Osinbajo, Southwest Best Foot Forward

Osinbajo, Southwest Best Foot Forward

South-West geopolitical is arguably the pivot upon which the superstructure called Nigeria rests, The linchpin role of the zone has not only been expressed but tested on several occasions right from the pre-independence era where the region set the pace in virtually all spheres of national life.

Coupled with the foregoing is the free education policy of the Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led Western Regional Government which in effect further accentuated the dominance of the region amongst its peers in the emerging nation-state called Nigeria. Blessed with an array of educated and equally cerebral personalities and professionals in varying fields, it is indeed apposite to say when the region sneezes, the entire country catches a cold.

However, as it is common with every human organisation when it comes to making decisions on who gets what, when, and how (apologies to Harold Lasswell), interest comes to play, leading, more often than not, to schism. The issue of who the region supports for the highest office in the 2023 presidential election is one of such.

Although the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to take any decision as to zoning of political offices in the coming general elections – the party has never adopted that option – it is argued, and quite reasonably too, that it makes sense for power to shift to the South of the country. Though the APC has maintained a stoic silence on the issue, several political figures have however vaguely indicated interest, particularly from the South-West region, notwithstanding similar flaccid interests from persons from other regions, particularly in the Southeast and South-South. While the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has not publicly declared interest in the position, it is widely believed that he has his eyes on the plum position. Mention is also made of the incumbent governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF).

No doubt, these men possess what it takes to rule the country going by their pedigree and contributions to society. However, it is my considered view that the incumbent Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for obvious reasons, stands a better chance of representing the region, has the requisite appeal across the country and the verifiable credentials for a possible bargain.

The professor of law, aside from being the highest-ranking public officer from the region at the moment, the position he presently occupies has undoubtedly afforded him the opportunity of first-hand experience of the job. Twice when he had the opportunity of superintendent over the affairs of the country following the ill-health of his boss, he was adjudged to have excelled.

His candidature would not require having to labour to explain inexplicable allegations of sudden wealth, deaths, and other sundry allegations including attempts at food poisoning of prominent individuals.

If the desire is for a patriot, altruistic and proactive individual, Professor Osinbajo, fits the bill. Reno Omokri, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a spokesman to the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has this to say about Osinbajo’s short stint as Acting President between 19th January – 13th March 2017 and 7th May – 19th August 2017

“I am loving the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo right now and for good reasons too. In the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, Pastor Osinbajo led the Executive Council of the Federation’s meeting and ministers were forced to deliberate for seven hours!

“It is the longest ever under this administration and my reaction to it was WOW! This is my kind of man!

“I have previously said that Nigeria attains more progress when President Muhammadu Buhari, travels out of the country and Vice-President Osinbajo, has again vindicated my judgment.

” Only on Monday 13th February 2017, while in Rivers State, Vice-President Osinbajo, declared that the federal government would work with illegal refineries and help convert them to modular refineries. forward-thinking! Professor Osinbajo represents the progressives in the name, All Progressives Congress. I applaud and celebrate him today.

“His approach to the Niger-Delta challenge is an approach of intelligence and diplomacy and will achieve far more than President Buhari’s shock and awe approach!

“The man approached the region with compassion and understanding, not with threats and bluster as his boss did when he had the chance. He physically visited and toured the region whereas his principal made promises to visit but chickened out when the time came to implement his promises.

“Professor Osinbajo spoke kindly and respectfully to the governors of the region and praised them for their efforts, even giving one of them the pet name, ‘Mr. Projects’

“Is it any surprise then that oil production has continued to rise and militancy has waned in the period that Vice President Osinbajo has been acting?

“The man speaks to Nigerians as a leader should. He does not talk at us like the President.”


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