LAWYERS4CHANGE

Monday, February 23, 2015

PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO SAN: HISTORY MAKER?

“If any one had told me, even six months ago that I would (one day) be running for Vice-President of Nigeria, I would have laughed off the person” Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN.


One of the most exciting aspects of Democracy practice in Nigeria in the last one year is the emergence of Yemi Osinbajo, a barrister at law, silk, a professor of law and also a pastor, as the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming March 28 2015 elections.

Considering the professor’s relatively low profile and his antecedents, compared to the much better known, more colourful and more influential personalities like Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos State, Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Rivers State, Adams Oshiomole, Governor Edo State all touted to be in contention, it was quite a surprise to see the “little giant” come up tops.

However those who are aware of the quality of the personality of Yemi Osinbajo who became an Associate Professor of Law in 1990 at the age of 33years realized that his choice was astute.

With his selection as the running mate to General Buhari, Osinbajo has effectively become a politician, a front-line one at that. Almost immediately after his elevation, the professor, who is also a Pentecostal clergy man, hit the hustings strongly, dazzling and charming audiences with his deep knowledge and sure footedness. A compelling speaker, his brilliance and deep knowledge is all too evident, but his panache is devoid of the boisterousness of bravura or the excitability of the derring-do, rather it burnishes more appealingly on a velvety poise of calm candour and soothing sobriety.

As Professor Osinbajo goes on his campaigns either by himself or with his principal, the General, the Nigerian voting public was seeing an uncommon politico but the big question is - will he become the Vice-President of Nigeria?

The answer to the question should ordinarily be an easy “Yes,” considering the widespread popularity of the Professor’s party-the All Progressives Congress. So strong on ground is the APC, that it is commonly believed that the party would have easily won the presidential elections if the February 14 2015 polls had held and was not postponed.

However in Nigeria, one cannot be too sure of anything because of the activities of entrenched patriotic interests who always prefer their parochial and selfish concerns above national interests.

In the event of victory at the presidential polls by the APC, then Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN would have scored at least two firsts in the political history of Nigeria.

First, he would be the first legal practitioner to become an elected Vice-President of Nigeria. Chief Obafemi Awolowo the only other Nigerian lawyer who became Vice-President of Nigeria, was not elected to the position. Chief Awolowo was appointed as the Finance Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Military Council of the General Yakubu Gowon regime. Incidentally Chief Awolowo was from Ikenne, Ogun State, just like Yemi Osinbajo, who is married to Dolapo one of the grand children of Chief Awolowo.

It should be noted that though Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the Vice-President of Nigeria from 1979 to 1983 is a lawyer, he became a legal practitioner after his time in office as Vice-President.

Secondly, professor Osinbajo, would become, if the APC wins the presidential contest, the first clergy-man to occupy the seat of Vice-President, Nigeria.

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