By Channels Television
The Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (ACP), Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed optimism that his party, if given an opportunity to govern Nigeria, would bring the needed change at a period that “the entire nation is tired of the state of things”
Professor Osinbajo, who is also a pastor, said that the state of the nation had presented the APC with a chance that had never been, saying “it is the best that has ever been”. Osinbajo spoke Sunday as a guest on Channels Television program “Politics Today”.
Giving his political aspirations, his party’s manifesto and how it would be achieved, the Professor said that there was no difference in the roles that he played as a pastor, professor and politician.
“The reason I function as a pastor is essentially because I want to touch the lives of as many people as possible with the love of Jesus Christ and we must, in every situation we find ourselves, be able to help the poor, be able to help those who can’t help themselves and stand up for justice.
“I will do same as a political leader. All of these roles must be played in the same way and with the same motivation. As far as I am concerned, it is all the same,” he said.
There have been claims that the presidential candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, is a religious fundamentalist, but Professor Osinbajo dismissed the assertions, saying that “General Buhari is a very credible individual that does what he says”.
He listed General Buhari’s antecedents, explaining that his administration in 1983 was hailed as a saviour of what was going on at a time.
“General Buhari is a very credible individual that does what he says. He believes he must be careful with commitments he makes and he always wants to fulfil that commitment. Over the years, he has come to embraced the tenets of democracy. He is in every way someone that should be trusted with democratic governance.
“I think that it has been over 20 years since 1983. We cannot judge a man with what he was in 1983 and today.
“I think the claims that Buhari is a fundamentalist is unfair.
“The PDP has done a fairly good job in making it appear that he is a fundamentalist. I think that is unfair.Yemi_Osinbajo_Channelstv
“No one has ever accused General Buhari of being an Islamist.
“He has never been a fundamentalist. When he was in office, his deputy was a Muslim. They were under pressure to join the Organisation of Islamic Countries but they refused. Seventy per cent of the members of his cabinet were Christians. He worked very well with Christians,” he said.
Lack Of Accountability
Professor Osinbajo also exonerated General Buhari from the post-election violence of 2011, insisting that a statement by Buhari at that time could not have triggered the violence.
“It is unfair to hold General Buhari for the post-election violence that took place after the 2011 election.”
On what the APC would do differently if elected into power, Professor Osinbajo said that the performance of the APC in the states it had its members as Governors had demonstrated that good governance was not rocket science.
“It is the first time that a party will say that his policies are guided by what the man on the street wants.
“We are looking at how the government can better the lives of the people directly while encouraging business and industry to do the same.
“So at the core of the APC’s manifesto is the common man. The man on the street.
“We will have social security. We will focus on jobs for the young people, Universal Health Insurance, conditional cash transfers for the poorest people in the society and explore several options for power. Power makes it difficult now for industry and business to take-off in Nigeria,” Professor Osinbajo said.
He also said that the APC would further privatise the power sector’s transmission which he emphasised was an important process in power generation.
On Security, the APC Vice Presidential candidate said that the party would tackle the poverty in the north to ensure that the Boko Haram sect do not find young and poor youths to recruit.
The Nigerian economy is said to have maintained a steady growth, but Professor Osinbajo said that the economy would have grown more if the problem of the economy had been tackled.
“The problem of the Nigerian economy is management of the resources and that is critical with the way the APC government would deal with issues. Some of the issues surrounding the economy is complete lack of accountability.
” What the government needs is accountability. Resources must be managed well. If you don’t fight corruption and make people face the consequences of corruption you will find the same problem.”