By Muhammed Abdullahi
Someone who has love in his heart, a love for country and fellow citizens, would undoubtedly be loved and venerated by the people. From the school kids in Cross River State to the traders in Garki market and even ordinary Nigerians on the streets; the people simply cannot stop loving Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo. It is not their fault or that of Professor Osinbajo. Love, they say, begets love.
The infectious aura and warmth of Professor Osinbajo which endear people to him and him to the people is not some branding strategy foisted on the Ag. President by any marketing communications specialist. The image of Professor Osinbajo is built on an intrinsic capacity to genuinely feel the pulse of the people and make them comfortable enough to share their feelings and problems. And while politicians would warm up to people in order to win their love and ultimately votes, Professor Osinbajo, like a father, just love seeing and engaging people in their most natural state, devoid of any ‘packaging’ or artificial affection. It is not about 2019 or 2023 or even any one period. It is just who the Ag. President is – a man of peace, love and inspiration.
No doubt, the strategy of attacking the personality and reputation of Ag. President Osinbajo with the intention of forcing him into lethargy is poorly thought-out by the hidden vultures of power. During the 2015 electoral campaigns, Professor Osinbajo joined ordinary Nigerians inside BRT in Lagos, he engaged directly with the people and freely discussed issues with youths in the many town hall meetings held during the campaigns. His continued engagement with the people after the elections is therefore a pointer to the fact that the smiles and laughter the then VP candidate shared with the people was not a ‘for camera’ only; the same way the genuine show of love to the traders in Garki market was not about 2019. Love is infectious and our own dear Prof. Osinbajo is teaching a nation that is perpetually used to ethnic bigotry and suspicion how to love and show empathy to one another. This is not about politics!
Since President Muhammadu Buhari (aka Maigaskiya) conferred on Prof. Osinbajo the roles of the Acting President, the learned senior advocate has continued, like the Pastor he is, to spread the gospel of hope to Nigerians. He has carried on his assignment with boundless optimism and abiding faith in our country. Where the cynics saw doubt, Professor Osinbajo saw promise. Even to the worst of his critics, Osinbajo has demonstrated competence, courage and confidence. With his boundless energy, he has traversed the country in a bid to unite the people behind the idea of one and indivisible Nigeria. With his uncommon approach to issues and the dexterity with which he approaches his assignment, the engulfing tension in Niger Delta today has been curtailed and our nation’s economy has richly benefitted from that effort.
While short-sighted and power hungry individuals are, in this period of renewed Biafra agitation, condemning the appointment of Dr. Okey Enelamah, a seasoned and qualified technocrat from the South East; Ag. President Osinbajo is asking the nation to think of Nigeria first before thinking of which part of it produces which leader. To the learned Prof, it is important that we think of Nigeria’s development and oneness before any other thing. And while the plotters of evil were busy at their game and writing their pseudo articles, a detribalized leader like Prof. Osinbajo was busy attending the 50 year anniversary of Biafra war, thus proving that his love for Nigeria runs deeper than the collective hatred of those who wish the country evil.
Love begets love. How well should we therefore honor rare leaders like Ag. President Osinbajo whose driving force is the wellbeing of all Nigerians irrespective of religion or tribe? It is in our character as a people to watch while those who wish us well are maligned and abused and castigated. But it would be quite unfortunate if we watch while the merchants of power denigrate and subdue an Ag. President that is working in partnership with his principal, Maigaskiya Muhammadu Buhari to reengineer Nigeria and give us a new country. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, with his actions and temperament so far, has proven his love for Nigeria and her people. It is therefore left to us to stand with him and against the hawks in power who seek to ‘devour’ the erudite Prof so they can have their way with us. May the God of Nigeria keep Mr. Ag. President strong and protect him from the legendary powermongers.
Muhammed Abdullahi is the mid-week “The Advocate” columnist of The Discourse. He can be reached on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter:@mfabdullahi