The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has assured that President
Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would connect more with Nigerians
within the next four years.
Osinbajo gave the assurance during a dinner to appreciate volunteer
groups who campaigned for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja,
The Vice President also highlighted some efforts the Buhari-led
administration was making in the area of infrastructure across the
A statement signed by his Media Aide, Laolu Akande, quoted Osinbajo
as saying, “Just before I make a couple of remarks, we know that a few
of our supporters lost their lives during the course of the campaign. I
want us to stand for a moment and observe a minute of silence in honour
of them. We thank the Lord for their souls and ask for comfort for all
members of their family in Jesus name.
“For me, this campaign was about the Nigerian people. One of the
things I discovered, and I’m sure most of us know, is that our people
are so trusting and supportive of their leaders everywhere. I think that
one of the major characteristics of Nigerians is how supportive they
are and also they don’t ask for too much. They never really ask for
anything that is impossible to do.
“For many of us, as we went around the country, we realised the
tremendous amount of work that we need to do and our capacity to do so
much work and what our people need. As a matter of fact, I don’t know
any nation where the people are so generous no matter how poor they are.
“I met a woman in one of the markets in Kwara State, and she gave us
some vegetables and I thought she wanted to sell them, but she was
actually offering it to us free. I thought to myself, here is this woman
I should be giving something to and she is the one giving a gift
instead. That is just a typical Nigerian. I was walking past another
woman in Kogi while shaking hands with people there, she gave me N200. I
thought to myself, I am the one meant to be giving her something.
“There was another elderly woman here in Gwagalada, and that made the
news, she pulled me aside and said, “Young man, you need prayers” and
she prayed for me. People saw her holding my hands and praying for me,
and I thought to myself, I am meant to be offering these people comfort
and succour, but they are hopeful and offering the support, comfort,
love and all of the things they thought at the time that we needed.
“On behalf of all of us who are here, I want to say a very big thank
you to the Nigerian people for their contributions to getting us back
“We visited many homes across the country; we did the house-to-house
campaign, visiting many homes and most of those homes were the homes of
the poor. But they were still very hospitable and they would still ask,
“What will you eat? What will you drink?”
“I remember an encounter in Idanre, Ondo State, where we met a man;
he was so excited we visited him in his home. He said, “This your
government is the best I have ever seen.” He said all sorts of very nice
things, then the Local Chairman of the APC in Idanre said to him, “But
you are PDP this man.” The man then said, “How can you say I am PDP?
Okay, I used to be PDP, but from now on, I am now APC!”
“It struck me that what we need to do more is connect with the people
that we govern. All that the people want are opportunities for us to
interact more with them. Somebody who gave a speech earlier said that we
should govern in this same way.
“One of the complaints that people made about our government is that
we didn’t communicate well enough and people didn’t even know what we
had done. I think they were probably right, and we did very well in
terms of our messaging during the 2015 campaign, but thereafter, we
seemed to have slacked and over time, the opposition began to get the
better of us, especially on Social Media and Radio. But all of that is
definitely going to change.
“I am going to take on everyone who has challenged us on this matter,
including the gentleman who has offered his services for communication
purposes because this has to be a joint effort in ensuring that we put
across our point of view.
“And the simple reason why that is so is that today what our country
needs the most is honest government, that’s what our country needs. And
I’ll tell you why as I repeated many times in the course of the
campaign; our country is not short of ideas, projects or money. What we
are short of is integrity in office. Corruption is the major problem
that our country has faced. And once we are able to deal with it
effectively, and we will, we will be the great nation we ought to be.
“I was saying to someone that this same President, President
Muhammadu Buhari, of the four refineries that we have in our country
today, he built three of them when he was Minister of Petroleum. Then he
built 3km of pipelines, how much has been added to it since then?
“So, you don’t need to be a great orator. And this is one of the
responses I gave to people when they were saying – “oh the president
doesn’t talk.” He doesn’t need to be an orator; all he needs to do is be
a doer. And that is what he is doing today.
“And what we’ve seen today is despite the fact that we are earning
60% less than the previous government, we are spending almost 8 times
more especially for capital projects. Why? Because the president is not
stealing the money, simple! That is why we are able to spend more.
“And just in terms of achievements in infrastructure, the Lagos-Kano
rail, we have just commissioned the first phase, which is the
Lagos-Abeokuta-Ibadan, and we are going to complete the Lagos-Kano rail.
“We completed the Itakpe-Warri rail after 5 years it has been
completed. Even the Abuja Light rail that was started in 2005 has just
“We put money aside to do the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which had been
practically abandoned; they would start and stop, they put it into the
budget, but it would disappear. Today, the money is there to complete
“Sometimes, I talk to my friends in the Southeast about the second
Niger Bridge, which was commissioned in 2014, but it was not designed,
it was just commissioned. How does anybody do that? Today, the highest
amount of money as an immediate payment for any project we have ever
done was for the second Niger Bridge, 33billion immediate payment for
that bridge. That is the highest amount of money we have ever put for
one single payment.
“We’re going to start the Mambila Project, and have put money aside
for it. All these projects are projects that the President himself not
just negotiated, but supervises on a regular basis.
“And that is the thing; a lot of work needs to be done in this
country. Infrastructures we need to put in place will be put in place.
And the reason why is because the President is not a thief. And that is
to just put it very simply. Many believe that the government is very
complicated, no. If the man who is in charge is honest, everything we
want to be done will be done, just take a look at our Social Investment
“I was saying to some group of people that today we are feeding 9.2
million children every single day as part of our school feeding
programme. We’re paying for 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries every month.
We have given almost 2million traders TraderMoni loans, and almost
500,00 MarketMoni. Apart from that, we are giving N5,000 to the poorest
of the poor per month, we are now approaching 500,000 and we are going
to do a million.
“All of that has still not cost us N300billion. Yet some people ran a
programme called Sure-P, and we cannot find a single beneficiary and it
cost N700billion. On everything I’ve said, we still haven’t spent
N300billion in 2 years.
“So, it’s not as if this business of doing the right thing is rocket
science. The major thing is an honest man, as we have an honest man,
everything we want to be done is what will be done.
“And I believe very strongly with your support, all of what we wish and want for our country will be done.
“And by the grace of God, every one of the infrastructure projects we
want to be done will be done. Our economy will turn around and we will
see prosperity in this great nation of ours.
“Finally, let me just say that we are still not done with elections.
On the 23rd of March, we still have some outstanding states. As you
know, we are re-running in 6 States. All of the efforts that we need to
put into those 6 States should be done, we cannot afford to slack up and
say we are done; we still have some things to do.”