Engaging with Nigerians is our concern, says Osinbajo

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the constant engagement on issues of justice, peace, security, and the social contract cannot be let through the cracks.

Osinbajo was speaking on Wednesday during a farewell courtesy call at the Presidential Villa by the outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon.

Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on Thursday in a statement titled, ‘Engaging with the people and their needs remain our major concern, Osinbajo says.’

Meeting with the outgoing UN top official in Nigeria, the Vice President stated that “constant engagement on issues of justice, peace, security, and the social contract cannot be let to fall through the cracks, these are critical issues.

“You cannot avoid engaging with the people in such a way that you are trusted, and on an ongoing basis, people should see that you are committed enough to their concerns.

“People must feel that the is committed to their welfare, security and especially on issues of healthcare and education of their children. So, a social compact is crucial. As a matter of fact, it is both a current concern and aspiration for those of us who have been fortunate to be elected into positions in and the politics of our country.”

Earlier, the UN Resident Coordinator had raised with the VP the issue of the importance of a social contract between the people and their while recounting his experience during his more than five-year stay in Nigeria, adding that maintaining peace and security is crucial.

Osinbajo also commended the support and partnership of development partners, particularly under the auspices of the United Nations system, coordinated by Kallon over the years, noting that “we certainly enjoyed the work that you did as UN Resident Coordinator for Nigeria for the past few years”.

Recalling some of Kallon’s efforts, he said “practically, on every occasion where we have had to look at serious issues, you have been available which I think is very important.

“We found that you were very hands-on, you were everywhere, you attended major meetings that we have had and you were all over the country.

“Your being available and ready to engage is really commendable and very helpful for us as a ”

On his part, Kallon thanked the President and the Vice President for the support he enjoyed during his tenure as Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, especially in addressing some of the concerns around humanitarian assistance.

He praised Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, dubbing it a miracle, and commended the Vice President’s commitment and leadership of the economic recovery initiative, noting that “I am really impressed with your leadership in addressing the impact of COVID-19 in Nigeria.”

He added that Nigeria’s efforts remain a model as to how a well-coordinated national response can deliver positive results and urged the to explore opportunities in the country as well as creatively manage the risks therein.

Earlier, the Osinbajo received members of a Presidential Defence Reform Committee who briefed him on their progress so far which has now reached the implementation stage in the reform process.

The Vice President observed that “the choice of Committee members is wise and informed because your experience is what is required. You are the ones who can tell us this is what to do.”

According to the Committee Chairman, Major General Alwali Kazir (retd.), “The purpose of our visit is to appraise you of the work done so far and seek your counsel for a seamless implementation.”

Also on the delegation were several former military chiefs including Lt. Generals Chikadibia Obiakor (retd.), Lamidi Adeosun (retd.), Abel Akale (retd.), Major-Generals L.P Ngubane (retd.), Ahmed Jibrin (retd.), S. Wali (retd.), Brigadier-General Jonathan Temlong (retd.), Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani (retd.), and Group Captain Sadeeq Shehu (retd.), among others.

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