Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the nation’s wealth and resources must be equitably distributed to address inequality and resolve conflicts.
He said this at a virtual NASFAT Global Youth Summit, with the theme, “A United, Peaceful and Prosperous Nigeria” organised by the NASFAT Youth Wing to celebrate the 60th Independence Anniversary of the nation.
According to Osinbajo, this year’s celebration is serving as a reflection as well as celebration, especially that both present and future belongs to the youths.
He said the goals of everyone is to maintain peaceful co-habitation with one another and live well, financially and otherwise, as nobody disagree with these goals, however, ways to achieve them remain a challenge for everyone as investors that would have otherwise make the economy more stable will definitely would not want to stay in toxic environment that is prejudice-filled.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of a very active justice system to address it. In fact, freedom, equality and justice are stated expressly in our Constitution especially on section 15, sub-section 2, and it is on the basis that different institutions are created while as a control measure, the Federal Character is also in place in order to ensure even distribution of resources.
“In an egalitarian society, distribution of social and economic opportunities is a must, but must be judiciously distributed to address inequality and inequity, and the diminishing faith in our justice system.
“Distributional conflict ignited by access to tangible and intangible resources that the state can offer must be nip in its bud, especially as people are denied basic amenities, based on the fact that they are not from certain State of Origin, denied residential permit, contrary to what the constitution stated in section 15, sub section 2 where it was stated clearly that we should shun ethnic prejudice, maintain civil mutuality, national solidarity, secure full residence right for every citizen in the federation, irrespective of where they reside and years that might been spent by them in such locations,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President said that for Nigeria to grow as a nation, it must avoid institutional discrimination and embrace unity in diversity.
He said part of the Government of the day efforts in promoting unity is the criteria given, when the ‘Social Investment Programme was formed in 2015’ as the program was strictly on state of residence basis.
He urged Nigerians to resist the urge to portray communities in caricature especially when individuals from such group commits crime or found wanting.
“It is insensitive to treat the whole community with disdain, based on what an individual does. As citizens, we will only be the enemies of our own problem if we marginalise as faith, vision and intuition are the driving forces in order to move the nation forward, he remarked,” he said.
Also speaking, Sheik Nurudeen Lemu, who facilitated the topic “Islam as a peaceful, modern and prosperous Religion”, said that Islam is the only religion that explicitly stated that irrespective of gender and age-group, we must seek for knowledge from cradle to grave.
He stressed that Islam helps in the promotion of public interest, prevent people from vices, helps in promotion of religion, love, intellect, education and freedom from oppression.
He said that many are dissuaded going to school based on the unscrupulous activities of our politicians who manipulate the budget for Education for their own selfish gains.
“We should seek for greater financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills, particularly lauding the Sabi-money app , a digital initiative to learn more on entrepreneurial skills to improve well-being of families and communities, in addition to investing in halal ventures,” Lemu said.
He said there is need to support the Government, particularly in upholding the rule of law and punish offenders accordingly.
On her part, Rashidah Edidi-Balogun, while facilitating the lecture on ‘Building Future-ready Youths for Nigeria’s Growth and Development’, noted that the future is built on the presence while the presence is built on the past as there was sense of communialism in the pre-colonial era and everything was working well, until after amalgamation when Western Education came with attendant positivities but also with its shortcomings.
“Our unity has so much diminished to such extent where we practically engage in political warfare, over-dependence on importation while we are serially be divided along ethnic and religious grounds, leading to corruption,” she said.
She however suggested blueprint for the future such as values, governance (sane), economy (prosperous), technology, education (skill-based), and selflessness among others as way forward.
Also, renowned international Muslim cleric, Sheik Mufti Menk, who spoke from Zimbabwe on ‘Nation building in Islam’ said that Prophet Muhammad is the perfect example as he built an entire nation.
He said that honesty is the cornerstone of building the nation.
He enjoins the people to develop piety, establish relationship with God and make themselves accountable at all times.