By Kurtis Adigba
You have heard politicians say before, in every election cycle, that “This election is the most important election of our lifetime”. No time is this rhetoric truer than now in Nigeria. The 2023 election will be the most important and most consequential election of our life because we are ONE ELECTION-NOT ONE GENERATION, away from reclaiming and fixing Nigeria, and setting her on the path to sustainable progress. We cannot afford to fail. The consequences are simply unthinkable.
We won’t be able to do so if we allow the old and broken politics of division, self-promotion and self-interest to continue to hold sway in our country. We need new politics anchored on a selfless leader with bold ideas and a proven record of public service to lead and nurture this vision. In my considered opinion, no one fits the bill better than HE V-president Yemi Osinbajo; a cool, calm, and steady man who has served as Vice to our dear president in the last 7 years. He is cool on the outside but burns on the inside for Nigeria. In the 7 years that he has had the honour to serve as VP, he dedicated his life to making Nigeria better a place for all. He is committed to building a country that is more inclusive and guarantee shared prosperity to all.
President Buhari and VP Osinbajo in 2015, inherited a country that was deeply fractured/divided. The economy was in a tailspin from long term abuses, corruption, and misapplication of public resources. Oil, the dominant source of revenue for the country was facing supply and price challenges, but they rolled up their sleeves and got to work. They knew things were bad and expected to face challenges, but they couldn’t have imagined or expected the strong headwinds that confronted them, but they stayed the course. And today, Nigeria is better for it. But their job is not fully done, hence the need to keep the VP in power to continue from where the president will stop.
WE ARE NOT WHERE WE WANT TO BE, BUT WE ARE NOT WHERE WE USED TO BE. WE HAVE MADE REAL PROGRESS AND WE NEED TO SUSTAIN IT. WHO IS BETTER TO BUILD ON AND SUSTAIN THE PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE BETTER THAN VP YEMI OSINBAJO WHO HAS HAD A FRONT-ROW SEAT IN THE LAST 7 YEARS AND HAS BEEN AT THE CORE OF GROUND-BREAKING EFFORTS AT COMBATING POVERTY IN THE COUNTRY?
I can’t think of anyone better than prof. Osinbajo, VP of Nigeria, is a man who is a heartbeat away from the president and understands what needs to be done urgently. He will hit the ground running in the right direction. It is possible to hit the ground and run in the wrong direction. The image of a young man running in a school relay team, who received the Baton and started running in the wrong direction with vigour, strength and assurance of victory, should remind us that things could go wrong if we make the wrong decision or choice.
Our mission is not going to be easy and it is not supposed to be easy. Nothing great and destiny defining is easy. But with God on our side, all things are possible and we will overcome. We will birth a new Nigeria based on fairness, equality, equity, and empathy. Nigeria will become a rising tide that lifts all boats.
We have heard some say that the VP is contesting against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his leader and the man who appointed him as Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Lagos State between 1999-2007, and may have also recommended him to the president to be vice president. They said he will be betraying his leader if he contested against him. The extremists among them said he is a traitor for even considering the idea. Well, I have news for them. The VP is not contesting against Tinubu, he will be contesting to be president of Nigeria, a position all Nigerians have an equal stake and a say. We will be the last people to minimize the role Tinubu or anyone used of God to play in VP Osinbajo’s life we are grateful to them for allowing themselves to be used of God in fulfilling His plans in VP’s life. We pray that God bless them.
But the relationship between them was not one-sided as they want you to believe. It was a mutually beneficial and reinforcing relationship. Tinubu as Governor needed a brilliant, courageous and reform-minded Attorney to be AG and Commissioner of Justice in his government and VP Osinbajo, an outstanding professor of Law and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, fitted the bill. We are witnesses to the groundbreaking reforms he carried out in the State Judiciary and the landmark cases he instituted and won during his time as the AG of Lagos State, that helped the government when the then-president moved against the state. He was not a nonentity as they want you to believe. That is a bunch of malarky – apologies to president Joe Biden.
Bob Strauss, one of the greatest chairs of the DNC said, “Every politician wants the people to believe that he built the log cabin in which his mother gave birth to him”. But we know this is not true. In our life journeys, we will always need help and helpers. That is how God designed life to be. It is a cycle of dependence and inter-dependence, no one is self-sufficient; we all need help.
Every Superstar is standing on the shoulders of Stars. VP Osinbajo and others contributed to making Asiwaju the Superstar he is today. VP Osinbajo is also hoping that Asiwaju will somehow and someday allow him to stand on his shoulders and those of others in the coming days to become a superstar in the finest tradition of mentor and mentee.
Prof. Osinbajo is unarguably one of Nigeria’s and Africa’s finest, sharpest, and brightest legal minds. He is a consummate academic, a loyal and compassionate public servant, a relentless reformer, a devoted husband and father, and a God-loving and fearing man. That’s the mission and purpose of the NEW TRIBE. We will succeed by the grace of God.
Practitioners of the politics of cynicism and division have asked us: “Are you not afraid of failing considering you have no money and money bags supporting your causes?”. Our answer is: What we lack in money we have in abundance in conviction and broad acceptance of our ideas and aspirant in the country. We are committed to birthing a new Nigeria under the leadership of VP Osinbajo. We are not afraid because we are at a place where the only thing to fear is FEAR itself. We are emboldened and comforted in our pursuit by the words of late senator John McCain that “we have been taught correctly that courage is not the absence of fear but our capacity to act despite our fears”. Stand up with me and together, let us call on VP Osinbajo to run for president of Nigeria. Sometimes the man chooses the moment. At other times the moment chooses the man. The moment has chosen VP Osinbajo to be president of Nigeria and he cannot refuse or reject the calls by millions of Nigerians to stand up on their behalf and lead them to a more prosperous and fairer country. If he doesn’t, he should be prepared to deal with the consequences. The youths are counting on him to get in the fight on their behalf. We shall win and together, we shall build a new country for ourselves and our children.
*Kurtis Adigba is a Legal Practitioner.