*Adds: We went to Aso Rock with a vision to change Nigeria
Immediate past Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has described his two terms as Nigeria’s number two citizen, as an incredible journey of service to the nation.
Prof. Osinbajo, who was deputy to the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari between May 29, 2015 and May 29, 2023, noted that he came into office eight years ago with the vision of making Nigeria a better country.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke yesterday in Lagos, where he was received at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, by a joyous group of close associates, supporters, family and friends.
A similar group that also included members of his staff while at the Office of the Vice President had received him at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport right after attending the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima at Eagle Square.
People at both airports first in Abuja, then Lagos, sang and danced as he was received with much excitement. He was accompanied by his wife, Her Excellency Dolapo Osinbajo, and other senior aides.
“In all, we thank God for the absolutely incredible opportunity, and we are forever grateful for this opportunity to serve our country, and the opportunity to see for ourselves how it is that a nation such as ours, and with the potential that it has, can do better, can be more,” the immediate Vice President said in Lagos.
“We did not go to Aso Rock to have a good time, ” he continued.
“We went there with a vision; we went there hoping to transform and change our country.
“Of course, we didn’t think it was going to be overnight, but we have been fully committed to that cause, and anyone who is committed to that cause is our friend, our compatriot, our brother, and we will continue to work with them.”
He added that in his chats with both the President and the Vice President he also made this clear.
Prof. Osinbajo also expressed his gratitude for the support he received from the groups who came to receive him at the airports, as well as their commitment towards Nigeria’s progress.
“I’m very deeply grateful for all of you who are here today. After such a long time, in eight years, all of you who I see here have been very steadfast at all times. And you are here again to celebrate our return home. I must say that I am deeply grateful.
“It was Barbara Bush, the wife of former US President George H. W. Bush, who said that ‘when the noise of politics is silenced and the dust settles, all you have are family and friends, and faith.’ I’m happy that we have family and friends, and also, we have faith.”
Thanking the Almighty God for what he described as an incredible journey, Prof. Osinbajo stated that he had spoken with President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima a few days ago before the inauguration, while also praying for their success.
“It was such a good opportunity to let them understand where I stood and where I still stand. It was a great opportunity to speak to them and also to pray for them because this country must develop, we have far too many talents, and far too much hope, and look at us men and women of faith, this country has to succeed.
“So, we will remain committed, and we are going to keep up the fight, like yourselves who are prepared, and who are determined to ensure that we achieve the greatness that our nation deserves.”
Observing that the journey was also very interesting and refreshing, Prof. Osinbajo joked about the reality of his description as Nigeria’s immediate vice president.
“As we were coming from the aircraft which we have used for eight years, the pilot announced, as we were about to land, that, ‘I wish you former vice president and wife of former vice president,’… He wished us well. But I pointed out that, ‘you have immediate past, you have former and one-time,’ and we are still in the category of immediate past,” causing a roar of laughter from his audience gathered around him at the Presidential Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
He then continued “we look forward to more of what God has in store for us as a country in the coming months and years. God bless you all. You are all part of this journey and you can be sure you are going to remain part of our journey.”
A prayer and worship session was also conducted at the reception in Lagos.
Earlier before his arrival at the Lagos airport, Prof. Osinbajo was given a rousing farewell by many members of his staff, supporters and well-wishers at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The chants of “Star Boy’ from grateful Nigerians filled the air as the immediate past vice president entered the presidential jet from Abuja en route to Lagos.
He then departed the Lagos airport for his private residence on a chopper.