Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday night said he would rather vacate his office as the nation’s Number Two man than compromise his Christian faith.
Osinbajo stated this while responding to posers raised by some Christian leaders at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the new Banquet Hall of the Benue State Government House, Makurdi.
He said under no circumstances would he give up his faith but would rather vacate his position as the nation’s Vice-President at the slightest attempt to cause him to abandon his Christian virtues.
One of the speakers, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko, His Lordship, Williams Avenya, had reminded Osinbajo of the then-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promises that he would not Islamise the country and would protect the interest of all Nigerians including citizens of minority ethnic groups if voted into power.
Quoting Buhari, the bishop said, “My deputy is a Christian and there is no way I will Islamise Nigeria with many Christians in my team.”
Avenya noted that the killing of Christians and members of the minority ethnic group particularly in Benue State had proved that the Federal Government under Buhari was not living up to these promises.
Facing Osinbajo, the bishop said, “The point I’m trying to make is that a day is going to come when you, as the Vice-President, will bear the brunt of that problem of injustices in our land, especially those perpetrated on smaller ethnic groups that have no one to fight for them.
“So, as a Christian person, exonerate yourself from this situation,” the bishop advised the VP.
Responding, 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’m also a priest and I’m a Christian, a born-again Christian. Because I’m 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 circumstances, 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 things 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.”
The Vice-President, while reacting to the issue raised by another speaker, Dr. Magdalene Dura, that the invasion of the state was an ethnic agenda, said no one would deliberately kill his own people.
“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 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,” Osinbajo added.
In his remark, Governor Samuel Ortom appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that peace reign in his state.
The governor said that the killing of the two Catholic priests and 17 parishioners could have caused a religious crisis but for the prompt action of his administration.
He appreciated the Federal Government for deploying more troops to the state as well as releasing funds for control of flood in the state.