Emameh Gabriel writes that on May 29, 2023, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will vacate office as Nigeria’s Vice President after eight eventful years as nation’s number two citizen.
egacy is sought by political leaders but, most often, hard to evaluate for years after they leave office. And this most times depends on how much the people appreciate them and how their successors handle their inheritance.
Prof YemiOsinbajo will hope future historians will not only be fair in placing his records but do justice with concience. And his personal achievements will also be beyond the reach of his successor too.
Osinbajo undeniably brought a decency, dignity and level of respect to Aso Rock, and a complete absence of crisis between him and President MuhammaduBubari
But beyond the herculean effort fending off wolves in sheep clothing ready at every opportunity to jeopardize the genuine offorts of the Buhari’s administration, Osinbajo was indeed a major stabilizer, who like his boss, is loved across ethnic and religious lines.
Ferocious in his convictions and impeccable in his articulation, Osinbajo came to that high pedestal from almost obscurity, being only a one time attorney general of Lagos state.
Osinbajo has had a smooth and fantastic run, rising to the occasion at every turn, in a spectacular fashion, which has made him an icon in the annals of Nigeria’s political history.
While in the heat of politics especially around a general election in a country like ours, can reveal deep ethno – religious cleavages, even after such periods, there is still a strong national consensus that Osinbajo is a man of esteem, pedigree, understanding, and action. He has navigated the tortuose national terrain with a political dexterity in a class of its own winning hearts and minds.
Just recently a book was authored on the life and times of this larger than life character.
25 prominent journalists and writers from across the country under the auspices of PYO collectibles had come together to write the book, ‘OSINBAJO STRIDES: Defining Moments of an Innovative Leader’.
They are: Richard Akinnola, AzuIshiekwene, Garba Mohammed, EtimEtim, DonuKogbara, SadiqAbdullateef, Fatima Mamman-Daura, James Akpandem, Mustapha Ogunsakin, DayoAkintobi, Dr. Wale Adeduro, Columba Ogah, HarunaAbdullahi, TemiladeOkesanjo, ArukainoUmukoro, Olaolu Beckley, Jude Zoho, VitalisObidiaghaa, SeunBisuga, SeyiGesinde, Faith Dafe-Joseph, MuritalaAyinla, AbimbolaOlaniyan and Ibrahim Bature. MrJahmanAnikulapo was the Editorial Consultant for the work.
The forwarded of the book was jointly written by two former Heads of State, Generals AbudulsalamiAbubakar and Yakubu Gowon.
Speaking during the book launch, President Buhari described Vice President YemiOsinbajo as a dedicated and loyal compatriot with a passionate desire for the development of Nigeria.
The President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the federation, Boss Mustapha thanked Osinbajo for his selflessness and passion for excellence in the execution of tasks assigned to his office, acknowledging all of his visits to the different parts of the country to identify with the common people.
Buhari said, “One thing that is admirable about the vice president is his passion for excellence in everything that he is involved with. Besides all of his official engagements as vice president, we all saw this attribute exhibited by him right from the campaigns, how he ensured that the right things were done”.
The famed author, ChimamandaNgoziAdichie, who spoke on the theme: ‘Inspiring A New Nigeria.’, said he Vice President brought a different kind of leadership which has inspired millions of young Nigerians.
According to her, the Vice President always spoke the truth irrespective of the circumstances, and that his policies have always been people-focused since his days as an Attorney General in Lagos State.
Chimamanda said, “The essays in this book, come from a diverse range of writers and they’re all very different in style, but they all have a kind of organic enthusiasm to them. You read them with the sense of reading pieces written by people who actually wanted to write them. And so it feels to me that this book is a labour of love and the fact that it is a labour of love says something about the subject, Vice President YemiOsibanjo. It speaks to a humane and human quality that he has the ability to bring diverse people together”.
From the array of personalities that graced the occasion which cuts across the political spectrum, Osibanjo being a professor of law was considered as a wonderful addition to the Buhari- led APC ticket in 2015 and voters flocked to the possibilities of such a resplendent mix.
As Osinbajo bows out on Monday, with the quality of his service in office, it shows that before coming to power in 2015, he had taken a long and hard look at governance plus the challenges therein, and today, he has done exceedingly well by bringing brilliance, finesse and precision to governance, even to the fact that, wherever he went, for the period he acted as President, he drew free-willing, everyday people who were unsparing with displays of affection and benediction for him. The actions of the government within the intervening periods he held executive power, still remain part of the sunny sides of the Buhari administration.