Is Prof Yemi Osinbajo APC Vice Presidential Candidate to Gen. Buhari Divisive?Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News, Prof.R.A Ipinyomi Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin
The choice of the main opposition party in Nigeria APC, to the ruling party PDP, to pick Prof Yemi Osibanjo (or simply Yemi) is a Vice Presidential candidate may turn out to be a well calculated effort from whoever brought out this joker card. In order to understand the weight of the candidature and its possible effects we need to briefly review the person of this big fish Yemi. His surname Osibajo has many varieties in the text such as Osinbajo, Oshinbajo, Osibanjo, Osibajo, etc, but they all probably refer to him together with the titles Pastor, SAN or Prof. It is also necessary to run through a brief review of Nigeria politics, the person of Gen Buhari and the ruling party PDP and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GEJ. In addition to all these the rumour and counter rumour, with the end result of Yemi, is pertinent here; whether Yemi is an after thought for Buhari, a handiwork of Tinubu or the quest of APC political party. Is Yemi willing? Has our oga (Dr Adeboye was in University of Ilorin as a senior colleague for me at time) agreed?
Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a Partner in the Law firm called Simmons Cooper Partners. He holds the LLB (Lagos) LLM (LSE, i.e. London School of Economics) law degrees. He had been a Professor of Law University of Lagos, a Special Adviser to an Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1988-1992), a staff member of the United Nations and Member of the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Committee of Experts on Conduct and Discipline of UN Peacekeeping personnel around the globe. He is currently an Ethics Advisor to the Ethics Committee of the African Development Bank and is a non-executive Director of Citibank. He was appointed by Tinubu’s administration as the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice (1999-2007). During the period of his public service, he commenced the Lagos State justice reform project. A prominent feature of that project was the establishment of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights which provides free legal services and legal representation to indigent citizens of the state. This initiative gave a voice to many who would otherwise not have a way to access their rights. More importantly he also pastors at Olive Tree House of Prayer for All Nations, Banana Island, a parish of the RCCG (the Church being led our oga Dr. Adeboye) and lives in Lagos with his wife and three children.
Before his selection the romour mills were busy whether Buhari would go for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, whether it would be Fasola, Rotimi or even Tinubu. The ruling party was ready for such candidates but not for a seeming unknown Yemi, who is one of the best that Nigeria can get at this time but for whom PDP and other critics are less ready. Even Fani-Kayode, which has come as a carbon copy of the older Fani-Kayode, can only be attacking Buhari while attempting to fault the choice of Yemi. Nigeria needs to get out of these recycle bins of politicians and find people not living in the dust bins that we can hold responsible. Brother Yemi, if your party eventually wins, the Nigerian population will be holding you more responsible for the woes and not Gen Buhari. Yemi is not only a professed Christian he is a lover of the society and a giver. It will be a terrible thing to find that there are traces of corruption linking to his table. Whereas there is no magic solution to Nigeria’s numerous problems running a free and fair election and having accountable officers elected can be a start.
Gen Buhari has been attacked and we shall continue to attack him until he believes in one Nigeria, indivisible Nigeria where we all have just one law, freedom of religion and freedom of expression, article on full employment and working to ensuring same, right to education independent of gender or religion or ethnicity, Nigeria becoming a modern 21st century society and competing with other friendly and progressive society proudly, ability to reward a good citizen or punish an otherwise lawless one, development of talents and economic initiatives, free movement of citizens within the Nigeria enclave without any discrimination or persecution. He is labeled a Jihadist and a pray he will at least for once accept this toga and where it only to redeem Nigeria and not to persecute it, to improve and regenerate our common moral value system for common good and not take us back into the first century civilization that was only good for that time. A kind jihadist in Buhari and a people’s pastor in Yemi may help their aspiration but they should never plan to play God in any of their endeavours.
Here is the beginning of a major headache for both the PDP and some individual Christians who would have used a poor choice of candidates by APC to wish them off. Buhari is well known even though he has lost elections most often. In a mathematical model success is the outcome of a sequence of zero, one, two or more prior losses. Therefore the PDP should not take the choice of Yemi running with Buhari as a set back but an opportunity to sit up and returning to the drawing board. For the two major parties we would like to advise them to note that the 2015 elections can be peaceful, if and only if, the elections are free and fair, and contestants are honest within themselves. The Nigeria Muslims seem mostly comfortable or just apprehensive not because they like what they are currently getting but because of a concept in game theory to be able to minimize one’s losses if you can’t improve your decision. Whereas some Christians actually are truly fearful about the candidature of Gen Buhari and what it would mean to their security. If Boko Haram is killing our pastors, stealing our daughters and marrying them off at will, burning our churches, all these whilst a professed Christian is President, what else when a core Muslim and tagged a Jihadist? Many Nigerians will not still have any candidate to vote for this February election because only Jonathan and Buhari are on the ticket; Prof Yemi Osinbajo pedigree notwithstanding.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi
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