Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described Nigeria’s elite as major promoters of the insecurity ravaging the nation.
He stated this Thursday night in his keynote address at the Leadership Conference and Awards – with the theme ‘National and Regional Insecurity: The Role of Political and Non-Political Actors in Stabilization and Consensus Building’, held in Abuja.
He said that “the external reasons we cite as reasons for our problems cannot thrive without severe internal weaknesses in our society”.
According to Professor Osinbajo, “The chief weakness is a human one – our elite, our political, economic, and religious elite”.
He said that insecurity in Nigeria is promoted through ethnic and regional sentiments, activities, and utterances of the elites that have so far proved to be socially irresponsible.
The vice president added that the penchant of the elite to criticise activities of government without consideration has resulted to insurrection and insurgency.
He said, “So, where are we today? On a nationwide and region-wide scale, we are seeing challenges to national order driven by a profound and pervasive sense of exclusion and marginalisation.
“And I do not speak of ethnic or religious marginalisation which is really another elite dog whisper to acquire more for themselves in the contest for booty. I speak of a division between the have- nots who have no hope and the haves who seem to have it all.
“So, the attacks we see on law and order are themselves symptomatic and they are driven by emergent critiques of the fabric of order itself.
“These critiques are manifesting as insurrections and insurgencies along various axes of identity. These rejections of formal institutions may be driven by conceptions of religious obligations, ethnic identity and generational antipathies but that is only superficial.
“What they have in common is that they are patterns of solidarity of those who have no stake in an orderly society because such society offers them nothing, and are fundamentally violent and implacable opposition to a system that appears to favour only a few.”
On way forward, he advised that the elite in the society must reach a consensus with other citizens and act in solidarity to settle contending issues in the nation and enlarge the circle of opportunity, chiefly for the young people.
He further argued that to tackle insecurity, the nation’s political, economic, and religious leaders must shun divisive narratives so as to bring all Nigerians together, heal rifts between communities and build bridges across divides.