Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN ) has said that he is happy that Nigerians are determined to build a new Nigeria despite its chequered political history .
He said he was happy this had further reinforced his hope that the country would move forward .
Osinbajo spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the Independence Day Photo Exhibition organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture .
He said , “I am pleased to say on behalf of the Nigerian government and people that we have chosen to say that our history will not determine our future . Our history is the least that we can ever be ; our future is much greater . Our history is only a precursor to a greater Nigeria , to a Nigeria that is prosperous , united and where all of us are treated fairly and justly .
“ Our history is only the beginning of that great Nigerian story that all of these people who have won awards represent ; that they are going to be better than those of us who sit here today . These young people represent that history and pride that our nation represents .
“ There are three reasons at least why this historical excursion is important. The first is that it helps us to recognise the incredible leadership of our political leaders , from the colonial days till the moment .
“ All of these incredible leaders — men and women who have shown such great wisdom and wit at various times , such dedication and courage at various times ; this exhibition celebrates them.
“ The second is that we are reminded of the twists and turns of our history . The colonial phase, the Independence , the First Republic , the political crisis , the coups and countercoups , the civil war , the short restoration of civil rule and another military incursion and then civil rule since 1999 .
“ Each phase has tested our resolve to remain united , to maintain the integrity of the country known as Nigeria .
“ Each phase has tested the commitment of our leaders to the Nigerian project ; it has tested their ingenuity and their wisdom in navigating the frequently tortuous and turbulent waters of our national story
Osinbajo added that it was evident that at every turn , Nigeria had clearly seen the strength of the Nigerian resolve to build a nation and the valiant attempts of the leadership at state building .
He said , “ We have not always excelled or have not always done as well as we should . But that is not the story.
“ The story is that we have never lacked the courage and will to keep trying , and to do so with greater resolve and greater commitment .
“ The third reason for the importance of this historical excursion is perhaps the most important. How we approach history .
“ History could be a crutch ; it could be an excuse for not doing as well as we could , or a strong shoulder to stand on . It could be a tyrant reminding us of how we got it wrong or it could be a reminder that our future is greater than our history. ”
In his welcome address , the Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Mohammed , explained that the exhibition showcased Nigeria ’ s political history from pre – colonial era till date , as well as Nigeria ’ s rich cultural heritage.
“For those who were not old enough to have witnessed Nigeria ’ s Independence in 1960 , they can at least look at the pictures of pre -independent Nigeria and the handing -over ceremony of the colonial masters to the Nigerian leaders to have an idea of how things were and the hopes for a bright future ahead , ” he added .
Source PUNCH .