Osinbajo’s Thawing Populist Politics


Whether it was preconceived or a spur of the moment, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s recent visit to the popular Garki market, Abuja, turned out a soothing balm for an exasperating majority penultimate weekend. This came a few days to the second year anniversary of the administration in office and the market literally shut down as people struggled to catch a glimpse of this cosmopolitan and fine gentleman.

Although it was not his first time, Osinbajo did something similar during the campaigns and that singular move exposed the kind of person he really is, especially one who is most likely to be dismissed as belonging to the academia and completely apolitical. But he pulled that through the first time and repeated yet another success of it two weeks ago. He has proved that politics, just like governance, is not esoteric.

The Garki market visit, without doubts, came at a most auspicious time as it thawed the anger of the teeming majority, albeit momentarily, many of whom found solace in merely seeing him physically. That, interestingly, is the upside of retail politics – this particular brand being highly civilised, sincere and not concocted to deceive the people. And do you know what the icing on the cake was? Spare a thought and ponder his visit to Calabar days ago, where there was a frenzy as school children, in a frenetic pace, tried to touch him as he walked along a route. It was surreal. Thumbs up to the acting president!