By Kurtis Adigba Former President Jacob ZUMA, (yes you heard…
By Kurtis Adigba
Yemi Osinbajo, professor of law, SAN, is an accomplished professional. Unlike many of our politicians, he has a second address. In other words, outside of government, he can survive, and survive with panache. Before his current position, he was the Attorney-General of Lagos State for 8 years. He performed excellently.
Prof. Osibanjo, is also a senior pastor with the RCCG. He was the pastor in-charge at the Banana Island road branch, Ikoyi, Lagos, of the church. As the senior pastor of the church, he was known for his humility, frugality, and godly virtues. Osibanjo, unlike most of his colleagues who will seat in their high offices and delegate evangelism to others, was always on the roads, accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, preaching the gospel of Jesus. He is a self-effacing man!
VP Osinbajo, was not looking for a job when he was nominated by president Buhari as as running mate. President Buhari, on a mission to rescue Nigeria at the time was looking for a partner who is a man of proven integrity and honesty. He found in Osinbajo, the qualities he was looking for. He wasted no time in naming him after meeting him in Abuja. His choice, was a master stroke. Many Nigerians, received the news of his nomination with joy, and pledged their support. Buhari and Osinbajo were elected as president and vice-president of Nigeria under the APC, a party the opposition PDP, and CAN had described as a Muslim party. Some openly expressed their disdain with Osinbajo for accepting to serve under Buhari, a perceived Muslim extremist. They asked: why would Osinbajo a Christian and pastor, agree to serve under a Muslim?
Osinbajo threw himself into the job with dedication. As a senior lawyer, he knows the limits of the powers of his office. He knows he is not the president. He knows that he must remain loyal to the president, and do the jobs given to his office by the president. With a president on his seat, the only thing he can do is to advice the president. He cannot insist that his advice be followed. In the absence of the president, he becomes the Acting president. We are all witnesses to how he brilliantly and efficiently held the office in the absence of the president. He travelled to different parts of the country to reconcile the government with certain parts of the country. He implemented policies that strengthened the naira against the dollars following the positive outcome of his negotiations with the leaders and militant groups in the SS part of the country. He created a pervasive sense of unity, and remained loyal to the president by attributing everything he did to the president.
Osibanjo, is highly trusted by president Buhari. The president is so comfortable with him that he ceded the management of the nation’s economy to him. For a every critical assignment or mission, he is the go-to-man of the president. He has visited many conflict areas on behalf of the president. Many will remember that he is the first to visit and commiserate with communities that has been attacked by the Fulani Herdsmen. After the attacks on some Benue communities leading to egregious deaths and destruction, VP Osinbajo visited the state more than once in a month. He attended the funerals of some of the victims of the attacks, and gave a heartfelt address on that occasion.
Recently, VP Osinbajo, has come under attacks by some pastors and their supporters. Many are questioning why and how he can still claim to be a Christian and pastor, and remain in the government out to eliminate Christians and Christianity. They are calling on him to quit. This is to say the least, uncharitable!
Many of the pastors, making these calls, will not even consider resigning from their positions in their churches no matter how bad things are. They will also, no brook any opposition from any pastor under them. Any pastor under them that holds a contrary view on issues will be removed on the direction of some spirit. This is the truth! The same people are the ones asking Osinbajo to stand up and confront the president. I’m not against Osinbajo confronting the president, or resigning from his position if he thinks there reasons to do so, that is his call to make. I’m against those attacking for not leaving in pursuit of their narrow and selfish objective. VP Osinbajo, is not in government as a pastor. He is there as an administrator whose actions and inaction, are governed by the laws of the country. He took an oath that imposed a duty on him to be fair and just to all, irrespective of their tribes and religion. He is the vice-president of Nigeria, not of the Christians in Nigeria!
If the pastors, believe that Nigeria should be governed by Christians only, they can form a Christian party in Nigeria, and contest elections. This is the situation in some European countries. In 2019, VP Osinbajo, maybe on the ticket with Buhari hopefully, and we have the opportunity to decide his fate.
What many may not have adverted their minds to, is what the situation could have been without the moderating voice and influence of Osibanjo. If Mordecai had been in the palace to counsel Esther, the Jews would have been destroyed from the counsel of Hamman.
Let me conclude this piece by advising the pastors and their supporters to, spare Osinbajo from the needless attacks. The Muslim community is standing solidly behind Buhari, who is the leader, and on whose desk the buck stops. We are tearing at our own. The pastors, should devote their energies in raising up righteous men who will takeover the affairs of the country, and set us on the path to sustainable development. VP Osinbajo is not perfect, only God is!
God bless Nigeria.
Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner at Kurtis Adigba and Company.