Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:53 am
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is not thinking about contesting the presidency, but the series of attacks directed at him were about people thinking he is working to succeed his, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s number two man has said.
He also noted that some people are also attacking the vice president because of the position he holds as the deputy to President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Akande who spoke on Monday night during an Instagram Live Chat with Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation Magazine said the vice president would not be distracted by ‘false’ reports and ‘lies’ circulating in the media of late.
According to him, while those peddling the ‘fake news’ are out to cause confusion and distraction but the Vice Preident will not be distracted.
“Part of the objectives of some of these attacks is to distract him. But he will not be distracted. The goal is to bring confusion but he is not distracted,” he said.
“The vice president is not talking to anybody about 2023. He is not thinking about it. He is focused on the job that the president has handed over to him and he just wants to support the president to deliver his goals,” he explained.
Osinbajo had been object of smear campaign with the recent being allegation that he collected N4 billion from the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. The Vice President has since denied the allegation.
He had also asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to probe the United States-based publisher of the online medium that published the allegations.
There was also allegation that his daughter Kiki, owned property on Durban Street, Wuse 2, Abuja worth N800 million, a claim which has also been denied.
But giving reasons for the series of attack in the instagram chat, Akande said: “It is ridiculous and incredible, some of the types of stories that are out there. What I have found out is that being the vice president and is a very active vice president that understands how to connect with the people, that rising profile itself, in a political atmosphere that is extremely murky, I think those who have all kinds of unscrupulous ideas, people with despicable agenda have reasons to try to smear the person that is holding that office.
“Like I said, because of the position that he holds, next to the president and because of all the kinds of imaginations that people have to think about him, I think, up to a point, he has become a kind of a political target.”
When asked whether the so-called attacks were to frustrate any ambition the vice president has in 2023, the aide said: “Personally, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that there are people who have political objectives who might consider him (Osinbajo) a threat. But what I like to tell Nigerians is, I’m his spokesperson and all I know he wants to do is to do this job that he has been given very well and he doesn’t have any other plans right now about any such thing. I can tell you that clearly.
“He has said to me several times; see Laolu, this is not a monarchy, we are going to be here for four or at best eight years. Let’s just focus and do the work so that when we are gone, people will say we did this and that. So, he is entirely consumed with the job. I’m his spokesperson and we have not talked about what he is going to do in 2023. What’s the point?”
Credit: ThisDay newspaper