Osinbajo says he would rather give up his office than compromise his Christian values

VICE president Professor Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that he would rather vacate his office as the nation’s number two man than compromise his Christian faith in response to criticism that he is not doing enough to combat the growing Islamisation of Nigeria.


Since 2015 when the Buhari administration assumed office, the government has come under criticism for discriminating against Christians. President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim has been singled out for not doing enough to combat the growing menace of Fulani cattle herdsmen who have been carrying out incessant attacks against mainly Christian farming communities across the country.


An ethnic Fulani himself and the proud owner of a herd of cattle, President Buhari has been accused of having too much empathy with the herdsmen to crack down on then. Professor Osinbajo, a church minister, has been criticised too for not standing up to the president and fighting for Christians.


Responding to such criticism, which he described as unfair, Professor Osinbajo, spoke while responding some Christian leaders at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Benue State Government House in Makurdi. He added that under no circumstances would he give up his faith and would rather vacate his position as the nation’s vice president than abandon his Christian virtues.


One of the speakers, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko, Reverend Williams Avenya, had reminded Professor 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 President Buhari, the bishop said: “My deputy is a Christian and there is no way I will Islamise Nigeria with many Christians in my team.”


Reverend Avenya noted that the killing of Christians and members of minority ethnic groups, particularly in Benue State had proved that the federal government under President Buhari was not living up to these promises. He tasked the vice president to do something about the growing problem


“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,” Reverend Avenya said.


Professor Osinbajo replied: “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 and 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."


In his remarks, Governor Samuel Ortom appealed to the federal government to ensure that peace reigns in his state. He 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.