Public Presentation Of Sullivan Chime’s Book Titled “An Honour To Serve” In Enugu
NIGERIA’S DIVISION NOT ETHNIC, TRIBAL, RELIGIOUS, IT IS BETWEEN THE CORRUPT AND THE FORTHRIGHT, SAYS, VP OSINBAJO
“…the division in Nigeria is not along ethnic or tribal lines, it is between those who want to privatize the wealth of our nation and those who want to use the resources to build a great nation and to develop human capital.
Below is the full text of his remarks:
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, THE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK TITLED “AN HONOUR TO SERVE” IN ENUGU ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 23, 2018
I am very excited to be here today to celebrate the presentation of the magnus opus of my dear friend and brother, His Excellency, Sullivan Chime. He and I were Attorneys General of our States, I of Lagos and he of Enugu State in the period 1999-2003. He left us behind on to promotion to become the Governor of this great State and as we all heard and we know, he did so excellently for 8 years.
It is this sterling performance that is critically celebrated in this book “An honour to serve”. The title itself speaks to an important principle that all serious political leaders must appreciate and that is the preferment of election to serve in any leadership capacity is a privilege and an honour, as Sullivan prefers to characterize it.
The privilege to serve is one, which confers on the person who serves, an obligation, a duty to discharge the responsibility with integrity, commitment and faithfulness to the common causes of the people.
In countries such as ours where there are so many who are deprived and struggling to make a living, the voiceless and vulnerable are the majority. The responsibility to serve with conscience is even greater. And just listening to all that has been said and reading the book, and being also, an observer, I am convinced that Sullivan Chime discharged this responsibility excellently and with a high sense of duty.
Despite his significant achievements, I have always been fascinated by his understated leadership style – his self-effacing, respectful, and humble approach. But this is not surprising. He is a very well-bred man. A leader should not only be experienced but he must have strong values which itself is a product of good breeding. And we need not go into all of his antecedents which is also very clear that he is a man who is well brought up and has excellent virtues.
While Sullivan was doing excellently well here in Enugu, Fashola, who was then Governor in Lagos, was also delivering on the promise of building a modern city in Lagos.
I mention this point about this two governors to underscore the point that contrary to the ploys of the lazy and corrupt segment of the Nigerian elite to divide Nigeria along ethnic, tribal, or religious lines, you and I know that the division in Nigeria is not along ethnic or tribal lines, it is between those who want to privatize the wealth of our nation and those who want to use the resources to build a great nation and to develop human capital. Each side of that divide has men and women from all tribes and religions.
Our problem is not ethnicity or religion; it is finding good, forthright men of conscience in government. It is the duty of men who by the grace of God and the votes of the people who come into office to pay civic tax, that tax is to write an account of their stewardship, as fairly and as accurately as possible.
Sullivan has also discharged that obligation well by presenting this book today. Not surprising, given his pedigree that he has not only written, in this book, all his sterling achievements, but has also made a point by picking out his shortcomings.
But two things must strike you about today’s event, the first is that, why is it that he did not choose to launch this book at the height of his fame and the height of his nobility as the Governor? Again, it is because of the quality of the man. Obviously, if he had launched this book as Governor, if he had wanted to raise any amount of money, he would have raised it. But he chose so long after his period as Governor to present a book, because it is not about himself, it is about what is necessary for the coming generations to know.
The second point is that, it is very rare that anyone so long after office in Nigeria, can pull this kind of very distinguished audience that we have here today. Again, it is the quality of the man that is able to draw from everywhere across the country.
I want to say that, at the end of the day, integrity pays, and good service pays. I congratulate you my dear friend. God bless you.