The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Chief E. K. Clark were among eminent Nigerians that called for an end to hate speech by politicians and agitators.
They spoke in Abuja yesterday, at the presentation of a book, Genius Orator, authored by Professor Chike Okolocha, on Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, UN, late Yusuf Maitama Sule, who died two months ago.
In his remarks at the event, Professor Osinbajo said: “In recent times, there have been efforts by some politicians to divide the great people of Nigeria.” In his remarks at the event, Professor Osinbajo said Maitama Sule, who held the traditional title of Dan Masani Kano, was an exceptional character who was motivated by love for his country at all times.
He said: “This was a man for who material comforts were never a driving impulse. Public service for him was never about amassing wealth and privilege; instead it was about serving humanity and living true to his beliefs and ideals. “Believing in Nigeria was one of those ideals. He was a believer until the very end,” even as he described the late Maitama Sule as a gifted orator who used his skills “to persuade, to exhort, to inspire, to set direction and create a vision.” He commended the author, Okolocha, for documenting Sule’s “life and views in great detail,” and challenged other scholars to write “these important stories before the principal actors and characters pass on.”
Also speaking, Chief E. K. Clark said ethnicity and religious considerations should not hinder any Nigerian from attaining any position for which they are qualified. Similarly, former Anambra State Governor, Okwadike Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said: “One Nigeria will be better for every group of Nigerians no matter how small or large.” He urged Nigerians to think like Maitama Sule, who stood for a united Nigeria everyone can be proud of. Others who spoke against hate speech were Justice Mamman Nasir (rted.), who was the Chairman of the organising committee of the event; Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Edo State immediate past governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, and the National Secretary, National Caretaker Committee, NCC, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ben Obi, among others.
On his part, Atiku described the late Sule as “a combination of so many positive attributes: orator, patriot, nationalist, pan-Africanist, humanist, diplomat and educationist.” Atiku recalled that Sule’s political career began in the early 1950s when he teamed up with the late Mallam Aminu Kano to form the Northern Elements Progressive Union, NEPU, a platform they used to champion the cause of the less-privileged and continued in the Second Republic when he aspired for the presidential ticket of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, which he lost to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who would go to win the election. In his remarks, Professor Ango Abdullahi said: “Maitama Sule was the leader of a diverse group of students, one of such diverse students and had provided a moderation position on divergent views Nigerians.”