Osinbajo Ends the Paden Debate


Recently, during the public presentation of an authorised biography of President Muhammadu

Buhari by one of his old friends, Prof. John Paden, a ‎fact of history was distorted in the book.

It was the argument over how Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo emerged the running mate to President Buhari. The author wrote that Osinbajo was the choice of President Buhari and that was‎ contrary to existing fact that a former Lagos State governor and one of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu nominated him.

The book, written by Paden, and titled ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of leadership in Nigeria,’ claimed that Tinubu pressured the president against choosing Osinbajo as running mate in the run up to the 2015 presidential election. But in cleverly putting the ‎record straight recently during a state of the nation Colloquium by the Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders, Osinbajo clarified how he became Nigeria’s number two citizen.

Addressing a question from Pastor Paul Adefarasin on what he has been doing to groom others like him to join politics and make the difference, he said: “I was not nominated by the church. I was nominated by the leader of our party, who I served as commissioner in his government”.

The description fits no ‎other than Tinubu. The question therefore is, why the deliberate attempt to change facts when those involved are still alive and can confirm the truth?

Even before the VP’s clarification, the narrative contained in the biography of President Buhari of how Tinubu lobbied to become Nigeria’s Vice President instead of Osinbajo has been discredited by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, who was privy to the process of Osinbajo’s nomination, when he said the author’s story was “based on falsehood that reeks of deliberate misinformation and mischief.

One must therefore wonder what really went wrong. Was it just that the author got such sensitive information incorrectly‎ or was it deliberately distorted? Didn’t anyone in the presidency vet the document before it was published to correct such information or is it just party politics and mischief taken too far?

Whatever it is, that fact of record has been set straight by Osinbajo. Perhaps, if he were a conventional politician, he could simply stick to the new story and malign his benefactor for good.