In the last seven days, social media has been piloting a national confusion that requires a broader outlook. Some crusaders of a new Nigeria are beginning to spew the narrative that the forthcoming presidential election would have been fairer if the incumbent Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was the presidential candidate of the APC.
Yemi Osinbajo is a professor of law and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He is married to Oludolapo Osinbajo, another critical national figure who has abstained from the presidential push of her party’s standard bearer, Bola Tinubu, judging from what we can relate to in the media.
Unlike Mr President’s wife, Aisha Buhari, who is “entirely BATified”, Mrs Osinbajo has been an unofficial dummy to the campaign activities of APC’s women’s wing.
So, it is safe to say that Osinbajo's family is practising political distancing from the APC campaign.
It became imperative to put this piece together after coming across loads of tweets that validated Osinbajo for the country's presidency and forgiving him for President Muahammadu Buhari's seeming administrative failures.
“If the APC has fielded Osinbajo now, I would have considered voting for the party,” a member of the Labour Party in Oyo State who insisted we should not reveal his identity told AllNews Nigeria.
All APC needed to do was give us Osinbajo & the election would have been tough.Personally I’d have had a hard time choosing between Osinbajo and Peter Obi. But they brought sleeping beauty. The number of votes APC will have will show the number of mentally deranged people in 9ja— Doctör Penking™ ???? (MBBS, MPH) (@drpenking) January 21, 2023
This is the national narrative that some media strategists have brought to our national discourse.
But to put the record straight, like most politicians, Osinbajo is a breed that has been around for a while.
He served as Attorney General of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 under Tinubu and has been the vice president and the number two citizen of Nigeria since 2015.
He was the real-time grassroots campaigner for the APC presidential push, seen on the streets interacting with the locals and sharing imminent glad tidings Nigerians never truly received.
Until September 2019, he was the head of the country’s Economic Management Team.
If we all agree that President Muahammadu Buhari’s government has failed in its duties, we should not shield Osinbajo, who has been a part and parcel of the government.
Atiku Abubakar forfeited his gubernatorial victory to work with former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. He was the vice president for eight years.
In Nigeria, we crucify Atiku and his impact on Nigeria’s backwardness but praise Osinbajo for doing the same thing or even more under Buhari. You can spot the misleading narrative.
Many who said the APC has failed as a national party are clamouring for Osinbajo to become president.
Does that mean the APC won’t fail again so long as it gives Osinbajo the ticket? It could not be more confusing.
After the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed, Prof.Osinbajo was instrumental in developing a manifesto for the novel political party in 2014.
Yemiosinbajo.ng puts it better: “This (Professor Osinbajo's involvement) culminated in the presentation of the 'Roadmap to a New Nigeria', a document published by APC as its manifesto in 2013.
"The highlights of the Roadmap included a free meal school plan, and a conditional cash transfer to millions of the poorest Nigerians if they enrol their children in school and immunise them.”
The party has followed the framework evidently, and the country’s development has been questionable.
If the APC has failed as a political platform, no one should be spared from the failure, not even the vice president, the second utmost beneficiary of the project by hierarchy.
Bola Tinubu was instrumental in the emergence of President Buhari, with Professor Osinbajo flanked beside him.
But the national public opinion has shifted from calling Buhari and Osinbajo to come and give an account of the mandate the majority of Nigerians offered them on a platter.
It began with the insinuation that Osinbajo had been silenced and didn’t have much say in the polity.
But he was the Aating president when Buhari was away.
Osinbajo is even a learned elite who wouldn’t want to be a pauper to anyone.
The national misunderstanding some Nigerians are trying to sell to market Osinbajo's 'holiness' would have worked if he had resigned from his position.
Why do we blame one out of many frontiers of the Buhari/Osinbajo surge instead of the occupants of the positions themselves?
A free thinker would then reason that if they are trying to exonerate Osinbajo from the Buhari-led misfortune by giving the excuse that the retired general didn’t listen, why should we think that he would listen or he listened to people from afar who were neither vice president or ever sat in the National Executive Council meeting with Buhari or Osinbajo.
This piece isn’t a politically motivated article but an outline of the mental mind game played by some “powers that be” to refocus national discourse because the national political space is beginning to “make a prisoner a judge”.
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