‘We stand with Osinbajo,’ Nigerians react to VP’s exclusion from APC Campaign Council

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in a relaxed moment with his supporters, during his visit to the campaign office of The Progressive Project (TPP), a coalition of support groups that backed him for the presidency, shortly after his loss at the APC primaries. (File photo)

By Oluwafemi Popoola

Many Nigerians on the social micro blogging site, Twitter have applauded the exclusion of the name of the current Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN from the official list of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC presidential campaign council.

Many of them lauded the unusual gut and integrity of the VP for his principled stance against the insistence on same faith ticket of the flag bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his preference for the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket that has generated fierce controversy in the public.

Tinubu, who is a Muslim, on July 10, 2022, chose a fellow Muslim, Kashim Shettima as his running mate, a decision which has been widely criticised as being insensitive to the Nigerian current security challenges, which it was said required for religious-balance in the country’s presidential arrangement.

However, the latest release of the 422-man list comprises names of political heavyweights including APC governors, ministers, lawmakers, as well as serving and past public office holders.

In the list released by the Presidential Campaign Council Secretary, James Faleke, in Abuja on Friday night, there was a shocking omission of the name of Vice President Osinbajo alongside other party stalwarts who had publicly criticized Tinubu’s decision of fielding same faith ticket for 2023 elections.

They include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

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Before the official announcement of Tinubu’s running mate, there were fears Tinubu might opt for a Muslim running mate. However, Osinbajo was said to have have warned that such an adoption would not augur well both for the party and the country. Hence, it was reported that Osinbajo expressed serious objection to the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Reacting to the official release of the APC Campaign Council list with Osinbajo’s name conspicuously missing, many Nigerians took to Twitter to react to the development praising the vice president for reportedly rejecting his participation in the APC campaign team stating that he cannot support a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

Although, the spokesperson of Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo later released a statement to douse the tension saying the exclusion of Vice President Osinbajo from the council was deliberate and was ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Apart from Osinbajo, the President also ordered the exclusion of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha” Mr. Keyamo added.

This, however, did not deter many Nigerians to bare their mind on social media, they insisted the VP declined the request to participate in the campaign describing him as a man of honor and integrity.

Below are some of the comments.

One responder commenting via Otunba said, “Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo missing from the APC Presidential campaign list. He was offered a substantial position in the campaign council but he rejected. Like he said few months ago. “You can’t wish the country well and vote for someone you don’t believe in.”

Another responder with the name Tomide Akinribido wrote, ” The Christian community must stand in solidarity with Osinbajo and reject the disastrous APC muslim-muslim ticket. It takes enormous courage for him to decline participation in the Tinubu campaign council,he must be protected at all cost.

Bright Okuta wrote, “You shouldn’t be surprised Osinbajo is not on the APC 2023 presidential campaign council list. Osinbajo is obviously against Muslim-Muslim ticket. It will be insulting to his probity and piety.”

Abiodun wrote, “As a Christian from SW Nigeria and for fairness, I stand with VP Osnibajo, who has rejected the Muslim Muslim ticket of the APC. Osinbajo needs our support, and we must rally around him”

Aregbesola has always been Tinubu’s boy, not surprised that he accepted to be part of his godfather’s campaign team. But Osinbajo is a man of principle. Yeah, you can say this stance is coming late, but even in defeat the sitting vice-president has earned my respect.