Professor Yemi Osinbajo
By Clifford Ndujihe
TO steady the ship of the Nigerian state, Nigerians have been urged to elect a candidate who has the capacity and demonstrated ability to deliver as president in 2023.
A group, IdentifytheRightLeader, ITRL, Initiative made the call while unveiling its 120-page report on the programmes, policies and initiatives championed by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State, Vice President and Acting President of Nigeria.
Titled: ‘The Unveiling: Osinbajo, an Impact Assessment Report of Programmes, Policies and Initiatives Championed by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN’, the ITRL said the report is its contribution to making Nigeria great again, adding that leadership is key in solving the Nigerian problem.
“The tales of godfatherism, personal ambitions, greed, “who’s turn is next”, and similar vices have been some of the biggest roadblocks to Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development since Independence.
Unfortunately, these have always been at the detriment of a nation with a population of over 200 million people – most of who strive daily to make ends meet. If Nigerians must start to reap the benefit of democracy, they must pay utmost attention to who they select as leaders and why,’’ it said.
The ITRL report is divided into several sections covering Osinbajo’s impact as Attorney-General, as Vice-President and Acting President; Comments about Osinbajo from leaders, opposition leaders, famous quotes from Osinbajo and Osinbajo through the lens of some notable young Nigerians; some of Osinbajo’s policies and the impacts among others.
Noting that Osinbajo believes in Nigerian hospitals and has refused to seek medication abroad, the Report said that the October 20, 2020 EndSARS protests would have been averted if Osinbajo’s position as acting president had been sustained.
“The EndSARS uprising would not have seen the light of the day if issues concerning human rights abuses from the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit of the Nigerian Police Force had not been handled with kids’ gloves.
In October 2018, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as Acting President, had ordered the overhaul of the controversial police unit following allegations of human rights violations, as he had directed then Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to review the operations of the SARS.
However, the clamour died down when the substantive President, Muhammadu Buhari, resumed duties after a temporary absence. The SARS unit continued with their highhandedness and human rights violations as a result of this seeming dissonance in bureaucracy, which for some Nigerians represented a lack of empathy for the Nigerian populace,”it said.
According to the report, as Attorney-General of Lagos state (1999 – 2007), “Professor Osinbajo is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reforms in the state covering areas including judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training, and discipline.
These reforms have profound impacts which include: reducing man-hours and the average time for the dispensation of justice, improved access to justice for the masses, restoring people’s confidence and belief in the judiciary and more importantly, reducing instances of corruption and inefficiency in the Lagos Judiciary.
“During this time, Osinbajo took the Federal Government to court 12 times, including to the Supreme Court, on matters of States’ rights, federalism, and restructuring.