Vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, observed on Saturday that past Nigerian visionary leaders neither lived and fight to enrich themselves, nor left vast personal estates behind.
“But their names and legacies live in the hearts of the people.” Osinbajo said this in a bid to inspire a new crop of visionary elites in the country.
The VP, who stated this at the opening of Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF) summit at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja called on Nigerian leaders to aspire to win the people’s heart rather than enrich themselves with state resources.
“Our history reminds us of the visionary leaders in Nigeria, who fired our imagination through their vision, diligence and selfless service; who did not live or fight to enrich themselves; they did not leave vast personal estates behind, but their names and legacies lived in the hearts of the people”, he noted.
Osinbajo recalled Nigerian founding fathers in the North such as Sir Ahamu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto; Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; Mallam Aminu Kano; J S Tarka and countless others who clearly understood the varied issues afflicting the region; through them, laid the plans and worked selflessly to realise them.”
He challenged the present crop of Nigerian leadership to emulate such selflessness and vision even as he decried the derailment from the foundations set by the founding fathers which has led to the challenges confronting the country.
He expressed concerns that Nigeria was a nation of 170 million people, the sixth largest producer of oil, over a hundred varieties of solid minerals and precious metals, hundreds of thousands of hectares of arable lands, the largest economy in Africa yet, desperately poor.”
He added, however, that the challenges were the same all across the country, saying the difference is not of a kind but in degrees.