Ensuring social justice and the welfare of the people are the heart of governance because leadership is all about public service, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, has said.
According to Akande, who is also the spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, these were some of the things he learnt working as spokesman to the VP for the last eight years.
The President Buhari-Osinbajo administration will end its tenure on May 29, after serving two elected terms in 2015 and 2019.
Speaking to anchor Hamza Idris on Trust TV recently, Akande noted that the Vice President also constantly inspired him and many others around him to be excellent and have a passion for the people in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“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. Like 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,” Akande said during the interview.
Speaking further, Akande emphasized that Osinbajo is an inspiration to many Nigerians. “I have learnt a lot from him, getting involved in what we do together. He has always shown the character, competence and capacity. The Vice President is a thorough guy and does his things very diligently. I’m leaving with a lot of excitement, gratitude and fulfilment.”
When the Trust TV anchor asked him about the controversies that surrounded the sacking of the then Director-General of the Department of State Service, Lawal Daura, in August 2018, following the illegal invasion of the National Assembly by DSS official, during Osinbajo’s stint as Acting President, Akande responded that the Vice President believes in the process of fairness and always doing the right thing, for the country.
“As Acting President, 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.”
*Responding to the anchor’s question on why the Vice President decided to run for the presidential candidacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022, Akande said Osinbajo was driven by the need to serve the people, adding that many Nigerians had clamoured for him to run because they saw his antecedents.*
*“He (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,” he said.*
He added that despite the challenges, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done well overall. “I am very proud to be part of this administration,” he added.