The obligatory onus of ousting Osinbajo
Since yesterday Monday, when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo threw his hat into the race for the seat of his boss, come 2023, the media space became charged with all manner of comments, mostly accusing him of the betrayal of trust. Yes, 24 hours after his declaration, the learned SAN was virtually convicted of treachery in the public court, not just by his political opponents, but even some faithful church members.
At the risk of being too harsh, I would say the idiom, what goes around comes around, is expedient here, because a person’s actions, whether good or bad, will often have consequences for that person, be him a pastor, a senior lawyer or a Vice President. If someone treats other people badly, he or she will eventually be treated badly.
The first call of condemnation came from the Asiwaju himself, the celebrated benefactor of the Vice President. In astonishment, because, obviously he is not expecting one of his political mentees to challenge his lifelong presidential ambition, Asiwaju denied Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a political son, telling journalists he has no son grown enough to declare for president.
Shortly after, the Lagos State APC chapter spokesperson, Seye Olajedo, gave notice to the effect that, Osinbajo is no longer their member. That is on the political front.
On the religious front, few hours later, members of his faith, the Northern Christians Movement (NCM), sent their salvo, saying, Osinbajo will deny Jesus and betray Adeboye as he did to Tinubu. The Northern Christians Movement warned certain spiritual and political leaders to be wary of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, predicting that he would betray anyone that has been instrumental to his achievements.
In a statement issued by its President, Rev. Jonah Omera in Abuja, the movement said, “Professor Osinbajo’s Monday morning online declaration rather unveiled him as a serial betrayal. His eventual declaration is an insult to the intelligence of Nigerians and a slap on their faces, especially when he initially denied having such ambition. Such devious behaviour points to a government that would thrive on being dubious if the electorates ever made the mistake of making him president.” – Rev. Jonah Omera.
The social media was flooded with comments, virtually all like sermons on the ills of treachery. Prof. Yusuf Dankofa’s comment is prototypical, and I quote, “Politics is not madness. It has some ethos and thrives on certain measure of loyalty and appreciation. That Prof Yemi Osinbajo will contest against his benefactor raises some questions of ethics and honour. Africans love backstabbers and any action that will undermine respect for certain core values. How can the Prof. muster enough courage, enter into the primaries with Jagaba Tinubu and be able to look at him eyeball to eyeball. If Tinubu had not suggested his name, if he didn’t submit his name and what of if he didn’t even consider him. But as they say, politics is an unethical venture where vultures who are ready to feast on human carcass holds sway”.
The question begging for answer from people like Dr Usman Isyaku is, where would the Vice President even get the wherewithal to fight the fight, and he wrote, “Osinbajo has never won any elections in his life before he ran with Buhari in 2015. This will be the first time he is running as a candidate and this will be the biggest litmus test in his political career. To my knowledge, he hasn’t got any network that he has personally built both in his native southwest and other regions to leverage his campaign for victory. He is grossly inadequate in terms of grassroots mobilisation beyond Abuja. He must be a political Einstein to pull this off successfully!”
To restore the credentials of honour, and put a tag of shame on the brazen betrayal and tactless treachery exhibited by the Vice President, every patriotic Nigerian owe it a duty to de-market Osinbajo, and there is a long shopping list of reasons to justify that, I think.
I would start by looking at the standpoint of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, who had since 2019, stopped giving the powers of acting President to Osinbajo.
PMB first registered his loss of confidence on Osinbajo, by stripping him of the chairmanship of the Economic Management Team, EMT, which was superintending the economic programmes of the administration. In its place, PMB named an Economic Advisory Council, CAC, with Prof Doyin Salami as the chairman.
Next came the stripping of the same Osinbajo of the supervisory powers over the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP). The two were transferred to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Information from the grapevine quoted many cases of misdeeds that angered the President, about the roles played by the Vice-President when the President went on medical leave.
From the perceived President’s standpoint, and the profusion of perfidy placed against the Vice President, it is inevitable, for Nigerians to see the onus of ousting Osinbajo from the political stage as an obligatory assignment.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja