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Benue killings: I’m prepared to step down - Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said he was prepared to step down from his position at anytime since he did not solicit to become Vice President, noting the position meant nothing to him. Osinbajo, addressed Benue stakeholders, Tuesday night, in Makurdi, shortly after visiting IDPs camps for victims of herdsmen crisis in the state. He was reacting to statements by Catholic Bishop of Gboko, Most Rev. William Avenya, who had alleged that the vice president had been mute in the face of killings, oppression of smaller tribes and the palpable fear of an Islamic agenda by the present government. 

 

The vice president said: “My Lord Bishop, you said you are not a politician, I am also not a politician. As a matter of fact, I am also a priest and I’m a Christian, a born again Christian. Because I am a born again Christian, my destiny is not determined by any man but by God who I serve. “Let me assure you that under no circumstance, none whatsoever, will I give up my faith or refuse to stand up for my faith. You can take that to the bank. Even the position that I currently occupy, I did not ask for it and I’m prepared to leave it at a short notice. It doesn’t mean anything. I became a born again Christian after I became a professor, a professor of the law of evidence, a professor of proof.

 

“But when the Lord Jesus Christ met me, He persuaded me by showing me clearly that there is such a thing as the evidence of faith that are not seen. It is because of the evidence of things that are not seen, it is because you can make something out of nothing that I stand here today as vice president. How possible can anyone say that the killing of women and children doesn’t matter because he is vice president or because he is president? How is that possible? Certainly, it cannot be for a person who is born again. A renewed mind will know that there is justice, there is consequence even if there is no justice here on earth.”

 

You too will bear the brunt of that problem Bishop Avenya in his speech, had stated that “when President Buhari came to campaign and requested us to appeal to our people to vote for him, he pointed at you and said ‘here is a Christian, my vice president’. “The point I’m trying to make is that a day is going to come when you as vice president, will be called to account for the injustices in our land, especially those perpetrated on smaller tribes that have no one to fight for them. “When the issues and the records are raised, you too will bear the brunt of that problem. So, as a Christian person, exonerate yourself from this situation. “I plead with you to be a Christian and a committed Christian, somebody who understands the law and one who speaks for justice. This is the way to conciliation and peace in our land. Let us stop this political thing that means practically nothing. Let us talk in truth.”

 

Reacting to the fear expressed by Dr. Magdalene Dura, the State Focal Person on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, alleging that the ceaseless killings in the state was an agenda to Islamise the country, Osinbajo said:  “Some people have suggested that there is an agenda. “I heard the very eloquent words of Dr. Magdalene Dura who said this is an agenda. The suggestions that have been made that indeed, there is ethnic cleansing and all of that. But let me say to you that although I do not accept that but the only way that we can prove that there is, indeed, no agenda is to protect the people, to fight for justice and to rebuild where there has been destruction. That’s the only way to prove it. As I said to you, I do not accept and I do not believe that there is an agenda. No one will deliberately kill his own people. No one will do so. But we cannot bring back the dead but we can make life more bearable for the living."

 

“This is why my coming here today at the behest of the President is first, to look at the situation myself, to get a first hand view of the situation because the president has mandated me to take this on board and deal with the issues. “Second, to share with the governor and the stakeholders that we intend to do something, especially for those in the IDPs camps first,  and then, of course, for the other things that we need to do for the state.” In his speech, Governor Samuel Ortom, who commended the Federal Government for deploying more security and military personnel to the state to stem the herdsmen killings in the state, said his administration would continue to partner the government to end the  pogrom.

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