By John Tochukwu Olisa

Vice president Osinbajo’s presidential ambition has received needless attacks from desperate critics who are not only unsettled by his record of achievements as vice president and his personal accomplishments as a legal practitioner but are obviously worried that he stands a far greater advantage to win the All Progressive Congress (APC) party’s presidential primaries come May 31, 2022. 

One such attempt was to tag the vice president as a betrayal which to a large extent has been debunked and roundly defeated. Also, the same set of unambitious critics attempted to tag him as a religious bigot and with tribalism which falls flat against all known facts and pieces of evidence to the contrary.

In one of the recent attempts, the vice president is being maliciously attacked for acknowledging that his current position affords him a better chance to offer Nigerians superior leadership as president. 

Just this week, while the vice president was on his routine visits and consultation tours engaging with party delegates and stakeholders ahead of the All Progressive Congress (APC) party primaries, the amiable professor informed his supporters and a number of party faithful that he has learned a lot from being the vice president and that his current position has given him the rare privilege of working in the current administration. 

He went on to state that such a vantage position afforded him the opportunity for deep insights and that he will be properly guided in his decisions and policies as soon as he is elected president.

The vice president went further to make the point that he will begin work immediately after he is sworn in, having been close and familiar with the core areas of need and conversant with the challenges of governing a complex nation such as Nigeria. 

While the vice president was on it, some of these atrocious critics went to town with malicious attributions, one of which was that the vice president said that he will govern Nigeria along the line of the current administration.

The obvious attempt is to pass off a wrong notion about the way the vice president intends to govern Nigeria when elected as president. It is also intended to cast a shadow over the achievements of the current government under which the vice president serves, despite all the setbacks and challenges. Thirdly, it is an attempt laden with the intention to force the vice president to abandon or deny the legacy achievements of this current administration.

The false claims and attribution are not only fraudulent and misguided but preposterous and insufficient. Is it the expectation of these critics that the vice president will deny his principal and yet again be accused of betrayal? 

Is it likely that these critics expected the vice president to deny or abandon this government that he is a part of? It must be said that the vice president will not be desperate enough to repudiate the legacies of a government under which he is privileged to serve. 

But, the point must be made that no two leaders are the same and it is not likely that vice president Yemi Osinbajo will govern Nigeria exactly the same way the current administration has been assiduously and committedly managing a complex nation like ours.

It must also be said that the circumstances of 2015 when the current administration assumed office are totally different from the circumstances of today and will be different by 2023, therefore will require a different set of approaches which is incumbent on the vice president as he is capable to fashion out a workable national development strategy when he assumes office as president.

Having been a loyal and supportive vice president with whom the current administration has had a rancor-free government, it will be expected that the vice president will bring on board his own style of leadership backed by his close encounters with the workings of government at the highest level. 

Having also been part and parcel of the national decision-making process, the strength, weaknesses, and opportunities of the country are known to the vice president, therefore he stands far higher in terms of his understanding of the issues of governance and what Nigeria requires to make a major leap into prosperity.

In addition to all, having learned from the mistakes and the weak points of the current government, it is incumbent on the vice president, when elected as president, to address the loopholes and reinforce the achievements and the good policies for the good of the country. 

It is also imminent on him, as he has always done, to bring the nation together in a manner that will strengthen our common faith in a united and indivisible country where all Nigerians will have equal and unassailable rights to aspire to the highest positions regardless of their faith, tribes, and despite our diversities. 

Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s leadership antecedents speak for themselves. In any position he has been able to function in an executive capacity either as Attorney General in Lagos State or as Acting President of the Federal Government, his inspired policies, actions, and initiatives in the public sector have greatly shaped and continue to shape, social, legal, economic and political development in Nigeria. 

In fact, even in situations where the Vice President does not wield total executive power, he uses advocacy to advance causes he believes in with great zeal and commitment to the average Nigerian as in the case of his laudable rehabilitation/educational initiative in the war-torn North-East of Nigeria. Indeed Osinbajo’s antecedents attest to a unique ability to combine brilliance, energy, humility, and compassion to bridge the gap between government and the people.

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