REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE REVALIDATION EXERCISE OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE APC IN WARD ONE, IKENNE, OGUN STATE ON THE 9TH OF FEBRUARY, 2021
I bring you warm greetings and felicitations of Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari.
I am extremely pleased to be here to participate in the Registration and Revalidation exercise of our great party. But first permit me to welcome you all to Ikenne, my home town and more importantly, the home town of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, the father and progenitor of the great movement that we call “the progressives movement” today.
It is on the broad shoulders of the social democratic philosophies of the maximum happiness and well-being of all the people that we in our great party the All Progressives Congress, stand firmly and confidently today.
And we must situate this exercise in that ideological context. Party Registration and Revalidation is important because it offers us an opportunity to have a credible roll of members such that we are able to reach our members from the polling booth level, all the way to the wards, local government, and federal constituencies.
Why do we want to reach our people? The people are the party and the party is the people. Ours is a grassroots party, a party of the people. Our focus is on the welfare, prosperity and wellbeing of all our people.
Party members must understand their importance in the scheme of things. They must fully understand the party’s philosophy and programmes, they must be actively mobilized to participate in, propagate, and support government policies and programmes.
I must say to you and you don’t need to be told that we are in government at one of the most challenging times in the history of our country and perhaps, in the history of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse, and we have also had security challenges that have stretched our law enforcement capacities all over the country.
But we remain the best party, best people to solve these problems. Let us not be in any doubts about that. Because of our grassroots orientation, we have and continue to put in place, the best programmes for the welfare of our people.
Our focus on jobs for our young people is a resolute commitment of our party. Aside from the various microcredit schemes, Payroll Support Programme, we have the N-Power, and now, the 774,000 jobs programme; a thousand in every local government. We have the N75billion Youth Fund, but we also have a mass housing scheme, where we hope that every Nigerian that can pay up to N8000-N10,000 every month, can own a home of his/her own.
We have a mass agriculture scheme, and also solar home systems for 5million homes. All of these things are programmes and policies of a progressive party. You may not immediately see the effect, but you can be sure that every day and night, the thinking of the leadership of the APC, the thinking of the government of President Buhari, is how can we make lives better for the citizens of this country. I must tell you, it is not without its challenges, there are many. The security challenges we have today are not insurmountable and we are well able to ensure peace and security all over the nation.
There are a few things which we are doing and must continue to do. First is that we must ensure the prosecution of all those who have been arrested for kidnapping, banditry and all other forms of criminalities in this land.
There must be evidence that justice is being done. This is achievable by stronger collaboration between the Police, States Ministries of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Justice. We can make this happen and we will continue to work to ensure this is done.
The second opportunity we have is with the new Service Chiefs Mr. President has just appointed. We have a fresh set of eyes, intellect, and skills and a fresh look at strategies against the insurgencies in the Northeast, as well as banditry and kidnapping elsewhere.
In this new approach, as you will see, you will find that much greater emphasis will be placed on local policing and then on technology, especially for surveillance, intelligence gathering and attacking these criminals and villains.
Ultimately, we must put in place effective community policing. We have argued and many of us are in support of the State Police Structure. In the meantime, we must speed up and strengthen the community policing structures. States must continually train, educate and formalize their local security structures so that they complement the Federal law enforcement agencies. Policing must be a collective effort, from the Local Government to the State Government and all the way up to the Federal Government.
The fourth thing is we must resist any attempts to destroy the unity of this country. Our people have lived and worked together for decades, even centuries. While we must attend to the cries of communities, and the cries of our people for justice, equity and fairness, we can do so within this same union. Ultimately, we are stronger together than apart.
I am pleased to note that the revalidation exercise has been very smooth in Ogun State. The materials have been distributed and the processes are being followed very closely. We must take the further step of ensuring that we are able to put the information on our electronic platforms for transparency and to be accessed by all of us with the information contained therein.
Finally, let me urge all who want progress, prosperity, abundance and justice, to register as members of the APC today! This great party is the vehicle and platform to realize everything that we want. The goodness of this nation, the welfare of our people, education, healthcare, everything that we want, we can get on this platform of our party, APC.
God bless the APC.
God bless Ogun State and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.