LEGENDS AND SUPERSTARS

Veepe Yemi Osinbajo: A Man of All Seasons By Idang Alibi

At a time when, and in a country where, most persons, both high and low, seem to have lost their cool and have become so ill-tempered and so ill-mannered, I want to single out today, for commendation, a single individual and a highly placed and cerebral Nigerian for that matter, who has refused to lose his cool and has remained high above the general din. That person is our Vice President, Pastor/Professor Yem iOsinbajo.  I believe, and very strongly too, that if God decides today that aSpecial National Rapturethat will sweep away everyone in our country who answers the name of a politician/ political leadershould take place, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo is certain to be one of very few remnants that God will leave for himself in Nigeria.Here is a man that both his supposed godfather and his supposed constitutional and political principal have conspired to isolate and humiliate, each for their various, largely selfish reasons, yet the man has maintained his cool, never bad- mouthing any of them. He does not grant media interviews to abuse or speak ill of any of them. He does not say or do anything to show disrespect to any of them. He does not lament his fate, even questioning God, as some men of lesser virtue would have done in his circumstances, why he has allowed both men to humiliate him in the manner both have conspired to do.As the country’s Number Two, stripped virtually of the powers he used to wield, he has not complained to anyone. Like the sorrowful picture of the humble and submissive Christ painted inIsaiah 53 of the PaschalLamb whois ledtothe slaughter without uttering a word inprotest, he put up a very fine face to it all when his job schedule was completely repackaged and given to a minister, rendering him virtually redundant. In spite of what has happened to him, if he is given any assignment to do, he does it to the best of his ability. If he is calledout to defend the Administration even on an issue he has been deliberately kept out of, he uses his natural intelligence and eloquence to put up a spirited defense, I am sure,to the pleasantsurprise of those who sought tokeephim out.Where they seek to keep him out of anything, he does not intrude to torment the consciences of his tormentors. As they mean to freeze him into anonymity, he has accepted his fate with equanimity. This is the stuff some great men are made of.Yemi Osinbajo is a great man. He is not the Man of the Year of any particular year, he is a man of all seasons.At one point, the enfant terrible of the Nigerian ruling class, Femi Fani-Kayode, tried all in his rules book to lure Osinbajo to descend from his Olympianheight and join himinthe gutter by calling the man allmanner of unprintable names, but this man who is clothed with the glory of God, refused, quite wisely, to bite the bait. Femi will abuse him, call him a stooge of the Fulani aristocracy and a betrayer of the Yoruba cause,he keptmute. He never denied nor confirmed Femi’saccusation. He will call the man a dwarf and the man will say nothing. A giant will not proclaim his giantry except he is a foolish giant like Goliath of Gath.At another point soon after his brilliant outing as Acting President following his principal’s indisposition, information, obviously from the nation’s security sources, was circulating in the Social Media, whose aim was to say that Osinbajo is not the rose that Nigerians have been led by his brilliance to think of him.The information sought to paint a picture of a brilliant crook with a deodorized or Teflon image. Thankfully, the campaign did not catch fire. Throughout that period, he never said anything in his defense.He knew the game they were playing against him. He knew that his maligners know that to most Nigerians, anyone accused of humongous malfeasance by Government is guilty as charged so if you try to defend yourself the greater harm you are doing to yourself by unconsciously publicising the accusations against you thereby earning the bad name they seek to pin on youso he let the surreptitious tissues of damaging info against him go as quietly as it surfaced.Surely, this man must be Nigeria’s Paschal Lamb, a personageProphet Isaiah described as ‘’a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not’’His trouble seems to have emanated from the brilliance he displayed when destiny entrusted upon his sturdy shoulders the business of providing leadership for this country when his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, took ill and was out of the country for medical treatment abroad.His godfather who ought to be proud that his nominee is not a failure or a misfit or an embarrassment, became alarmed that this protégé could overshadow him and spoil his chances of becoming Number One one day.Those who run the show in the name of Buhari’s presidency were equally alarmed that this man’s undeniable evidenceof  competence could spoil their plans of taking everything because discerning Nigerians will wonder why a man with such brilliance is not allowed to contribute his quota for the greatness of Nigeria. In a country where mediocrity is a creed, brilliant people have a way of making many look stupid or ridiculous and so they must be crudely contained by whatever means possible. But while they try to sink him, the man always remains afloat, by the sheer loudness of his silence and his characteristic composure, to the annoyance of his determined sinkers. There is a saying that if you try to drown a favourite of fortune, he will come out of the deep with fish in his hands.Veepee Yemi Osinbajo reminds informed Nigerians of another eminent Nigerian of Yoruba extraction who also cut a picture of a man of messianic proportion, a man whoseemed to have beenloaned to Nigeria fromanother country; a man of sagely wisdom, competence and brilliance and a manwho was very much persecuted and maligned but who remained unbowed or unfazed. That man, interestingly and incidentally, is the grandfather-in-law of Veepee Osinbajo. He is the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Like Awo who was once Vice Chairman of the Federal Executive Council, in effect, Vice President to former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Osinbajo is today Vice-President of Nigeria. But unlike Awo, I do not think that Osinbajo will die one day with an insincere mourner coming out to say that ‘’he was the best president Nigeria never had’’. I perceive in my spirit that one day, God will allow this man to provide leadership for Nigeria as Number One to shame all those ‘’agborotic’’ men and women scrambling to be president of this country.

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