2023: Yemi Osinbajo and the Mighty Wind by Wale Adeduro
Editor's note: Dr. Wale Adeduro, a productivity consultant, writes on the presidential declaration of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and the verbal attacks and narratives some political actors and their associates have subjected the vice president to since he declared his interest in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari.
''This is Our Chance" is a simple but highly entertaining play written by James Ene Henshaw, a Nigerian surgeon, in 1956. I was privileged to play the role of the fortune-telller in that play as a secondary school student in 1979.
In the play, the fortune-teller tells Kudaro, Bambulu, and Ayi: "A mighty wind shall blow, a great rain shall fall, much harm shall be done. But out of destruction, there shall be calm, and all shall not be the same again...."
Osinbajo is the mighty wind that is blowing in our political terrain. When a mighty wind blows the protective feathers of the chicken are displaced from protecting the cloaca of the chicken.
Nobody should therefore be surprised when chickens squawk at the sound of a mighty wind. Since the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, declared his interest to contest for the position of the president of our dear country Nigeria on 11th April 2022, there have been a lot of squawking from the main opposition camp.
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Even before Osinbajo decided to step into the ring jaundiced and highly myopic hired critics had been overreaching one another. Clobbering him with the cudgels of lies and hyperbolic expressions, they had thought that he would be intimidated. Mentally tired intellectuals have copiously written and published fabricated and malicious stories to hoodwink the populace to refrain from asking Professor Osinbajo, a good and competent leader, to seek to take over the reins of leadership from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Part of the trite argument used as tar to soil the squeaky-clean toga of Osinbajo is the strained line that he betrayed his master. By this, it is meant that because Professor Osinbajo was appointed as a commissioner for justice in Lagos state when Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the governor makes the professor the godson of the former governor. So for daring to contest an election in which Tinubu is also interested in Osinbajo has become a traitor. Was there an agreement at anytime that Osinbajo was going to contest for the office of vice president in trust for Tinubu? Was there an agreement that the performing vice president will not aspire to become the president of Nigeria despite his vast experiences in the apex office?
The purveyors of such banal statements have simply exposed their romance with anachronism, a concept that Nigerians are eager to banish from their register.
There is no need to rehash the testimonials of Osinbajo as commissioner of justice and Attorney General in Lagos state. It is however important to emphasise the fact that a government appointee, at any level, should not be tied to the apron strings of the appointing governor or president. The appointee is appointed to serve because of the value he or she would bring to the table. Appointing a Professor of Law with international exposure at the Hague should not be equated with giving a lifeline to a destitute under the Ojuelegba bridge in Lagos.
Anybody who thinks otherwise needs to submit himself to a drug test with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) whose chairman, Baba Marwa, is himself a former governor of Lagos state during the military dispensation in Nigeria.
In their consternation and due to their limited vocabulary the Tinubu bootlickers are labelling Osinbajo as a betrayer. Whereas the right title of Osinbajo should be borrowed from the logo of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The broom is the distinguishing element of the logo of APC and Osinbajo is the perfect illustration of the "New Broom" in Nigerian politics. Through him, godfatherism will be consigned to history just as well as money politics will take a back seat in Nigeria.
Incidentally, Osinbajo is not a stranger to orchestrating a mighty wind to blow. In 2015, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan cringed in fear when Osinbajo was chosen as the running mate of General Muhammadu Buhari in the build-up to the 2015 elections. Former President Jonathan in January 2015, in a meeting with some Pentecostal Pastors, lamented that "Osinbajo is my problem..." He was reported to have explained that, “everything was okay until APC picked Osinbajo.”
Seven years later, Osinbajo is also the mighty wind that is blowing and rattling aged chickens in Nigeria's political landscape. The groundswell of attacks against Osinbajo cannot deter him from succeeding his principal under whom he has served faithfully and tirelessly. He is the mighty wind blowing but very soon, after the truth prevails, the delegates in APC will know that they are better off with a lamb. They will be smart not to entrust the future of their children and unborn grandchildren into the hands of an unrepentant squawking hawk who will put them in serfdom after giving them wads of dollar notes which, in any case, is part of their patrimony.
What Osinbajo lacks in money he possesses much more in vision, competence, integrity, humility, excellent health, and calmness. He possesses the qualities required to be the next president of Nigeria. These are the factors that will convince the delegates to vote for Osinbajo. The presidency of Nigeria has never been for sale and it will not be traded for money now.
Just as James Ene Henshaw wrote in his play, with the prophetic title, "This is Our Chance", there will soon be calm after all the noisy reactions to Osinbajo's quest to become the next president of Nigeria. This is our chance in Nigeria to sweep away self-serving politicians who pretend to be for the masses.
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