Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that leaders must be willing to make sacrifices even at the risk of their popularity in order to attain long-lasting resolutions, peace, and progress in situations of conflict, including during ethnic and religious tensions.
Prof Osinbajo said this Monday when he received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, a delegation from the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) led by its Executive Chairman, Mr Disu Kamor.
- BREAKING: Kidnappers invade Kogi church, abduct members
- Governor Ganduje opposes legalisation of cannabis
MPAC is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of peacebuilding and interfaith cohesion, among other objectives.
According to the Vice President, “there is a need to understand first of all, that there is no way that we can deal with the tensions between the faiths and ethnicities in Nigeria today unless those in leadership are prepared to make some important sacrifices.
“Those sacrifices are sacrifices even in what you say, how you say it, and then sacrifices also in the acknowledgement of whatever people are saying and the willingness to accept.
“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.”
Osinbajo, while citing the examples of the sacrifices made by the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela and Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Barkin Ladi, in Plateau State, said; “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.”
The Vice President, while commending the Muslim group’s efforts in promoting interfaith cohesion in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said setting up an inclusive platform for interfaith dialogue should be an important consideration by concerned stakeholders.
Earlier in his presentation, the leader of the group, Mr Disu Kamor, said MPAC had been involved in programmes and activities aimed at promoting cohesion among people of different faiths over the past decade.
He said the group is ready to collaborate with other stakeholders deepening efforts aimed at ensuring peaceful coexistence and dousing the tensions across the country among people of different faiths.