Editor's note: Comrade Ben Abdul, a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council in the 2019 elections and respected author and public affairs commentator, in this piece, noted that the 'God factor' will likely work in favour of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his quest to be the next president of Nigeria.
It's needless to reiterate that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is in the presidential race to succeed his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) come 2023.
It's also a given that the VP, a professor of law, understands that the battles ahead - winning the APC's presidential ticket and the main presidential election in 2023 - are quite tough taking into cognizance the calibre of other aspirants who have also declared their interest in the coveted seat on the platform of the ruling party.
Yes, all men with ambition are indeed desperate to actualise such ambition, some within the ambit of the law and others desperate enough to use all facilities at their disposal. VP Osinbajo is in the former category. He will be seeking his first elective office as a principal candidate and this explains why he has been touring the country, speaking to stakeholders and party delegates alike on the need for them to elect him as the presidential candidate of the APC come next month.
By all standards of evaluation, VP Osinbajo is eminently qualified to be Nigeria's president in 2023. He has the requisite mental capacities being a highly cerebral person, has demonstrated utmost loyalty to the president, did well to stabilise the country, and provided the leadership when the president was away on sick leave, in addition to discharging satisfactorily whatever responsibilities the president delegates to him
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What is more? He is agile, fit as a fiddle, and has been in and out of government at the highest level with over three decades of experience in public service, mostly serving at decision-making levels. Besides, he is also endowed with a high dose of emotional intelligence which is needed in navigating through the crucible of leadership in a complex, pluralistic society like Nigeria.
In fact, judging by the calmness with which he has watched his traducers who have engaged in a campaign of calumny against his person since he declared interest in the exalted office, it's easy to decipher his level of emotional intelligence. This has further lent credence to the Omoluabi ethos he professes. He is not only an Omoluabi in name, he is also one indeed!
Be that as it may and much as the VP feels that he is super qualified to succeed his boss and that it'd be tantamount to betraying Nigerians if he did not put his hat into the ring, he is also aware that his ambition can only be actualised if it is the will of God and that of the people for the voice of the people is the voice of God.
The story of how he became the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and how he eventually became the VP has been told and re-told several times, though some revisionists have also distorted the real narrative to suit their biases and emergency political interests. Nevertheless, his choice, among many other qualified candidates and party men also exemplifies the will of God in his life.
Perhaps the story of how successive presidents emerged over the years in this country also bears an eloquent testament to the involvement of God in the choice of our leaders.
Amidst many political juggernauts in the NPN in the Second Republic, a Grade Two teacher, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who was only interested in going to the Senate, was drafted by some powerful power brokers in the party who facilitated his emergence as the candidate of the party in the 1979 presidential election. The rest, as they say, is history.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was in his Ota farm, Ogun state, after his release from prison, where he was serving a life sentence when some forces in the PDP dragged him into the presidential race. He not only won the ticket of the party, he also won the 1999 presidential election and got re-elected again in 2003. It was the God Factor at work.
The late Umaru Musa Yar'dua was finishing his second term in Katsina as governor and was largely disinterested in what was happening at the national level when Obasanjo drafted him into the presidential race. His running mate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was the least expected person from the south-south to be picked as running mate. Jonathan went on to become the acting president and then president who won his own election in 2011 before losing out in 2015.
That of President Muhammadu Buhari also reads like a fairy tale. After several attempts failed him, he publicly made a vow never to seek the number one job in the country again until he was persuaded to run in 2015. He will leave the Villa in 2023 after his reign of two terms in office. The God factor made everything happen
In totalizing this, with God firmly on his side, the VP is marching on, committed to the actualization of his ambition and totally unmoved by the naysayers and those throwing dirt on his immaculate linen just to portray him in a negative light in order to demarket him before the voting public. It's God who makes and crowns a king. As the Yorubas will say: eyi owu awi, toluwa lase. Loosely translated, it means: regardless of the opinion of men, God has the final say.
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