Photo Exhibition Highlights Our Oneness As A Nation – VP Osinbajo

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“The 5-day event showcases, through photography, the existing bonds of unity, togetherness, oneness that we share as Nigerians.”

“What these images tell us more powerfully than words is that at the core, we Nigerians share the same DNA, we are exuberant, some people say we are aggressive, but I think it is better to say that we are self-assured, warm, and fair-minded.” – VP Osinbajo

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE ANISZA UNITY PHOTO EXHIBITION IN ABUJA, ON OCTOBER 1, 2018.

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This photo exhibition, which is described as ANISZA, is themed around unity, togetherness and the concept of a New Tribe. It is one I have the special pleasure and privilege of attending. I am sure that we all feel that there is something special about this exhibition, and we are all extremely pleased to be here today.

The 5-day event showcases, through photography, the existing bonds of unity, togetherness, oneness that we share as Nigerians.

It is a collaboration with the Federal Government represented by the Media team in the Presidency and the Ministry of Information & Culture. On the one hand, there are several private promoters and artists drawn from the Arts community and the private sector, including the visioner, my official photographer, Novo Isioro.

Let me just say, for those of us who know Novo on a regular day, this is not how she usually looks. She is much more tom-boyish than this, everybody is a bit surprised to see Novo today dressed in this very ladylike outfit. I must say, Novo, maybe every once in a while, you should wear this, so people know and don’t forget that you are a pretty young lady!

Novo is an outstanding photographer but her great strength is her incredible imagination and creativity. The creative quality of her photography, even of stuff as boring as the everyday life of a Vice President, just shows you how exceedingly talented she is. I want to congratulate her today and all of her team who worked so diligently with her.

Having gone through the exhibition just now, I think the organizers deserve our commendation, especially for making this a collaborative effort; the excellence of the exhibition is by itself, a tribute to the idea of working together in unity.

Two things strike me about this event; the first is the deliberate attempt to engage younger Nigerians on the issue of developing national unity. Secondly, closely linked, the very idea of casting a vision by reflecting our history in a series of photographs that tell our National story as the victories of unity despite diversities and dissension.

This is important because of the immediate and present drama of today’s ethnic and religious tensions, younger people may only lose the plot, not realizing that we have within us, and this is demonstrated by history, the capacity to resolve our differences and emerge stronger even after some of the greatest dissenting events we have seen.

Secondly, some of the pictures I have seen today include the photo of how the Shitta Bay mosque opening event in Lagos was headlined by Christians leaders, who were gladly invited by the Moslem leaders of the mosque, or the other one where Christians formed a protective shield around Moslems at a prayer ground in Abuja in 2012. What about the photo of the Igbo highlife musician Agu Norris, when he was gladly welcomed back to Lagos by his band and friends after the civil war?

What these images tell us more powerfully than words is that at the core, we Nigerians share the same DNA, we are exuberant, some people say we are aggressive, but I think it is better to say that we are self-assured, warm, and fair-minded.

The many images of how we pull together when the country is competing in sports always remind us that we are a people determined to succeed and excel, regardless of ethnic groups and religion or whatever political persuasion, our national flag is what we rally around, especially at any given international sporting event.

It seems a good time to recall our earlier call for a New Tribe of Nigerians to build a new Nigeria.

It is my respectful view that to build the new Nigeria, we need a new tribe. One tribe of men and women of all faiths, tribes, and ethnicities committed to a country run on the high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love of country. 

A tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and exercise the self-constraints that are crucial to building a healthy society, and who are prepared to stick together, fight corruption side by side, and insist on the rule of law even when our friends are at the receiving end. A tribe consisting of professionals, businessmen, politicians, religious leaders, students and all others who believe that a new Nigeria is possible.

 Thank you very much.



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"A tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and exercise the self-constraints that are crucial to building a healthy society, and who are prepared to stick together, fight corruption side by side, and insist on the rule of law even when our friends are at the receiving end. A tribe consisting of professionals, businessmen, politicians, religious leaders, students and all others who believe that a new Nigeria is possible."