- VP Osinbajo has been honoured for his key role in steadying the ship of state through the storms under the Buhari administration
- The vice president was also recognised for laying the foundation for the social intervention programmes of the current administration
- The social intervention schemes conceptualised and implemented by Osinbajo's office were key in arriving at the decision
FCT, Abuja - Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has been named the Leadership Newspaper Person of the Year 2021.
Professor Osinbajo was named alongside the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The recognition has set the social media abuzz with many Nigerians celebrating the vice president for the honour.
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The award was conferred on the vice president by the editorial board of the respected national newspaper.
Writing on why VP Osinbajo was selected for the prestigious award, the newspaper's highest decision-making body noted that:
“Osinbajo may not be getting credit for a lot of the work he is doing; neither is he blowing his own trumpet, even when it is politically expedient to do so.
“And whether his name will be remembered 10 years down the line if Nigeria succeeds in lifting millions out of poverty or not, the impact of his leadership, now and then, will be felt. That is why he is the LEADERSHIP Person of the Year 2021.”
The newspaper stated that the balancing act of the vice president was tested in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests of October 2020.
“Osinbajo’s steady hands worked diligently, from behind the scenes, to heal the rift that had taken a generational, anti-government and regional dimension. Some of the efforts to bridge the generational gap manifested in the introduction of the National Youth Conference.
“As if epitomising what he stands for in the government and in today’s Nigeria, the vice president’s message to the youth at the conference in early November was to reject the temptation of inheriting the biases and prejudices of their parent’s generation.
“Of course, there were many more forces at play during the #EndSARS protests than just youths: loyalty to the country, the president and party. The stability and leadership he has provided in the last year to keep Nigeria’s many factions from tearing one another apart would have been enough to name Yemi Osinbajo LEADERSHIP’s Person of the Year. But our reasons go beyond that.
“The idea that Nigeria, a developing country with scarce resources, could deliver financial aid and social interventions to the poorest Nigerians is what will stand Osinbajo out from other political leaders, maybe for the foreseeable future.
“But among the subgoals of the Sustainable Development Goals are the provision of social protection systems for everyone and reducing the impacts of economic and social shocks on the poor.
“How Nigeria, a country of 200 million people, most living in poverty, could even attempt to achieve such goals was a mystery.”
The newspaper stressed that two aspects of the Social Intervention Programme designed by the office of the vice president stood out: the Conditional Cash Transfer and the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which helped enrol and keep millions of children in school.
“If these did not impact the lives of the poorest Nigerians, those in rural areas, then maybe nothing governments will ever.”
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Meanwhile, former Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, has said VP Osinbajo has a great passion for Nigeria, describing him as one who can communicate with citizens and inspire people, among other qualities.
The former Nigerian leader also stated that Professor Osinbajo is the best person to lead Nigeria in 2023.
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He made the comment when a group, Osibanjo Grassroot Organisation visited him at his Hill Top residence in Minna.
2023: Declare for Presidency, Ogun Youths beg VP Osinbajo
In a related development, youths under the aegis of Ogun Youth Network have urged VP Osinbajo to step forward and contest for president.
Oluwagbenga Odumosu, the chairman of the Ogun Youth Network, also noted that the vice president has what it takes to govern Nigeria.