*VP receives London-Lagos rider, accompanied by colleagues
The achievements of the internationally acclaimed Nigerian biker, Mr Kunle Adeyanju has made Nigerians proud and the country is much popular on account of his feat, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this Thursday when he received the biker who rode a motorbike from London to Lagos recently promoting the “End Polio” campaign, at his official residence, Aguda House, Presidential Villa.
Adeyanju was accompanied by other bikers drawn from across the country and his delegation also included Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and District Governor of Rotary Club District 9125, Mr Goddy Nnadi among other officials.
Adeyanju shared his travel experience during the visit to the VP, while speaking later, the Vice President said his stories are those “we must tell and retell. They are stories of our successes and we must continue to tell those stories and telling it in the light that will shame those who continue to tell stories that Africa is all about people who are killing each other and all that.”
“Where do you not have acts of terrorism these days, but the truth of the matter is that vast majority of our people are good people, generous people, hospitable people, as you found,” referring to the Diaspora Biker.
The VP then said “your achievements have made us all proud, we are all standing much taller on account of what you have done. And I know that this is just the beginning of the many more ways by which you will promote Nigeria and Africa.”
Speaking specifically about Nigeria, the VP noted that “there is a lot in our country that we must be extremely proud of. We must tell our own story just as Kunle has said. Our story is worth hearing and we must tell our story first to ourselves because we need to get our self-esteem back as a people.
“We must tell our stories to ourselves and we must understand who we are and what our strengths are. We are resilient, strong, innovative, and creative. In this country, just in about 5 to 6 years, 7 tech companies have become Unicorns (i.e. companies worth over a billion dollars), in this same country and all started by young Nigerians.”
Commending the Bikers’ community in the country, Prof. Osinbajo said “the work that you are doing all over the country, promoting unity is important. The truth of the matter about unity is that the average Nigerian does not ask questions about where you come from, Nigerians are united wherever you find them.
“Go to the markets, go anywhere, you find that Nigerians relate to each other as Nigerians. I have been all over this country, those who promote ethnicity, promote religious superiority are people who want to advance their personal interests.”
“I think that those of you who have a message of unity to preach must continue to do so. This country is strong and this country is the way it is only because of the very many parts that we are, we are 200 million strong from everywhere. And all of us have capacity and all of us have everything that it takes to excel,” the Vice President added.
Addressing the Bikers’ community drawn from across the country who came to the villa with Adeyanju, the VP noted that “we must stay together, we must stay united and I think that anybody that has seen how you have come from different parts of the country to celebrate Kunle Adeyanju, all of you have together, demonstrated the essence of who we are as Nigerians.
“We are a proud people, we are people who believe in excellence, we celebrate excellence, we want to excel in everywhere, and everywhere we are, we excel.”
On efforts to maintain Nigeria’s polio status, the Vice President said the Federal Government working with the States under the auspices of the National Economic Council will remain vigilant and not loss focus on the issue.
According to him, “what we have done at the National Economic Council which is a meeting of the Governors of the 36 States Governors which I have the privilege of chairing every month, is that we have made it one of the very central public health issues which means that every year, sometimes twice a year, we have a committee which deals with polio alone with the World Health Organisation and several other organizations, including local organizations which come and give a report of the status of the drive against polio in the country. It keeps us well informed.”
Earlier in his remarks, Mr Adeyanju spoke about his 12,000 kilometers adventure turned charity ride from London to Lagos, explaining his focus and experience.
Adeyanju said he flew Nigeria’s flag proudly and found out that the story of Africa, including Nigeria, has not been correctly told in the international media, hence his decision to write a book about his experience riding from Europe to Africa.
He explained that his lifted fist signature while on the journey was copied from the Vice President indicative of Africa’s resilience and strength even in the face of adversity.
Another highpoint of the visit was the presentation of the bikers’ regalia to the Vice President and some of the symbolic exercises demonstrated by the bikers.