By Amaechi Agbo
On Tuesday, VP Yemi Osibanjo was in Benue State to attend the burial of the 19 Catholic faithful who were killed on the 24 of April and buried on the Tuesday and also commiserate with the people of Benue State over the wanton killing going on in the state by suspected herdsmen.
Prior to Tuesday’s unscheduled visit, the VP has visited the state previously on several occasions to reassure them of the federal government’s efforts in bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly act to justice.
On the visits, as it were on Tuesday, the Vice President highlighted two major things – government’s efforts in revamping the security architecture of the country in order to bring to an end the incessant killings across the country and the need for Nigerians to live in harmonious tranquility. Retaliation never did any one good neither do two wrongs make a right.
Donned in a black kaftan, Osinbajo who tried to fight back emotion during his speech, consoled with people of the state over the unfortunate incident. He reassured good people of the state that the federal government was doing all within its power to end the senseless killings of innocent citizens in the state and other parts of the country.
“What do we owe the dead today, what do we owe those who have died, those 19 who died here in Benue and the very many others who have been killed here? We cannot bring them back, but we can provide succor and comfort for those who have been left behind.
“We can ensure justice for them by apprehending and punishing their assailants, we must rebuild the many places that have been damaged and heal the wounds that have been caused. We must revamp and rebuild our system of law enforcement to ensure that all those who live and work in this land are safe.
“Most importantly, we must, and we will stop these senseless killings.”
In one of his earlier visits to the state, the VP had said “To this end, Mr President and the Security Council have been engaging in rigorous stock taking, with a view to reengineering our security architecture to meet the challenges of the mindless killings in some parts of the country, including the threats of marauding herdsmen, cattle rustlers and bandits.” While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of these evil acts and to bring a permanent end to all of the killings going on in the name of herdsmen, Boko Haram, or in any other name, we as a body of Christ must not lose focus.”
One peculiar fact about Osibanjo’s visit to Benue state on Tuesday was its unscheduled nature.
Over the couple of weeks and months, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has traversed the nooks and crannies of the country, providing assurances and succour to distressed or displaced Nigerians who are victims of recent killings and crisis caused by herdsmen/farmers clashes in some states in the federation.
While stressing government commitment in providing lasting security to all Nigerians irrespective of their choices or residence, the VP never failed to emphasise the need for Nigerians to live in peace and tranquility.
Departing from Benue, the Vice President visited Nasarawa State where he assessed peace building efforts of the state, especially as it concerned herdsmen killings in Tiv land and some other security challenges facing the state. More than 200 lives of Tiv people have been lost in the crisis even as another 200,000 were displaced in five local government areas of Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma and parts of Lafia, as a result of the attacks.
Osinbajo also assessed the efforts and process made by the government in ensuring peace between herdsmen and farmers, especially around the border communities of Nasarawa and Benue States affected by the crisis.
On the same day, the Vice President was in Abuja to attend this year’s Direct Investors’ Summit 2018, Held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. At the Summit, the Vice President who is the chair of the economic management team detailed the policies and programmes introduced by the government so far in boosting ease of doing business in the country and stabilizing the economy for greater growth and development.
Some of the sectors the government’s has improved significantly since exiting recession include but not limited to e-commerce, financial services, retail, manufacturing, transportation, micro business, loans and agriculture. The latter of which has created over five million jobs in the country since the government came to power three years ago.
In the service sector, the VP gave an instance of MTN which operates in more than 20 countries, but earns more than half its revenues from Nigeria. He highlighted that MTN is now planning to list on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.
One of the biggest priorities and commitments of the government under this current administration has been the creation of an enabling business environment, one in which property rights and the rule of law are respected, and in which markets take the lead, while government efficiently fulfils its role as a protector and enabler.
For instance, since 2016, the federal government has launched a number of efforts in growing the economy. The most ambitious being the Ease of Doing Business Reforms, currently implemented by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which the Vice President, not unexpectedly, is the chairman.
PEBEC has implemented a series of National Action Plans, targeted interventions aimed at dismantling specific bottlenecks around business and property registration, access to finance, payment of taxes, importing and exporting goods, entry into and exit from Nigeria.
It is on account of these reforms and policies that the World Bank recognized Nigeria as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world in 2017, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cited Nigeria’s business environment reforms as a major contributor to lifting the economy out of recession last year.
It therefore follows that Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has not only promoted peace in Nigeria but has also championed the development and growth of Nigeria’s economy.
With the management of many teams he is saddled with and his continued visits to troubled states affected by herders/farmers clashes championing the cause for Nigerians to live in peace and federal government’s resolve to enthrone lasting peace in Nigeria for the betterment of all, it is befitting, therefore, to say that indeed, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo is an apostle of peace and driver of economic rejuvenation in Nigeria.
Amaechi Agbo is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja. email@example.com