We’ll defeat evil forces contesting soul of Nigeria – Osinbajo

Even though “the soul of the North, and of Nigeria by extension, is being contested by some of the most destructive and evil forces in contemporary history,” the Buhari Administration is firmly resolved to resist and defeat them, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said.

Osinbajo stated this while speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the 8th Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation Memorial Lecture, Tuesday in Kano.

Prof. Osinbajo asserting that “it is a fight we are determined to win. And we know that by the grace of God, all of these evil forces will be completely exterminated.”

Emphasising the rationale for a tough, collaborative resistance, Osinbajo submitted that without it “neither the glorious legacies of the past nor the future our children will inherit, is immune to the unchecked onslaught.”

It is for this reason, he explained, that the President “on numerous occasions reiterated the view that our peace and security architecture must recognize that traditional institutions are our first line of defence against the forces of anarchy.”

He further noted that this explains why the federal government has deepened its partnership with traditional institutions on several fronts, adding that “given their familiarity with the local environment, traditional institutions are integral to our nationwide programme of community policing and can deliver valuable intelligence to State authorities.”

Continuing the VP said, “many communities, the military and law enforcement agencies are partnering with local age-grade groups, hunters, and various associations under the sanction of the traditional leadership.”

On its part, he assured that “the Federal Government has remained resolute in the fight against terrorists and insurgents. Recent efforts have focused on deploying technology for surveillance, intelligence gathering and attack.

“We will also continue to encourage collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Justice, their State counterparts, and law enforcement, to ensure that those who have been apprehended for terrorism and violent crimes are effectively prosecuted.”

Prof. Osinbajo then underscored the influential role of traditional institutions and leaders as bridge-builders in communities in order to effectively tackle security challenges and promote peace and unity, at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation lecture on Leadership and Good Governance which was titled “Reviving the Northern Traditional Institutions: Imperative for Peace and Security in Northern Nigeria.”

The Vice President noted the qualities of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, whom he said has “a legacy of unifying the peoples of the North around a common purpose and the visionary pursuit of the actualisation of their individual and collective potential.

“As a Prince of Sokoto and a scion of the traditional institution, the Sardauna embodied the nexus between the ancient and the modern. He was a traditionalist with strong farsighted modernising instincts who understood that the key to the future lay in blending ancient values with progressive truths. As the Premier of the then Northern Region, he understood the necessity of inclusive governance in a plural environment.”