All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Sen. Bola Tinubu, on Monday urged Nigerians to recognise the value of diversity and use it for the prosperity of the country.
Tinubu made the call at a public presentation of a book entitled: ‘Battlelines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics’, a memoir of Chief Olusegun Osoba.
The book is a 341-page autobiography of Osoba, a former governor of Ogun State, with records of his life as a journalist and a politician. It was launched to mark his 80th birthday in Lagos.
Tinubu said that the APC recognised the place of unity in diversity, which informed the ‘broom’ symbol of the party.
“When we proposed our symbol of APC as a broom, what we meant is our unity in diversity.
“Different heights in a broom. You cannot see a single broom tied together of the same height, unless you cut it.
“Our problem in this country is that instead of using our diversity for prosperity, we continue to use our diversity for division, either religion or tribe.
“It is a lesson that we are to take away from here today. Let’s stop it. The broom is very strong when it is tied together, ” he said.
Tinubu described Osoba as an open book; a very honest and straight personality.
He thanked Osoba for the many revelations in the book, which talked about the history, present and future of the country.
“He was one of the main contributors to our constitution, which we depend on today, ” Tinubu said.
Also speaking, Senate President Ahmed Lawan urged Nigerians to embrace unity and eschew all forms of mistrust and suspicion.
“Nigeria is a country that is rich in diversity. This diversity is our strength as a nation. No country can develop when there is no unity.
“As political leaders, we must demonstrate clear sense of leadership to make Nigeria work for all of us, ” Lawan said.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said it was important to document the life of senior important personalities for posterity.
“In the book, Chief Osoba wrote some things that will motivate and serve as a guide to politicians and Nigerians to build a better country.
“Chief Osoba’s life is a clear reflection that you must have a good job to become a good politician.
“He was a journalist of note, and that made him a successful and outstanding politician. This should be the direction of our country, “he said.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, described Osoba as an exemplar in the annals of governors.
”Chief Osoba is a timeless and very senior member of the club of governors. He has every counsel and advice for every generation of governors. I am a beneficiary.
“There are stories told in his book that will be essential for our country, for the future of our democracy and for the good of our people ,” he said.
In his goodwill message, former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, described Osoba as a detribalised and accomplished journalist.
”Osoba knows how to cultivate friendship with people, irrespective of tribe or religion. He was like a bridge between us (military) and the people, and he has the ability to speak truth to power for the good of mankind, ” he said
In his speech, Osoba thanked dignitaries who turned up at the event, saying he was highly honoured by their presence.
He said that he wrote the book with his wife to document his experiences as a politician and a journalist.
According to him, there were so many things that might not be known and he needed to write the book to reveal all.
In his remarks, the publisher of the book, Mr Lanre Idowu, said it was conceptualised in 2016 and centred on Nigerian journalism and politics.
Some of the dignitaries at the launch were former Ogun State governor, Mr Gbenga Daniel; former governor of Oyo State, Sen Abiola Ajimobi; Gov. Olurotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State; Chief Odigie Oyegun, former APC National Chairman; former governor of Akwa-Ibom, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; and Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, former Minister, Information, Culture and Tourism; Pastor Tunde Bakare, popular Lagos cleric; Chief Bisi Akande, APC chieftain; former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke; Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; and former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi were also present.