Nigeria’s diversity, a fountain of strength – Osinbajo

*VP attends installation of BNP Minister of State, Clem Agba as Oduma of Auchi

* Auchi a microcosm of Nigeria, exemplifies our finest values of mutuality

*Edo, Nigerian youths are on your side, Deputy Gov tells VP

Nigeria needs more men and women who see and understand that the country’s ethnic diversity is not a point of difference, but a fountain of strength to achieve even more development as a nation, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

The VP also emphasized the importance of traditional institutions in building the right values in society.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this in Auchi, Edo State, yesterday at the conferment of the customary title of Oduma of Auchi Sacred Kingdom on Prince Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning by the Otaru of Auchi, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Hybred Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III at his Palace.

“Our country needs men and women who see and understand that our ethnic diversity is not a point of difference but a fountain of strength; men and women who understand that all people regardless of race and faith deserve to be treated equally, fairly and justly.

“This is where the significance of traditional institutions come into being because they are regarded, and rightly so, as the custodians of these values, and embody the highest and noblest ideals of our people.”

Prof. Osinbajo was received on arrival in the State by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shuaibu; and also joined by former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; members of the Federal Executive Council, State Commissioners, members of Edo State House of Assembly, and Traditional Rulers.

Extending the warm greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari to the people of the community and the State, Prof. Osinbajo noted the rich history of Auchi Kingdom, adding that “the celebrated innovation and the enterprise of its sons and daughters have brought development and prominence to this Kingdom and Edo State.”

Commending the communal bonds and peaceful co-existence of both Islam and Christianity and other tribes living in the Kingdom, the VP said, “it is remarkable and worthy of praise that in the great Auchi Kingdom, adherents of both Islam and Christianity have lived and continue to live harmoniously together for centuries, sharing a common bond as members of this community, and even of the same biological families.

“Auchi is, therefore, in a real sense not just a microcosm of Nigeria, but an exemplification of our finest values of mutuality and community.”

Continuing, he said “Auchi, certainly represents an enduring truth – it does not matter whether we are of different political persuasions, ethnic origins or religious allegiances; we are all connected in one way or the other.

“What matters most is our common human bond, a shared brotherhood of all people.”

The VP also commended the accommodating nature of the Auchi Kingdom – which is in Etsako West Local Government Area, for honouring Prince Clem Agba, who hails from Etsako East LGA of the State.

“Indeed, it is a testament to the welcoming and accommodating nature of the Auchi Kingdom that it has adopted the Honourable Minister who very much regards this community which nurtured him as home.

“He is, as I am told, actually from Uneme- Uzanu in Etsako East. Given his zeal for his community and dedication to its progress, it is no surprise that he has been named the Lion of the Auchi Kingdom. There are few honours more fulfilling than being accorded recognition by one’s own.”

Addressing Agba, whom he described as “a prophet with honour in his hometown, the VP stated that the conferment was “an endorsement of your consistent service to the Auchi community and to the nation at large.

“With remarkable diligence and an innovative approach to governance, you have made a difference in your role as Economic Planner and one of the prime movers of the nation’s wheel of progress. This is, of course, in addition to your lifelong dedication to the betterment of humanity, both within and outside your community

“Today, with your conferment, you have been appointed a steward of your community’s destiny. I believe that you will serve faithfully and meritoriously; exercise your morals and all resources for the good of the people and bring further development to your domain and the nation at large.”

The Vice President, who paid homage to the Otaru of Auchi, noted that Auchi was like a second home, having undertaken his primary service there as a Youth Corps member over 40 years ago under the National Youth Service Corps programme for fresh graduates.

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Hon. Philip Shuaibi, thanked the Vice President, as well as his entourage, including Ministers and Special Advisers, for finding time out of his busy schedule to attend the event.

“You have Edo (State), you have us on your side. In 2023, we the young men will mobilize ourselves and take our destiny in our hands by the grace of God, we will have our own as the President of Nigeria,” Shaibu said.

Other speakers at the event included former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who also thanked the Vice President and all the Ministers from Abuja for gracing and adding “colour to the occasion.”

Also present were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare and his wife, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Y. Katagum; Minister of State for Science and Technology Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, Special Advisers: Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu-Economic Matters; Dr. Jumoke Oduwole-Ease of Doing Business, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris and other senior government officials and traditional rulers.

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