Nigerians hail Osinbajo’s leadership rarity, piety, humility in power

The viral photographs of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo where the is carrying own umbrella and shielding others including his aides under the rain. Photos: State House/Tolani Alli

• As VP’s viral photos holding own umbrella break the internet

• His type represents leaders we need in power, Nigerians say

By Kehinde Adeoye

Nigerians have reacted to a picture making the rounds in the social media, capturing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo holding an umbrella to shield people around him from the rain.

The photograph had broken out after Prof Osinbajo conducted the formal launch and sensitisation workshop on the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan in Abuja, on Tuesday, where he said with the right planning and strategy, optimizing the value chain, the goals of Nigeria earning US$1 billion by 2025, will become a reality.

He said the Leather industry could become a game-changer for Nigeria’s economy by improving the country’s foreign exchange earnings, boosting growth, and providing employment for young Nigerians.

Many believe this is a rare gesture as it is totally different from the norms all over. In most cases, government officials and private business entities are seen parading themselves as lords, showing off their wealth and how well they command.

It was while coming out of the programme venue on that raining day that the particular photograph showing him holding an umbrella to shield himself and other officials who accosted him, including his aide-de-camp (ADC), who could have been the one to cover his boss with the umbrella, that it went viral.

Afterwards, his personal photographer, Tolani Alli, had shared other file photographs of Vice President Osinbajo personally holding an umbrella whenever he had to walk under the rain without allowing other politicians to carry it for him, saying, that has been the humble character of Nigeria’s second most powerful man.

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As the photographs broke the Internet, generating a lot of reactions from Nigerians, as a user laid side by side the pictures of both the Vice president holding an umbrella to shield people around him and another of a one time presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, standing on a podium with probably shielding him with an umbrella.

In their reactions, many Nigerians indicated that the Vice President, Prof Osinbajo, SAN, exhibited the good qualities of a true leader, one who is not carried away by power, but who is ready to lend a helping hand, even to his subordinates.

For Moghalu, on the other hand, it was said that while nothing may be wrong in someone, an aide helping her boss to hold an umbrella, such an act, even with a lady, may be perceived as not gentlemanly and not projecting him a leader with a large heart, who is ready to serve the citizenry.

The issue about 2023 election somehow came up in the discussion with some Nigerians putting Osinbajo up as a preferred candidate for Nigeria’s presidency.

In the social media reactions, one commenting on Nairaland via his handle, @ikubabayeye001, said: “Kingsley Moghalu is a good man, A patriot, and intellectual but you see that man called Osinbajo keeps radiating Leadership, Service and Humility. A perfect fit for the Nigeria of our dream. Osinbajo 2023, Done and Dusted.”

Another user on the platform, @DameAnnah gave a rather deep insight into the person of the Vice President Osinbajo, lauding “his activities as VP, his numerous progressive initiatives like the ESP with millions of Nigerians as beneficiaries. He concluded by hoping for an Osinbajo presidency come 2023. He wrote: “Wow! This is the photograph of the year!

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“All lovers of Nigeria need to thank God for the special breed of a man he blessed the country with in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo! He is kind, loving, astute and sagacious!

“Above all, he is God-fearing! No politician can be this cerebral and consider the people first if not for his fear of God! And unusual love for the people’s well being.

“Where does one even start from? Is it the revolution he has brought to the digital world in Nigeria? Or the brilliant economic policies introduced and implemented with the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) that has benefitted millions of Nigerians, and liberated them from economic quagmire? And more!

“See him covering others and won’t even allow his ADC to hold the umbrella for him, despite being a man in power as the second in command! Kingsley Moghalu has not entered power, his hands are too soft and weak to hold an umbrella!

“The question is answered since! It is Osinbajo 2023 straight as our President! By God’s grace!”

The viral photographs of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (left) and Kingsley Moghalu (right)

Another commenting on the same platform via @demitola praised the VP for his humble personality. He wrote: “Moghalu never become presidential anything, woman don dey suffer behind am holding umbrella. What if he now wins a presidential election or becomes the VP? I will always gbadun this Osinbajo man and i bet he is not even holding his own umbrella for photo ops. It’s just his humble personality.”

The pictures received a similar reception on Twitter, where a user with the handle @DisuShade carried out an opinion poll asking Nigerians to Like for Moghalu and retweet for Osinbajo. As at 1:50pm, 9th of July during the compilation of this news, Moghalu has 35 likes while Osinbajo has 145 rewteets.

The tweet generated a few reactions from users like @adelekanadeoye2 who gave a thumbs up to Osinbajo. He tweeted “It’s obvious Moghalu do not regards for women. Osinbajo you’re too much.”

Another user, @AnastasiaEzeJ1, tweeted “Osinbajo keeps raising the bar. What a wonderful person.”

Also, @HannahAdedoyin2, commenting on Twitter believes that humility can’t be forced. You either have it or you don’t, She tweeted: “You don’t force humility. It shows at will. I hope others will learn from this. We may not see it as a big deal, but it actually speaks volume. We need men like Osinbajo in our society. Men who are ready to serve, not just show power.”

Likewise on Facebook, a user, commenting via her handle @Adebola Babatunde wrote: “What these picture are all about is humility and care. Show me another person that’s this humble among those politicians.”

Another Facebook user, @Sanusi Yoyibb Ace Olamilekan, wrote: “As much as it nothing special, but it exceptional in the country we find ourselves public office holder see themselves as alpha and omega. Imagine a councillor not holding his umbrella.

Also, @Chiamaka Uzoma wrote: “VP Osinbajo’s act of holding his umbrella himself isn’t all in a bid to play to the gallery. It is a regular act that reflects the real content of his character. People may yet come to realize what a rear Leader Osinbajo is.”

Another user @Arochi Ejike Dom, commenting said: “We all know he would make a better president that would unite us all and grow our economy better. I am not APC nor PDP, but I know he’s brilliant and not one tribal or one-sided bigot. Didn’t you breathe well the first time he mistakenly handed over to him? But they saw it as a mistake on their part handing over to him. He is more qualified to be the president now.”

These reactions largely show the mind of Nigerians and their perception about issues such as this, saying Osinbajo is a leader Nigeria deserves.

• Adeoye contributed the piece from WEPUSH Media