The Declaration Speech

The Declaration Speech

The Declaration, the Agenda

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration on Monday morning,  11th April, read more like a Declaration of Agenda than ambition. The symbolism should excite ALL Nigerians anxious for a new leadership mentality in our country.

The agenda at a glance

National Security

The candidate promised to transform the security architecture of the country. As a member of the National Security Council, the vice president should know that this is top priority for a nation confronted with existential threat on all fronts. Insecurity endangers the polity and undermines  basic freedoms. It destroys the foundation for our development and prosperity. The next Commander-in-Chief must come into the job ready with a new strategy on national security.

Justice Reform

The vice president said he would as president undertake justice system reform based on the concept of rule of Law and justice for all.

Law and order is the foundation  of our civilisation, and the justice system the instrument to deliver it. Reforming the justice system will be critical to solving the problem of impunity, guaranteeing supremacy of the law and equality before the law.

The candidate obviously speaks from a background of extensive knowledge and practice of the law. He also speaks from specific memory and personal experience of sweeping justice sector reforms as former attorney general.


The promise is to revamp infrastructure in key sectors of power, transport and technology. It recognises the significant gap in infrastructure needed to catalyse economic development. The declaration gives insight into the critical sectors that may be priority the of an Osinbajo administration in terms of infrastructure.

The Private Sector

To enable private enterprise to thrive with the right business environment and with effective regulation.

In reality this is a longstanding subject of interest for the candidate. The vice president cureny  the presidential ease of doing business programme.

A policy on enabling private enterprise recognises that private sector led growth gives Nigeria perhaps the best chance to build the economy and escape the burden of natural resource dependence.

Education,  Technology & Innovation.

The declaration –To build a knowledge economy by (1) building a tech economy and (2) carry out education reforms.

Building a knowledge economy is presented as a strategy to create jobs that meet the challenges of the modern economy.

The declaration on building a knowledge economy is actually laid out in two separate frames in the speech–one links job creation to building a digital economy. The other anchors education reforms on the need to meet the challenges of a modern economy. This part of the presentation outlines both the candidate’s proposed policy on education and technology as well as his strategy on employment and economic development. The level of articulation in the declaration reveals that the candidate already has a framework for execution of the plan.

Effective Federalism

The vice president proposed to strengthen capacity of states and local governments to deliver service to the people.

This declaration brings innovation to the current campaign and demonstrates the depth of thinking driving the aspiration of the candidate to govern the country. This declaration implies that government at the subnational levels have performed below their constitutional mandates because they are constrained by weak capacity. Both the problem identification and the diagnosis reveals a level of strategic thinking on the matter beyond a mere political wish list. However, we anticipate more insights from the candidate on the nature and scale of the intervention.

Universal health coverage.

Though not as comprehensive as the statements on other issues contained in the vice president’s declaration, the statement onuniversal health coverage takes care of the other leading issue in the global human development agenda. Again, we will review in greater depth as the agenda unfolds.




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