In the words of the Great Aristotle, “No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness”. The madness in this stance is not the physical condition of being mentally unstable, but it is a sense of responsibility that is triggered by doggedness and agility. This is the case with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who can be described as a man highly favoured by God.
Just like the Biblical David who from the least tribe in Israel became the greatest king in the history of the country, Osinbajo has weathered the storms and shackles of life before becoming who he is today.
Down the memory lane, Oluyemi Oluleke popularly known as Yemi Osinbajo was born into the family of Opeoluwa Osinbajo on March 8, 1957, in Creek Hospital, Lagos. He started his education at Corona primary, in Lagos before proceeding to Igbobi College in Yaba, Lagos, from 1969 to 1975, where he won the following awards: the State Merit Award (1971); the School Prize for English Oratory (1972); Adeoba Prize for English Oratory (1972-1975); Elias Prize for Best Performance in History (WASC, 1973); School Prize for Literature (HSC, 1975); and African Statesman Intercollegiate Best Speaker’s Prize (1974).
Thereafter he studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Lagos between 1975 and 1978, when he obtained a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) Degree in Law. Here, he also won the Graham-Douglas Prize for Commercial Law.
In 1979, he completed the mandatory one-year professional training at the Nigerian Law School where he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In 1980, he attended the London School of Economics, where he obtained a Master of Laws degree. The rest is history!
Today, Osinbajo has won many hearts of both his admirers and critics, making him earn the nickname “Starboy”, a street name popularised by the Nigerian Grammy awardee Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid.
The VP has been instrumental in terms of policy formulation and critical decision making, especially whenever his principal, Muhammadu Buhari hands over the mantle of leadership to him.
The recent scenario is the frantic decision he took in addressing the lingering fuel crisis in the country.
Osinbajo on several occasions in the recent past, made gigantic steps in his capacity as the Acting President by bringing to bear what his principal failed to do while in office.
According to research carried out in 2021 by Woodford Consulting to assess the impact of the Vice-President in office, it was revealed that Osinbajo, more than any previous Vice President in the nation’s history, has made some “ground-breaking, significant contributions in the areas of reducing farmer-herder conflicts, restoring peace in the then volatile Niger-Delta region, promoting Small and Medium Enterprises, establishing the biggest social investment programmes in the continent and commitment to upholding human rights alongside repressing gross violations in Nigeria.”
The study used indices like executive capacity, task delivery, commitment to reforms, and efficiency as the metrics for arriving at the conclusions.
According to the report, the erstwhile volatile Niger Delta has achieved much peace since 2016. Osinbajo’s ‘The Niger Delta New Vision’ has helped to resolve insecurity and youth restiveness in the Niger-Delta region.
While noting Osinbajo’s commitments to reforms, they maintained that “these are by no means easy reforms to implement especially in a clime where many people will gladly and vociferously resist change.”
“When he served as Attorney General of Lagos, Professor Osinbajo is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reforms in Lagos State, addressing critical areas as judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training, and discipline.
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“To address the problem of slow justice delivery at the Courts, especially for poor people, he established appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender and the Citizens Mediation Centre to give free legal advice and aid to the poor,” the report added.
Going forward, Osinbajo has been tipped by many eminent Nigerians who crave a better Nigeria that is devoid of disunity, resentment, neglect, and maladministration, to join the race for president come 2023.
This is a clarion call for a Nigeria that is more progressive economically and politically; a country where education is not just a legacy of the rich but one that is accessible to all irrespective of the colour, gender, or ethnic background.
The question is, will Osinbajo answer the call to salvage Nigeria from the hands of the powers that be? It’s an open ticket the VP must accept with good faith.
Arogbonlo Israel is an award-winning journalist with Nigeria’s most credible newspaper. He writes from Lagos.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.