By Femi Fani-Kayode
Yemi Osinbajo, a legal guru, a jurisprudential genius, a Professor of Law, a highly-acclaimed Pastor, a well-respected Servant of the Living God, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a writer and author of many books, an expert on the law of evidence and our nation’s Vice President, came from very humble beginnings and yet has done so well.
His story is one that we can legitimately describe as an excellent example of the accomplishment of the Nigerian dream.
God is clearly with this man and no one can take that away from him.
His humility appears to have opened many doors for him and the Lord has granted him favour before the Heavens and before men.
Yet, in my view, the greatest honour that has been bestowed on him so far in his life was to have had the privilege of representing President Muhammadu Buhari and our beloved country Nigeria at the historic and utterly resplendent state funeral of Queen Elizabeth 11.
He was there with no less than 200 other Heads of Government and State, 500 officials representing various countries from all over the world and Kings, Queens and members of all the Royal families of Europe.
In addition to that, he was there with a sea of adoring faces and a massive and utterly devoted Union Jack-waving crowd that lined the streets of Central London from the gates of the 319-year-old Buckingham Palace, leading up to the 753-year-old Westminster Abbey and to the beautiful country roads leading to the 952-year-old Windsor Castle just outside the nation’s capital.
This was an event that was dramatically and dazzlingly remarkable in its pomp, pageantry, ceremony, magnificence, historical content, military precision, unprecedented perfection and mind-blowing splendour.
It was also an event which was done in honor of one of the greatest, most majestic, most revered, most respected, most disciplined and most-loved monarchs of not just the Royal House of Windsor but also of Great Britain, Europe and indeed the entire world.
Yet it didn’t stop there.
She was also a monarch who sat on the throne of her ancestors and forefathers and reigned for longer than ANY other in the history of Great Britain whilst in the history of Europe the longevity of her reign was second only to King Louis X1V of France (the Sun King) who built the beautiful Palace at Versailles and who ruled his nation for 72 years from 1643 till 1715.
Queen Elizabeth’s reign, which spanned from 1952 to 2022, was as outstanding, dramatic and eventful as her funeral.
It was a truly grand occasion the likes of which, in terms of achievement, celebration, solemnity, historical relevance, international significance and good old-fashioned splendour, may NEVER happen again.
Even more remarkably it is one that was watched on live television by no less than 4 billion people which is just over 50% of the world’s entire population and which represents a world record in terms of live television viewing.
All this and providence, coupled with the finger of God, made it such that the individual that represented our great nation of 200 million people at such an august gathering and historic occasion was a diligent, scholarly and hard-working yet modest little man with a very humble background from a sleepy small town called Ikenne near Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, South West Nigeria by the name of Yemi Osinbajo.
This is a great testimony to the awesome power of the Living God.
I am aware of the fact that the Vice President is a committed Christian and a praying man and the Lord has clearly answered most, if not all, his prayers.
For all he has achieved in his life we give thanks to God and we give Him alone the glory.
Yet having said that we must NEVER lose sight of the fact that God used just ONE person to make all this possible for Osinbajo who, before his political elevation, was nothing more than the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.
That person appointed him as Commissioner in 1999 when he himself was elected Governor of Lagos State and he kept him there for eight years.
In 2015, eight years after he left the exalted office of Governor of Lagos State, that same person single-handedly nominated him to be the running mate to President Muhamnadu Buhari in the presidential election and his nomination was graciously accepted.
Consequently Osinbajo was elected Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has been there for the last seven years and will be there, God-willing, till May 29, 2023.
Today, seven years after he was elected Vice President, the person that nominated and ensured that Osinbajo reached this exalted height is taking his own shot at the presidency and is, indeed, the presidential candidate of the APC, the political party to which Osinbajo belongs.
It is incumbent upon the Vice President and every other person that has benefitted in any way from that person’s goodwill and favour to support him in this great endeavour.
I have no doubt that the Vice President will do this and has been doing so ever since the conclusion of the party Convention but it is still worthy of mention as an example to others.
The person in question is Osinbajo’s political godfather, benefactor and mentor and his name is none other than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos and the Jagaban of Borgu.
He deserves hearty congratulations and thanks from all of us for what he has done in the life of his political son, Yemi Osinbajo, and, indeed, in the lives and careers of so many of his other political sons and daughters.
Many political fathers and mentors do not delight in the rise of their proteges and often go out of their way to downgrade and suppress them or even destroy them after they leave power and office.
The reason for this strange disposition and attitude is inexplicable and I have long pondered over it.
Yet this is NOT the case with Tinubu. He takes pleasure in his sons and daughters rising.
He builds up his own, stands behind them and lifts them up despite the fact that he has suffered many betrayals from quite a number of them over the years that were evidently afflicted with what one can only describe as Absalomic tendencies.
For those that do not know who Absalom was and what he did to his father King David, I suggest you read the Holy Bible.
Absalom wished death, destruction, shame and disgrace for his father, entered into open rebellion against him and attempted to steal his crown and take his throne.
He was seized and enveloped by an evil spirit which sought to take, by any means necessary, that which belonged to his father.
This is what Bola Tinubu has been subjected to on several occasions by some of those he has helped in the past.
Yet he keeps forgiving, keeps loving and keeps showing them kindness.
He keeps repaying evil with good not only to those who betrayed him but even to those that may have despised him and poured venom on him in the past for no just cause.
This, in my view, is actually the secret to his success and the source of his power.
His forgiving nature pleases God and provides a strong defence for him.
Constantly doing good to others even though one may be repaid with evil and betrayal in return is a great and holy virtue.
Few can display this rare trait and Bola Tinubu ranks amongst those few.
I close with a word to those that he has assisted politically and otherwise over the last 30 years: it is YOUR turn to join hands together and lift him up by praying for him, standing by him, identifying with him and assisting and supporting him to achieve his dream of becoming the 7th democratically-elected chief executive and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
May God make a way for him and may He crown the efforts and grant the prayers of those of us that have lined up behind him in this great and noble quest.
May the light of God dispel every darkness, may the finger of God remove every obstacle, may the sword of the Lord cut short every naysayer, may the glory of God return to our nation and may Lagos, the centre of excellence and a state that has done so much for our country and given so much to our people, produce its first President of Nigeria.
Finally, may all those in the political arena that I respectfully describe as Asiwaju’s disciples, proteges and mentees who have not done so already join the rest of us by saying a big ‘AMEN’ to this prayer. God wills it.
• Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation, the Sadaukin Shinkafi and the Director of Special Media Projects and Operations and New Media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council