VP Osinbajo Attends One Year Anniversary Service Of Gov. Hope Uzodinma In Office On 14/03/2021
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY THANKSGIVING SERVICE OF GOVERNOR HOPE UZODINMA IN OWERRI, IMO STATE ON THE 14TH OF MARCH, 2021
It’s a special pleasure to join you at this service to offer thanksgiving to the Almighty God on this first anniversary of the government of my brother, His Excellency, Governor Hope Uzodinma. I also bring you the warm personal greetings and felicitations of Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Yorubas say that only a person who is capable of deep thought will take time to express gratitude and offer thanksgiving to God.
This is a State with a population of close to 5million people and since this State was created in 1976, there have only been 16 governors and you, Gov. Hope Uzodinma, are one of them. Since 1999, only 6 elected governors and you are one of them.
Some may say that you are here because you are the smartest; you are smart but I am sure you know that being the smartest doesn’t mean you will get here. Solomon the wisest man who ever lived said in Ecclesiastes 9:11 –
“The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.”
Who controls time and chance? It is the Almighty God. You are here today by the Grace of God. And so, my brother, life is a loan and public office is a loan of even shorter tenor. If you want God to have a hand in it, let me refer you to a scripture in 1 Samuel 2:30 –
God said, “those who honor me, I will honour, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”
This is a promise that God makes; He says He will honor those who honour Him. You know He doesn’t make the same promise about mercy or blessings. As for mercy, He says it’s discretionary, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” (Romans 9:16). If it’s blessings, He says He can give to the good and the evil alike (Matt 5.45). But honour is for those who honour Him.
So how can you or we in public office honor God? By serving the people faithfully. Serving the people is honoring God who gave you the opportunity.
Morning shows the day, and you have started very well indeed. We have heard so many things have been done over the past year; your administration has invested extensively in construction and several road projects. I’m told 46 different road projects so far and rehabilitation of educational and health institutions as well as markets.
The administration is currently undertaking a number of measures aimed at restoring power supply to rural communities and increasing power supply to urban areas. I know that you have also issued an executive order reducing the right of way charges for Telecoms companies laying broadband infrastructure – which bodes well for the emergence of, and the use of technology and an innovation economy in this State.
I understand that these are only a few of the initiatives that this administration is undertaking. I am told that this year’s budget has been tagged a “Budget of Wealth Creation.” This theme is apt because we recognize that our major challenge as a nation is that of creating enough wealth and opportunities to meet the expectations of our fast-growing population. The theme also gives an insight into your focus and orientation. Very well done!
Now, let me end with another piece of advice. There are at least three possible forms of opposition to the government; one is political opposition, the second is time and the third is the leader himself i.e. when the leader is discouraged or distracted. But the most critical factor is you, the leader. How you deal with time and political opposition will determine success or failure. Don’t look back, be focused, and stay on track.
Finally, let me say that despite the challenges our nation faces, by the grace of God, we the Nigerian people are more than able to surmount these challenges. In Numbers 13 in the Bible, we are told of the story of the spies that Moses sent to spy out the promised land which was then occupied by giants and enemies. The majority of the spies said (when they came back to report to Moses) ‘we cannot take over the land God has promised us because it is a land that swallows up its inhabitants and there are man-killing giants everywhere.’
But Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit, they said these giants are bread for us, Numbers 13:30 – “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
So, I say to you, people of Imo and the great people of Nigeria, yes, we have work to do, yes, we have much to repair, but we are undaunted. The problems we see today are the stepping stones to our great future. We are by the grace of God, mightier than our challenges.
Your Excellency on this first anniversary of your administration, and as I join you in giving thanks to God for one good year in office, let me also offer my favorite prayer in Deuteronomy 33.25 – “as your days so shall your strength,” this means that God will increase your physical strength with every passing day, your mental strength will increase daily, and so will your wisdom and your favour with God. He will give you the strength to meet every new challenge and it will be well with you.
Happy anniversary Imo State! Happy anniversary to all of us!
God bless you all.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.