–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) -By Austen AKHAGBEME:
In the present equation and the many calculations towards the 2023 Presidential election, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo seems to be a forgotten numerator or denominator.
His name is hardly mentioned in serious political discourse and permutations. Even now, his disinteresting mien stands aloof, even as he refuses to join in the cynical contestation that his contemporaries are jostling for.
His uninspiring disposition is shocking and discouraging despite the fact that he’s more academically qualified than all the branded names masquerading as Presidential hopefuls today.
Is the Vice President truly aware he can push for his natural right of first refusal at all? Again, this brings to the fore, the danger embedded in the politics of Godfatherism. No matter how astute, young, fit, savvy and intelligent you’re, you can only make a meaningful move only on the approval of the Godfather.
It should be noted that the choice of Yemi Osinbajo, in the deft fireworks that heralded the joint 2015 presidential ticket of the APC, was a quick after thought; a subtle substitution of a vision or an idea wholly owned by an interest outside the Osinbajo persona. It is only on this premise that one can understand with Osinbajo and his precarious circumstance.
In leadership recruitment, experience is a factor. But the politics of ethnicity entrenched in our psyche will not allow us to do the needful and go for the best. Or else, how can one explain the fact that in our clime, it is almost a taboo for an outgoing president to project his vice as his successor?
This is because our first consideration is not competence nor experience. It is based on geography, faith and tribal bloodlines coupled with the dangerous partisanship in our jinxed politics of convenience. It’s a pity.
As at today, I do not know the common perception the average western Nigerian have for the person of the Vice President, his chances and his politics. Will they go for and rally round him at the appropriate time?
It must be noted that the circumstances that threw up Osinbajo are still here, lurking and waiting. The very reason why his benefactor must move and throw his heavy weight behind him as it has become very glaring that projecting himself will be dirtier and deadlier.
Osinbajo, no doubt, has showed some sparkles of hope and leadership dexterity, when he had the opportunity. During the absence of his boss ( in those harrowing days of Buhari’s ill-health), he held his ground and was firm in the face of provocation, contempt and impunity by the then DSS boss. Osinbajo successfully showed him the way out.
This was the quintessential Osinbajo, the Professor of Law and former Lagos state attorney general and commissioner for justice. Even though this latitude of ‘freedom’ was short lived (as he was again sidelined to sharing money among traders in the market), he could be the flicker of hope we’ve all been waiting for. May they give him, the right of first refusal.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online