Editor’s note: Legit.ng’s analyst, Adedayo Ademuwagun, expresses his opinion as regards the activities of Nigeria’s past Vice Presidents. He hopes the new Vice Yemi Osinbajo will be more productive than his predecessors and his actions will be visible to the development of the Nigerian economy.
– Past Vice Presidents had no real influence or recognition
– Osinbajo has shown some flashes of a good leader.
– The partnership between Osinbajo and President Buhari seem to be working well.
This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Legit.ng or its editors.
Frank Underwood is a crafty American politician in the series House of Cards who manipulates his way to become vice president. There's a scene in the series where the president is meeting with Underwood and some other people.
But Underwood was busy sketching a bull on his writing pad while the president is talking. Suddenly, he faced the camera and said to viewers, "There are two kinds of vice presidents in the world. Doormats and matadors. Guess which one I'm gonna be."
Nigeria has a new President and Vice The new Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has shown some charisma and he looks pretty promising as a leader. But what type of vice president is he going to be down the road? A doormat, or a matador?
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A lot of people hailed the All Progressives Congress (APC)'s choice when news broke that Osinbajo would be Buhari's running mate. He was a reputable lawyer and professor.
He seemed different from the political lot that people were used to and they believed he would bring something new to the table. He complemented Buhari to make a more viable ticket, and people believed it was a partnership that would work.
He also played an important role during the election. He did not just stand meekly behind Buhari and lurk in the man's shadow. He went around and did his own campaign in the name of his boss.
He took bus rides to connect with the common people. He visited communities. He spoke at town hall meetings. He brought his weight into the campaign and his efforts contributed to their victory.
Just compare this to how things used to be in the past. Before now, the vice president's role was practically a doormat one. The VP didn't have his own voice. He effectively had to stand behind his boss with his mouth shut.
The VP had no real influence or recognition, and people did not give a toss about him because never mattered.
When late president Umar Yar'adua ran for the office of the president in 2007, it was Olusegun Obasanjo who campaigned for them. Even Yar'adua did not say much. Obasanjo did the talking as they traveled round the country canvassing votes.
Jonathan was Yar'adua's running mate but he was just a figurehead. He did not have any real say in the campaign. Atiku ran against them that year and mocked Obasanjo for carrying 'two babies' around the country.
Even Atiku himself was an obscure vice president during his time. Hardly anyone knew him until he fell out with Obasanjo and began to pursue his own career. Namadi Sambo was worse. He was so forgettable that some Nigerians didn't even know who Namadi Sambo was.
Now that Osinbajo is here, he has shown some pretty nice flashes. When the tanker fire happened in Anambra few weeks ago, Buhari was busy trying to fix the Boko Haram crisis.
Osinbajo flew down to Anambra to commiserate with them and appraise the tragedy. People liked the move and it gave the impression that this administration would be a cooperation between Buhari and Osinbajo, not one where Osinbajo is basically a stooge. The partnership seems to be working well so far.
So beyond these first few weeks, what kind of VP will Osinbajo be down the lane? Will he be a doormat — a submissive VP who doesn't have a mind of his own, who just cowers behind his boss and lets his boss walk over him?
Or will he be a matador — a VP with a strong personality who backs his boss but does so in a way that shows confidence and the determination to leave a personal mark?