Osinbajo has true passion for Nigerians, not a regular politician — Laolu Akande

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his office with Laolu Akande

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is a public servant who is entirely different from the regular Nigerian politicians, but a leader with a true passion for the people, says Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President.

Akande, the Vice President’s spokesman said this answering the interviewer’s questions, featuring as a guest on the Trust TV programme, “Daily Politics,” anchored by Hamza Idris, on Friday, May 19, 2023.

Recounting the governmental stewardship just a few days to the end of their tenure on May 29, 2023, Akande said Nigeria’s second-in-command whom he has served for two terms of eight years is a very hardworking man, who prioritises the overall interest of Nigerians over personal gains.

The veteran journalist added that the Vice President is a leader who has a keen sense for public spirit, “knowing that the only reason people relinquish their right to a government is because they want the government to serve their interests,” saying, he believes that “government is meant very strictly to serve the people.”

“The Vice President is very hard working, and very hands-on when it comes to the job. He has a passion for the people. He has a passion not only for the job but for the people. He is not just a regular politician,” Akande said.

For this reason, the veteran journalist said it has been a “thrilling” experience for him working for the Vice President, contending that “I also consider it a great privilege, and a wonderful opportunity to be able to serve your country, especially at that level, for someone who had always wanted to be part of fixing the country.”

It was for his need to get things done, his interest in the people and to ensure the continuity of the good work done by the government, but primarily, having being driven by the need to serve the people, Akande said were the reason his principal decided to run for the President on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022 when asked by the interviewer.

Akande who noted that many Nigerians had clamoured for the Vice President to run because they saw his antecedents, as a leader who had delivered in the tasks committed into his hands, said, Prof Osinbajo “understood what is it that has been done, what wasn’t done, and what needed to be done and how to do it. He knew social justice and people are at the heart of governance.”

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Also, describing the Vice President as someone who has a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality, as his extraordinary virtues that keep the work going perfectly, Akande said, “As he told me, we’ve got to do what we need to do and do it well. When you see how he relates with people personally, he inspires a lot, by the values that he espouses and by his work ethics.”

The presidential spokesman said, “I have learnt a lot from him, getting involved in what we do together. He has always shown character, competence and capacity. The Vice President is thorough and does his things very diligently. I’m leaving with a lot of excitement, gratitude and fulfilment.”

In the no holds barred interview, when Akande was asked by the anchorman about his views on the controversies that surrounded the sacking of Lawal Daura, the former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), in August 2018, by his boss as Acting President, responding, the spokesman said the Vice President, who believes the right thing must always be done in the national interest, upholds the process of fairness.

Daura had been sacked in August 2018, by Prof. Osinbajo as the Acting President, over the illegal invasion of the National Assembly by DSS operatives, an action considered to be a threat to the sustenance of the country’s democracy, and reflecting on his principal’s action, Akande said, “he did what is right for the country. He has no regrets for taking those actions, based on what I know. When you are a leader, you set examples, you send signals that this is a democracy; it is about the people.”

Overall, Akande also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, saying it has performed creditably well despite national challenges, and while expressing satisfaction with the job done so far, he said, “I am very proud to be part of this administration.”