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Shun ethnic, religious politics, Vice-President Osinbajo tells professionals in politics




As the nation inches towards the 2023 polls, professionals in politics should shun the temptation for ethnic, religious politics and other parochial considerations in making crucial decisions for national development, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said.


According to him, professionals in politics are defined by merit and their acumen. 


“One of the major advantages to our communities of having professionals in politics is lost if we do not recognize our role as merit driven persons must be to fight the temptation of ethnic, religious and other parochial considerations in making crucial decisions for the development of our nation. 


“There is no point having professionals in politics if these professionals are driven by ethnic, religious and other parochial considerations because the whole point of professionalism is that you are defined by merit, you are defined by your professional acumen. 


“Nobody would place their lives in the hands of an incompetent doctor because they share the same faith or continue to patronize a dangerously inept mechanic because they belong to the same tribe. 


“If someone told me, for example, that the pilot who is to fly the plane that I’m to go in is not a very good pilot, but he is from Ikenne, my hometown, I certainly won’t go in that plane. 


“So, in the same way, we must especially refuse to be swayed by those whose sole argument for power is an appeal to sectional sentiments. We must resist it and we must say NO to it; because otherwise, we fail in our professional calling,’’ Osinbajo said at the maiden edition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Forum Conference on Monday held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Persecondnews.com reports that the theme of the conference is “The role of professionals in politics and nation building’’.


It is premised on attaining quality service delivery in governance by harnessing, mobilizing and deploying all available professional skills and expertise in promoting and driving the party’s manifesto for the benefit of the people. 


Read Also: EFCC-rattled ex-Gov. Okorocha storm Aso Rock for Pres. Buhari’s intervention


Osinbajo stressed the need for Nigerian professionals to embrace merit-driven politics instead of throwing up base considerations especially as the silhouette for the forthcoming elections.


He said:“The usefulness of professionals in politics is that you have people who are used to being assessed on the basis of their own achievements, who are unafraid to make competence the first advertorial of their acumen. In other words, professionals emphasize the role of merit in public life. 


“True progress is about reimagining our collective circumstances and creating an environment that enables prosperity for us all. This is the challenge for us as professionals.


“To this end, we must see ourselves as stewards of the common good, who have been entrusted with the privilege of managing the collective destiny of our people for an allotted time and we must do so with a conscience and to the best of our abilities.”


A former Nasarawa Governor, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, observed that politics was the pastime of job seekers, office seekers, and applicants in the past, adding the narrative has changed.


“The focus and the mindset of politicians will be changed once and for all. We need only professionals to partake in politics. By so doing, you’ve added value to the system.


“By so doing, you will bring you a wealth of experience, a pedigree in your area of endeavor, which will navigate the party to the best position that we have always prayed for,’’ he said.


Also speaking at the occasion, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, the Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, called on professionals in politics to leverage the solid foundation laid by the Buhari administration. 


In his goodwill message, the 2020 APC governorship candidate in Edo State, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu cautioned against creating a dichotomy between professionals and non-professionals, saying “a situation where party loyalty is not rewarded on the basis that one does not have a professional background is unfair.’’ 


He believed both categories of party members should work together and carry everybody along. 


For one-time presidential aspirant, Chief Moses Ayom, Nigeria under the APC is gradually moving from the previous state of professionals scavenging the streets for paid white collar jobs to becoming entrepreneurial professionals who create wealth, add value and grow the economy. 


He posited:“A lot of these successes can be traced to Nigeria’s vast improvement in the Ease of Doing Business index. The policy championed by our President has seen young people break previous barriers especially in the fields like ICT, engineering and the creative industry.


“It is on record that policies like the social intervention programmes, access to micro credits, the agricultural boom and the fight against corruption have seen an escalation in the participation of young people in the economic sector.’’


The Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Representatives, Mrs Nkiruka Onyejeocha, said professionals should not submit to those she called chartered politicians. 


“Why should we have professionals being cowed, caged by people who are not educated? As APC professionals, we need to start walking the talk, we need to say who we are, we need to practice who we are, we need to take the bulls by the horns.”


Earlier, ex-Governor of Bauchi State and convener of the forum, Mr Isa Yuguda, noted that the success of any political party in government is dependent on the delivery of democratic dividends and good governance to the people.


“If it fails in this it has lost its reason for co-existence. It is instructive to mention, however, that the delivery of these dividends is largely dependent on the capacity and competence of persons at the strategic, operational and technical levels of government.


“Only quality and visionary leadership can harness mobilized and deployed valuable human and material resources appropriately and accurately for the advancement of the country.


“It is imperative to state at this juncture that only trained professionals in various fields of endeavour possess the administrative and technical proficiencies to strategically drive developmental initiatives of any government globally,’’ he said.


The APC Professional Forum was registered as a support group for all professionals, technocrats, intellectuals and skilled persons who are registered members of the party, Yuguda said.


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