Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday humility and sacrifice by leaders across the board would positively change the people’s disposition from hate and prejudice.
Osinbajo stated this in a keynote address he delivered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the opening session of the Sixth Assembly of the Forum for Promoting Peace organized by the UAE government.
According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, speakers and participants at the conference were drawn from the United States, representatives of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam among others.
Among the representatives from Nigeria were the Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, and the celebrated Imam from Plateau State, Abubakar Abdullahi.
Osinbajo was received after the opening session by both the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nayan, and the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the UAE.
The reception took place at the Al-Ain Palace of the Crown Prince, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The Vice President said in his keynote address: “No amount of words or platitudes can change the human predisposition to prejudice and parochialism. Only acts of deep humility and personal sacrifice can.
“There is no question at all that this is the responsibility leadership places on those of us who are religious and political leaders in our countries.
“The responsibility of leadership is not just words, it is not text, it is not just laws. The responsibility of leadership is self-sacrifice, it is putting our reputation on the line and it is putting our words into action.
“It is my respectful submission that the burden rests squarely on leaders, especially religious and political leaders, and others we may describe as the elite in our nations and communities.
“It is our role not only to articulate, as we are doing in this assembly today, the theoretical and doctrinal foundations for a more tolerant world but more importantly, to make the personal sacrifices that would compel our societies to commit themselves to lifestyles of tolerance.”