Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has slammed what he called the “apparent sensationalization” of his remarks on behalf of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a Church Service to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
Contrary to the misrepresentation, Mustapha insisted in a statement Tuesday that “the Vice President and I remain very firmly and irrevocably committed to the ideal of one indivisible Nigerian nation.”
Mustapha’s statement reads: “I have observed with concern the apparent sensationalization of the remarks I made at the 60th Independence Anniversary Church Service, where I stood in for His Excellency, the Vice President.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I want to affirm that His Excellency, the Vice President and I remain very firmly and irrevocably committed to the ideal of one indivisible Nigerian nation.
“We are also deeply appreciative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent efforts to strengthen the unity of the Nigerian nation.
“Any suggestion to the contrary is a clear misrepresentation of our common position as a Government.”
For the records, read below the address Mustapha delivered on behalf of VP Osinbajo:
REMARKS BY PROFESSOR YEMI OSINBAJO SAN.GCON. VICE PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT NIGERIA’s SIXTIETH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL INTER-DENOMINATIONAL SERVICES UNDAY, 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2020
I am highly delighted to be speaking at this special inter-denominational service commemorating Nigeria’s sixtieth Independence Anniversary.
2. The theme of today’s message – Together “,,,,Come, let us rebuild…” resonates with the theme of Nigeria’s sixtieth Independence Anniversary and it should serve as a clarion call to all Christians in Nigeria to be prepared to contribute their quota to national development.
3. As eloquently put forward by the preaching today, the story of Nehemiah and his role in re-building the broken down walls of Jerusalem should be a challenge to every Christian in Nigeria who is desirous of following the path of the Christian way of life..
4. For us in Nigeria, Nehemiah should be taken as a metaphor for that Nigerian, who either in the country or outside, would cry to God to give him the wherewithal to use the abundant opportunities in the country to address our challenges of nation building.
5. Fortunately for us in the Nigeria, our walls are not yet broken but have cracks that could lead to a break if not promptly addressed.
6. Nehemiah first started with fervent prayers, seeking the face of God and pleaded with his King in Persia to allow him go to Jerusalem to help his people rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem.
7. We might wonder what is the significance of a wall to the lives of people. But if we appreciate that in those days, a wall around a city signified security, prosperity, peace and contentment we would understand that the wall signified the essence of a nation-state.
8. The rebuilding, in the face of great odds, represented the people’s renewal of faith, their overcoming national shame and the reforming of their conduct. We can, therefore see how urgent the need for a Nehemiah in our country is.
9. Just like Nehemiah faced opposition from Sanballat, that Nigerian, with the burning desire to rebuild our broken walls will also face opposition. Such opposition, which usually comes in their torrents, can only be diffused by consistent focus, watching and praying.
10. This anniversary calls for a re-birth of the Nigerian Nation and no group is more qualified to lead it than our religious bodies. I, therefore charge the CAN to provide leadership to its faithfuls in making Nigeria the great Nation that it has been destined to be.
11. I must not fail to congratulate the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for their consistency in supporting the modest efforts of government and especially the role they are playing in the peace process of the country. Such partnership have been very useful in the development of the country and government looks forward to more of such.
12. As I close my speech, I wish to express my confidence that this anniversary would surely lay a good foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.
13. Thank you for your attention and God Bless Nigeria.