YEMI OSINBAJO: WILL HE? SHOULD HE?
By Gbemiga Ogunleye
Since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu threw his hat into the ring of next year’s presidential race, the hottest topic in town has been whether the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo- PYO- will also contest for the office of, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential race.
Not unexpectedly, opinions are divided.
Not a few have argued that it would be immoral for Osinbajo to seek to contest against Tinubu.
The reason is simple: the Jagaban is PYO’s benefactor. He, it was, who brought Osinbajo to the limelight by first appointing him as his Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State from 1999-2007, when the Jagaban served as the Governor of Lagos State but also nominated him to the position of Vice President.
Besides, the Jagaban himself would’ve been the Vice President of Nigeria but for the fact that he belongs to same Islamic faith like President Muhammadu Buhari.
So, the argument goes, if the Jagaban gave up that position and offered it to PYO on a platter of gold, it would amount to a grand betrayal for PYO to contest the presidency against his benefactor.
Also, it would be interesting to the supporters of Tinubu what Osinbajo would say to APC faithfuls about his mentor on the rostrum.
Would he say: ” Vote for me because I am better than Tinubu? I am more capable than Tinubu to run Nigeria. Or I have more influence, more capacity than Tinubu.”
PYO’s supporters see no reason why their man should not throw his hat into the ring.
Their man, apart from his solid and intimidating CV, had acted well has acting President and taken far-reaching decisions that benefitted the nation.
The battle to save Nigeria, they also argue, is far more important than the issue of loyalty to a mentor.
Besides, they say the Jagaban himself, in the past beyrayed the Afenifere elders who made him Governor of Lagos State.
It is also their position that, it’s a logical expectation for a Vice President to seek to succeed his boss. Moreso, a PYO who has been VP in the last seven years, should naturally want to be President.
Will Osinbajo run?
Usually, a decision such as this maybe beyond the control of the individual concerned.
Suppose President Muhammadu Buhari asks Osinbajo to contest, would he be able to refuse?
Suppose Osinbajo’s spiritual father, the reverred Pastor Adeboye told Osinbajo that God had told him Osinbajo should contest, would he be able to refuse?
Osinbajo is married to the Awolowo family.
Suppose elders in the family summon him to a meeting and plead with him that he might be the one to achieve Awolowo’s dream of becoming the President of Nigeria, would he be able to refuse?
In concluding, I am reminded of a saying that it is what a drunkard had been nursing in his sober moment that he does when he is drunk, using his state of drunkenness as an excuse.
WILL OSINBAJO RUN?
A media executive, Ogunleye is the immediate past Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism