Friday, March 8, 2019 3:15 pm
By B. Oparinu
As a Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who has acted as president on some occasions, so much is known about Professor Yemi Osinbajo. Described as a cerebral Vice President, his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, has praised his intellect and high energy level.
“Youth and intellect are squarely behind you,” President Buhari, whose government has provided the platforms for people to see the other Osinbajo, had noted on his return from a medical vacation.
Wikipedia does a good job by providing some more details but it appears even that is incomplete. There is another Yemi Osinbajo.
According to Wikipedia, “Oluyemi Oluleke “Yemi” Osinbajo is a Nigerian politician and lawyer who is the current Vice President of Nigeria, in office since 29 May 2015. He is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor of Law and until his inauguration as Vice President, a Senior Partner with SimmonsCooper Partners, a commercial law practice.
“Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON was born into the family of Opeoluwa Osinbajo on 8 March 1957, Creek Hospital, Lagos. Osinbajo is married to Dolapo (née Soyode) Osinbajo, a granddaughter of Obafemi Awolowo.
“Yemi Osinbajo was educated at Corona primary school in Lagos. Between 1969–1975, he attended Igbobi College Yaba, Lagos, where he was the winner of the State Merit Award (1971); the School Prize for English Oratory (1972); Adeoba Prize for English Oratory (1972-1975); Elias Prize for Best Performance in History (WASC, 1973); School Prize for Literature (HSC, 1975); and African Statesman Intercollegiate Best Speaker’s Prize (1974).
“Thereafter, he studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Lagos between 1975-1978 when he obtained a Second-Class Upper Degree in Law. There, he also won the Graham-Douglas Prize for Commercial Law.
“In 1979, he completed the mandatory one-year professional training at the Nigerian Law School whereon he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of Nigeria’s Supreme. In 1980, he attended the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he obtained a Master of Law degree.
“From 1979–1980, Osinbajo served the compulsory one-year youth service as a legal officer with Bendel Development and Planning Authority (BDPA), Bendel state.
“In 1981, he was employed as a law lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. From 1983 to 1986, he was Senior lecturer of Law at the University of Lagos. From 1988 to 1992, he was an Adviser (legal advice and litigation) to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ajobola. Osinbajo began lecturing at the age of 23.
“From 1997 to 1999 he was made Professor of Law and Head of Department of Public Law, University of Lagos. From 1999 to 2007, Osinbajo was Member of Cabinet, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, also Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
“From 2007 to 2013 Osinbajo was once again employed as a Professor of Law, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. In 2007, Osinbajo was made Senior Partner, Simmons Cooper Partners (Barristers and Solicitors), Nigeria. Osinbajo was also a Senior lecturer at the Lagos State University.
“Other past roles include:
“Yemi Osinbajo is also the Pastor in charge of the Lagos Province 48 (Olive Tree provincial headquarters) of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ikoyi.”
What such profiles miss are the optics we are now getting from the local markets. Deep inside the markets, pumping hands, waving and chatting heartily with poor market women is a spectacular scene of spontaneity.
Even in the pin-sharp Nigerian sun, he wears his enchanting smile. Although politicians are noted for manipulating optics to create an illusory effect, those who know the Professor of Law closely say his radiance emanates from thepart of his brain that evokes empathy and human feelings, rather than any political motive.
It is said that sustained effort of simulating compassion by people who hardly use that part of the brain easily shows in their mental and physical discomfort, no matter how hard they try to hide it. And it is an exercise that rather avoid by passing it on to subordinates than repeating.
Evidence of Vice President Osinbajo’s empathy and compassion for human feeling dates back several years. More recently, in February 2011, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, preached a sermon “Whom Shall I Send?” at the Olive Tree Parish of RCCG, Banana Island, Lagos, and that birthed what the church calls 10 Kingdom Ministries, he strived to ensure they succeeded. They include Liberty Schools, Soup Kitchen, Life Changers and Mercy Cross
TheLiberty School project is a societal intervention programme, which provides free education to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for their education. The schools run in Obanikoro and Ikota, both in Lagos cost the church millions of Naira annually. A third school has been proposed for Makoko residents. The special attractions of the schools are high quality education, which is free, and free meals for the pupils.
In what suggests a streak of compassion in the Osinbajo family, the school in Obanikoro, which is in a prime location with solid school infrastructure and inviting learning environment, was seeded to the Church by Mama, as the mother of the Vice President, (Mrs.) Olubisi Osinbajo, is fondly called. She was using it for her own school – Herbert Nursery and Primary school.
The Soup Kitchen was setup to feed people in the locality and other areas, such as Falomo Underbridge, Obalende, Iporin Underbridge, Kuramo Beach, Ikota and Ikate Waterside slums. It also feeds pupils of the Liberty Schools.
Mercy Cross provides free medical care, while the Life Changers Ministry supports people with financial needs, as well as providing skills training and job opportunities.
Although the Vice President cannot claim sole credit for the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme, like his boss, President Buhari, he is happy to see so many people impacted by the programme. And it shows during his visits to the local markets.
According to an aide, “when people ask why a whole Vice President should go to local markets, they need to understand the psychological satisfaction, the joy, a compassionate person derives from the physical contact with the needy and under-privileged. It cannot be explained.”
There are, indeed, good reasons to see a Professor and a Vice President in the local market. According to scientists, people who show feeling for others or practice empathy better understand the needs of people around them; and are more likely to treat the people they care about the way they wish to be treated.
They are also able to more accurately predict the actions and reactions of people they interact with; and they experience the world in higher resolution as they perceive through not only their perspective but the perspectives of those around them.
Vice President Osinbajo turned 62 today!