from various backgrounds and with different worldviews mingle, their interaction is characterised by a degree of tension and even conflict. All diverse nations find their unique ways of managing the tensions, which inevitably arise from the co-mingling of an assortment of peoples,” he added.
Commending the Nigeria Labour Congress for organising the conference, the Vice President urged them to develop a framework that would guide organised labour in Nigeria in the coming decades.