Nigerians have commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, for his selfless leadership during the fuel crisis at Christmas period.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo engaged with citizens in queues and staff at the stations during the visit.

On different social medial platforms and online blogs, some expressed gratitude to Prof. Osinbajo for his exemplary leadership and need to take a break during this period. Some noted that the VP needed to ‘recharge his batteries’ after a busy 2017.

“The man has tried, let him rest a little,” one commenter mentioned on a popular blog. Another said, “He needs it abeg. He should take more sef,” one Frances Ogbu wrote.

On another online news website, a Nigerian who described himself as patriot1 commented on the VP’s short vacation: “That’s very timely VP, you have earned it by all means. Go. Recharge yourself because you have been very active since the inception of this government.”

However, it had been a very busy period for Prof. Osinbajo. When President Buhari was on medical vacation, the VP held forte at the helm as Acting President. An online medium rightly noted that, “It is a common joke at the Presidential Villa whenever the vice president was chairing any meeting, especially, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, that “people will be here all day.”

Since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015, Osinbajo has shown exemplary leadership qualities several times.

The Vice President’s leadership mettle was in full display during the Christmas period when, instead of going on a well-deserved break for the Yuletide, Prof. Osinbajo was still busy working tirelessly. During Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the VP shunned the usual merry and relaxation with family and friends as he went round fuel stations and depots in Lagos State to find a way to ease the hardship caused by the fuel scarcity on Nigerians.

During this period, Prof Osinbajo also held different meetings with major oil marketers to resolve the fuel crisis. “Within the next few days, we expect the fuel queues to be eliminated. We will continue to engage the marketers so this sad episode is not repeated,” he said.

Soon after he waded into the crisis in the oil sector, a chain of events followed as the NNPC, Minister of Petroleum and the Federal Government made concerted efforts to end the fuel shortage nationwide. Finally, Nigerians were able to heave sighs of relief as the queues at filling stations gradually abated.

Osinbajo’s model leadership – meeting and mingling with the citizenry at the point of their needs – was not lost on many Nigerians, who praised him for showing empathy with the people as pictures and footages of the Vice President at fuel depots and stations went viral.

One commentator on Twitter described it as “in-touch leadership, because symbolism matters.” Also, on Facebook and other social media platforms, the Vice president was also commended by many Nigerians.

“His Excellency, your passion in trying to get things work in Nigeria is so evident,” Donalds Ngige wrote on Facebook. Meka James Ajanusi described the VP’s “willingness to reach out to Nigerians as “just awesome.”

Similarly, Ibe Ogbonnaya wrote on Facebook, “Your Excellency, you do a lot of damage control in this country, you reached out to the masses and that’s why you’re super awesome,” while Olaseeni Aina tagged Osinbajo as “a man of the people.” “Well done my amiable VP, for you to come out and monitor what’s going on around, kudos to u sir, God will help you,” he wrote.

Many are of the view that the Vice President’s decision to observe an annual leave, which some say is his first since the inception of the Buhari administration, was a well-deserved one. The VP’s hard work and commitment to service of his fatherland is like an open book.

He has continually made critical interventions during crisis situation in different parts of the country, including his recent visit to Adamawa communities to resolve the herdsmen-farmers clashes there, among many others.

Surely, the criticism of the VP’s trip to Dubai on a vacation with his family is, unfortunately, misplaced. Even ordinary Nigerians take time out to spend with their families and friends during festive occasions. The Vice President’s short trip to the UAE with his family should be seen in this light. That he decided to spend the short trip outside the country is not the issue, the VP’s love, passion and commitment to Nigeria is obvious to Nigerians everywhere.

The Vice President is expected to return to the country this weekend. He dives to work immediately to be part of the Interdenominational service for 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

“He works really hard daily no matter where he is trying to ensure that things work better in the country. The recent killings in Benue are unfortunate; the VP and the President are very concerned,” said a source at the presidency.

Nigerians are indeed blessed to have such a VP at the time of our nationhood, and should support him and President Buhari in their quest to make the country better, despite its challenges.


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