In this piece, Ayodeji Oriyomi reflects on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s true political outlook and inclination, as well as some of his productive contributions to national development that you may not be aware of.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who is the current Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, already passed as the most active compared with his predecessors in the 4th Republic running, is s lawyer by training.
Without any iota of doubt, he has substantially and significantly made his mark in politics in recent times.
The true picture of his person to millions of Nigerians is that, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represents a ray of hope, a new dawn and the much anticipated bright light at the end of the dark tunnel of the Nigerian political arena.
But to some others, either for being less familiar with him; excepting more; or they aren’t following the thread of his activities, he has been called a silent Vice President, that is, someone who is keeping mute in the face of national challenges.
Even, Vice President Osinbajo, in his recent public reflections over issues, had joked about his two different public pictures, one, as a lawyer and the other, as a politician, two professions he labelled as what often suffer a bent of good public image the most.
He described both professions as the most maligned and the “scums of the earth.”
That seeming joke, it could be said portrays vividly many Nigerians misconception of the person of Prof Osinbajo, thereby informing their utter and blatant criticisms of him, especially by a section of Nigerians. On the other hand, countless number of Nigerians have hailed him as the best and most active and performing Vice President Nigeria has ever had.
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The question, however, is not about whether his criticisms are normal, fair or right, the question is more about if many of the faultfinders really know Prof Osinbajo, SAN, well enough to allow such knowledge guide their judgement and perception of him.
There are several occasions Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has spoken frankly to matters of national interest and concern with his speech sufficiently depicting his person, disposition and outlook.
How much of these did you know and how well are you willing to be in the know about his activities? Read along!
• Reduction in size of expensive government
As reported by PulseNg, with its headline: Osinbajo for national debate to reduces ize of government, it appears the Vice President is the first Nigerian public servant at the topmost echelon in recent times to speak the truth about the need to prune the size of the rather expensive and wasteful Nigerian government.
While calling for a national debate to possibly reduce the size of the expensive government, he pointed out how the current constitutional structure could jeopardize such possibility given that those who would have to vote to reduce the size of government (the legislators), especially to become part-time legislators, are probably the ones who may actually end up not allowing such a move get the needed traction. That doesn’t sound like a silent and silenced VP talking.
• Proper management of solid minerals
Prof Osinbajo shares the view of many Nigerians on proper management of the solid mineral resources and riches buried in the ground in various parts of the country, that could guarantee every Nigerian employment and food security, in a THISDAY report headlined: Osinbajo Seeks Better Management Of Solid Minerals.
His call may not be out of place because going by the tenets of democracy in which federalism is one, it is expected that each federating unit, which are the states that make up the federation take charge of resources within their domain, but which has not been achieved owing the power deposited at the centre in the Nigeria’s democratic formation. This, however, has reinforced the calls for the restructuring of Nigeria.
• Promotion of climate civility
Maintaining a good psychological state of the nation is very important, as much as the state of every Nigerian locality. Being peaceful with each other respective of one’s tribe is a golden value for everyone to consciously work at attaining.
While Osinbajo supports passionate debates over the future of the country, this can easily be achieved if the information circulating around the county is such that helps in upholding the need for peaceful coexistence. This, one may say made the Vice President to give a clarion call to the media to encourage a climate of civility in a report published by the Premium Times with the headline Osinbajo Extols Media’s Role In Nigeria’s Development. The Vice President wants the media to help in promoting national issues which can be discussed in full and frank terms without taking it too far such that they become toxic and degenerate into chaos.
• Preservation of national unity
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has on several occasions challenged the political elites not to keep quiet but speak up to important issues that could save the country from a possible carnage. Respecting the fact that, though being a No 2 man, and knowing that powers are well separated in democracy, he keeps speaking the truth to people in power whenever he has the opportunity to do so.
In a Premium Times story with headline, “Osinbajo To Nigeria Elites: Speak Up To Preserve Country’s Unity,” the Vice President has continually reminded Nigerians, especially the powerful elite how it is in our best interest we try to avoid a war in this country. He has reiterated that the onus is on the political elite to determine the fate of the country. If we keep quiet, so as not to find ourselves heading for something much worse than we are seeing today.
• Fight against corruption
This is one of the cardinal programmes of the Buhari-Osinbajo administration. And here, Prof Osinbajo has represented the administration well, completing President Muhammadu Buhari in the government’s quest to rid the country of corruption. He has always strongly advocated for the need to fight and end corruption by simply working hard at it and he is determined to succeed in this as much as the President and his cabinet desire to sweep Nigeria clean.
In a THISDAY report, the Vice President, just as he has always said, repeatedly charged the relevant government agencies to make corruption expensive for those who engage in it and send the unequivocal message that corruption simply does not pay. And it isn’t. Truly!