BY MICHEAL ABRAHAM
Supporters of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, are beginning to hallucinate shadows where none exist. They are alleging persecution where none exists, which is profoundly sad considering that the presidency has categorically asserted that there is no rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and his number two.
Such reassurances, which conforms with what Nigerians know about the cordiality that exists in the Presidency, has not dampened the appetite of Professor Osinbajo’s handlers to stir the waters in the hope of creating a storm, even if it is inside a teacup. They are running about town with tales of how the right-placing of intervention projects to the ministries with the requisite supervisory roles amounted to undercutting the Vice President’s shot for the presidency in 2023.
They went as far as drawing up a list of a phantom “Aso Villa cabal” that is reportedly working to tarnish the image of Vice President Osinbajo. Curiously, they claimed that the cabal is dredging up old tales to tarnish his image, which says a lot because they are not saying that the allegations of impropriety against their client/principal are false – they are only saying that the allegations are already well known. Those making these spurious claims went to the extra length of maligning past current political office holders in the hope of creating the erroneous impression that those after their boss are the high and the powerful, a situation that poses great danger to Nigeria’s long-term cohesion.
With his wealth of experience, Vice President Osinbajo should have by now done the needful. The needful is for him to ordered those that have constituted themselves into his attack dogs to cease and desist from heating up the polity. His failure to take this honorable step is practically putting the country on a loop that will ensure that as a nation we again repeat another circle of the events that brought the current toxic ethno-religious schism upon us.
Professor Osinbajo has become the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan all over again. His spin doctors are marketing the image of the persecuted-Christian-southerner-underdog, who is at the mercy of northern power brokers with their southern collaborators. This was the strategy Jonathan used to scam Nigerians to gain power but he did it without the realization that there were downsides and potential blowbacks, or he knew there would be but was just too selfish to put the country before his ambition. He went on, through his associates, to contract Cambridge Analytica to deploy weaponized information against Nigerians to the extent that the lie about an Islamization agenda, sold by the UK company, persists till date.
It is pertinent to point out to Professor Osinbajo that it is too early in the day to use his 2023 ambition to distract Nigerians and his own government from focusing on the pressing matters of national development. He must know equally know that maligning other cabinet members in other to play the victim card will eventually haunt him as he would provide the opposition with ammunition to use against everyone that is presently part of that cabinet.
Abba Kyari, chief of staff to Mr. President, is again being made the collateral damage for 2023 because of the political ambitions of a few. This team suddenly came up with an “homemade” poll results about some purported 80 per cent voting for Osinbajo as President come 2023. They even stretched it further by alleging that a former governor is behind all that is happening. They called him former governor. Not enough guts to call his name. Yet many know that they could not be referring to Fashola or Ambode.
Rather than being a victim, Vice President Osinbajo is the strong man of the administration. His powers extended to a level where he annexed the functions of as many as seven ministries through the various intervention programmes. That these programmes have now been returned to their rightful ministries should not be a basis for promoting divisive ideas and the nation’s number two man should know better than threading the path of ignominy that would place him in the league of leaders who divided instead of uniting their people.
He should shut down those running a media campaign against this government and political leaders. They will hurt him more. And help him less.