Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised outgoing governors to make good use of the experiences and opportunity they had while in office, and not see their exit from power as an opportunity to run personal businesses or sleep for
Osinbajo gave the advice in his remarks at the valedictory session of the National Economic Council (NEC), at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
While urging the governors to deploy the opportunity of the period to further serve the country in various capacities, using their influence as former governors to contribute to healthcare and education, the vice president said donor agencies will be glad to work with ex-governors, especially those with track records of healthcare provision and other humanitarian needs.
“I advise that you should use your influence and reach to the advantage of Nigerian people. You have seen and heard for yourselves the enormity of our national problems. Very few people have the advantage to see closely as we do on the issues that concern our country, the issues that even concern our different states.
“We, here, have that unique advantage. So I think that we can help in one way or the other; we can do something in our states and other states in a way of advocacy or action on education and healthcare in particular and jobs.
“I think it is important for those of us who have had the benefit of all of these experience and leadership not to now settle down to a life of business or perhaps of enjoyment or sleeping for eight hours. I need this time for action.”
Expressing his appreciation for the encomiums showered on him by various speakers at the meeting, Osinbajo noted that of Nigeria’s huge population of about 200 million, only 74 persons, including the president, vice-president, 36 governors and their deputies, were given the responsibilities of formulating policies and executing projects meant to serve the huge populace.
While canvassing more commitment of the governors to better the lots of the citizenry, the vice-president noted that in a matter of years, the population of Nigeria would double, pointing out that the country depended heavily on the elite for survival.
Osinbajo who reminded them of being the number one citizens of their various states for some years, said the governors do not need anyone to advise them any longer on the imperative of unity or security of lives and property, and emphasised that the main priority of citizens was the availability of food and water on their tables.
However, the vice-president lamented that most people dissipate energy to stoke the embers of disunity and ethnicity, advising the governors to openly condemn those who engage in such acts and resist them because the country does not belong to them alone.
He reiterated the need for the outgoing governors to be challenged by the enormity of problems at stake and consequently use their influence as former governors to contribute to continued efforts to address such problems.
“In the next few years, our population will double, with the attendant challenges of jobs, education, health care, security and infrastructure. Every nation that has moved its people from misery to prosperity has depended heavily, in fact, almost completely on the political elite.
‘’Our people have nowhere else to look or to go, it is as they say, at the collective table that the bulk stops.”