By Nnamdi Ojiego
Progressive Lawyers For Professor Yemi Osinbajo, PYO, yesterday, said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo deserved to be given ‘Right of First Offer and First Refusal’ in the 2023 presidential race.
The leader of the group and human rights activist, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, in a statement, noted that PYO has “exhibited more intellectual endowment, superior pedigree and moral heft than other potential contestants.”
According to him, “the vice-president of any presidential constitutionalism was the ‘heir apparent’ and by convention, has the right of first offer and first refusal to run for the president and succeed his boss.”
He said a cursory look through the provisions of Sections 141 to 146 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, provides for the office of the vice president and the right of the vice president to take up the role of the president of the federation in various circumstances where there was a vacancy.
The human rights lawyer added that upon careful analysis of the leading potential presidential aspirants in the coming election, it was an undeniable fact that the vice president solidified a strong base upon which he would consolidate for the future.
On the right of first offer and first refusal, Ajulo said: “The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended is the supreme in Nigeria. The Constitution creates the office of the President and Vice-President as the highest offices in the land and also defines the relationship between the two utmost offices.
“The principles guiding the interpretation of Constitutional provisions are as such that a provision of the Constitution ought to be interpreted liberally and not to defect the intendment of the drafters of same.
“A cursory look through the provisions of Sections 141 to 146 of the Constitution provides for the office of the vice president and the right of the VP to take up the role of the president in various circumstances where there is a vacancy in the office of the President.
“I believe that the intendment of the drafters of the Constitution is to ensure the preservation of the Right of First Offer and First Refusal of the Vice President.
“It is obvious that the Vice-President of any Presidential Constitutionalism is the “heir apparent” and by convention has the “right of first offer and first refusal” to run for president and succeed his boss.
“What is more, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is the only vice president in the Nigerian democratic dispensation who has faithfully and consistently served the government and the people of Nigeria for almost 8 years without rancour. His feat is unprecedented and quite indelible in the political history of Nigeria.”