Public service a lifelong enterprise, says Osinbajo at book launch
• Why VP is symbol of national unity, by Gowon • Chimamanda: Book is labour of love
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that leaders owe the citizenry the responsibility of selfless duty because public service is a lifelong enterprise that deserves commitment.
The Vice President spoke on Monday as Special Guest of Honour at the virtual launch and unveiling of the book: Osinbajo Strides: Defining Moments of an Innovative Leader.
Osinbajo, who thanked the authors, said: “I dedicate this book to the people of our country, to whom we always owe the duty and responsibility of selfless service.”
The 29-chapter book was put together by 25 journalists and writers known as the ‘PYO Collective’ and the foreword was written by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
The authors are: Richard Akinnola, Azu Ishiekwene, Garba Mohammed, Donu Kogbara, Etim Etim, Arukaino Umukoro, Sadiq Abdullateef, Fatima Mamman-Daura, James Akpandem, Mustapha Ogunsakin, Dayo Akintobi, Dr. Wale Adeduro, Columba Ogah, Haruna Abdullahi, Temilade Okesanjo and Olaolu Beckley.
Others are: Jude Zoho, Oreoluwa Ogunbiyi, Vitalis Obidiaghaa, Seun Bisuga, Seyi Gesinde, Faith Dafe-Joseph, Muritala Ayinla, Abimbola Olaniyan and Ibrahim Bature.
Former Guardian Newspapers Editor, Mr. Jahman Anikulapo, was the book’s editorial consultant. President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, was the Father of the Day, while former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) chaired the virtual event.
The Vice President was full of thanks in his remarks at the end of the book presentation. He said: “First, let me thank the Almighty God for the privilege of life and the opportunity to serve. I must also thank a role model and all-time mentor to millions, the Chair of this book launch, General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR. Thank you for the incredible privilege of your company today, and I am deeply grateful to you for doing me this honour.
“Let me also thank former President General Abdulsalami Abubakar for the great honour done to me by the very generous comments he made in the foreword to this book.”
According to the Vice President, “public service for all of us who love this nation and its peoples unconditionally only terminates when we die. Our country deserves our commitment and service. And I commend you all, compatriots in the public service, especially those who are not public servants, and social activists for your steadfastness through the years.”
“As we march on towards a new Nigeria, we must not give up. So, I would want us to leave this event with a paraphrase of what Chimamanda said a few moments ago ‘we who love this country must not give up because love is persistent’.”
In his speech, Gowon described Osinbajo as a leader who brought a collaborative approach to governance. Thanking Osinbajo for his service to the nation, the elder statesmen added that the Vice President would leave the office as one of the most effective vice presidents the country has ever produced.
He said: “Vice President Osinbajo is known for his collaborative approach to governance, which has enabled him to work effectively with different stakeholders in achieving common goals. As you all know, Osinbajo has been at the forefront of groundbreaking initiatives that have transformed Nigeria’s economy and its people.
“The Vice President has always exhibited a passion for innovation and commitment to the development of Nigeria. Osinbajo is one of the most effective Vice Presidents Nigeria has ever had. And that is why I said congratulations to this government. The Vice President has put in a lot of effort with the kind of work he’s done.”
The SGF, who stood in for the President, thanked Osinbajo for his selflessness and passion for excellence in the execution of tasks assigned to his office.
He said: “One thing that is admirable about the Vice President is his passion for excellence in everything that he is involved with. Besides all of his official engagements as VP, we all saw this attribute exhibited by him, right from the campaigns, how he ensured that the right things were done. We cannot thank you enough, sir.”
Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Chairman of the Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, praised the Vice President’s leadership of the National Economic Council, describing him as a bridge builder and worthy leader.
Also speaking, Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, acknowledged that the Vice President is “a completely detribalised Nigerian and the ‘Omoluabi’ poster boy of the current Yoruba generation.”
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, described Osinbajo as one who “represents a perfect picture of what an ideal Nigerian leader should look like.”
According to him, “Osinbajo is an intellectual. He is someone I will sit with and debate, and as you know, I have been very critical of some of the policies of the government, and he will debate. And he had the ability, as we all know, to accept a superior argument.
“Sometimes, he will explain why it cannot be done, sometimes he will explain that it is something he agrees with but he knows would take time to fix, sometimes he would outright not accept and would agree to disagree.
“Osinbajo has this picture of a man who has the quality of a leader we need or how a leader should be. As Acting President, he gave us insight into how he would rule this country as President.”
In the keynote remarks and book review, renowned author, Chimamanda Adichie praised the Vice President for being a great person and inspirational leader.She said: “The essence of this book comes from a diverse range of writers and they are all very different in style. But they all have a kind of organic enthusiasm to them. You read them with a sense of reading pieces written by people who actually wanted to write them.
“And so, it feels to me that this book is a labour of love, and the fact that it is a labour of love says something about the subject, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It speaks to the humane and human quality that he has, the ability to bring diverse people together.”