Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria, has lamented about the millions of extremely poor people in the country.
During the closing of the two-day executive-legislative leadership retreat held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Vice President stated that elected leaders would be irresponsible if they don’t collaborate and find solutions to the life-threatening problems befalling the country.
Let me say that every generation of leadership must understand the context. Law itself must be interpreted and implemented in context.
What is the reality of the context that we operate in today? We all know, our nation has millions of extremely poor people, the COVID 19 pandemic has worsened employment and poverty.
We have huge deficits in infrastructure, many children are out of school. If that is our context, we will be callous and irresponsible if we don’t come together, work together to sort out these grave life-threatening problems our people have to confront every day.
It is time to focus on what we have been elected or appointed to do. This is the welfare of our people. The law and practice as between parliament and executive is a means to an end not an end to itself. The means must not jeopardise the end.
Our people just want food on their table, shelter over their heads, clothing on their bodies, healthcare, and education for their children and themselves.
So, the good legislature or good minister is not the one who is waving the law, and procedure, and doctrines, it is the one who says the spirit of our Constitution is that we secure the maximum welfare, freedom, and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.
The good legislator or minister is the one who will do all in his or her power to serve the needs of our people, even if it means walking the fine lines, as Hon Wudil said between the law and reality.