Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said leaders in the country must be set to risk their popularity just like South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, if they want to promote peace and stability in the country.
Osinbajo said leaders must understand the value of respectful non-violent communication in making sure that conflicts do not degenerate into violence.
The vice-president opined that leaders in the country must take advantage of their positions to address ethno-religious crises in the country.
“Those sacrifices are sacrifices, even in what you say, how you say it, and then sacrifices also in the acknowledgment of whatever people are saying and the willingness to accept,” Osinbajo said on Monday, August 30 to a delegation of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) according to a statement by Laolu Akande, his media aide.
“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.
“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.
“These are stories of people who are not only political or religious leaders but just ordinary people, doing the right thing. Unless we are prepared to not just talk about it but to make an open display, first of all, of those who are doing the right things.
“But more importantly, challenging our leaders to say the right things and to be prepared to risk some popularity in order to do so, then we will just be wasting a lot of time.”