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“I formally declare my intention to run for the office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress,” Osinabjo said in a video posted to his social media handles Monday morning, shunning the fanfare that characterised the declarations by some aspirants. The VP will be battling for the ticket to fly the party’s flag come 2023. His declaration has set him up against APC bigwigs including his political godfather and former governor of Lagos State Bola Tinubu, the minister for transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, former governors of Imo, Kogi and Ebonyi States, Rochas Okorocha, Yahaya Bello and Dave Umahi, respectively. The 65-year-old professor of law has an impressive résumé – He served 8 years as attorney-general and commissioner for justice in Lagos State under the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu government between 1999 and 2007. He was nominated as the running mate to the then- APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in December 2014. The APC won both the 2015 and 2019 general elections, allowing him to serve as Vice President for seven years running. In his declaration, he described his principal as a “true Nigerian patriot”. An assertion that got heads and eyes rolling. He said he and Buhari spent the last seven years working through some of the most difficult times in the history of the country, focusing on securing the country, providing infrastructure and growing its economy.
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Osinbajo said being Nigeria’s VP since 2015 has afforded the opportunities to discern the “diverse experiences and yearnings” of Nigerians. “In these seven years, I have served the government in several capacities and I have, at the direction of Mr President, represented our country in sensitive high-level international engagements. “I’ve been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I’ve been in markets, in factories, in schools, in farms. I’ve been in agricultural, mining and oil-producing communities in the Delta, in Kebbi, in Enugu, in Borno, in Rivers, in Plateau and Ondo and in all other states of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people. “I’ve visited our gallant troops in the Northeast and brothers and sisters in the IDP camps. I’ve felt the pain and anguish of victims of violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire and other disasters. “I’ve been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country. I’ve sat with our techpreneurs in Lagos, Edo and Kaduna, with our Nollywood and Kannywood actors, with sour musicians from Lagos, Onitsha and Kano, and I’ve spoken to small and large businesses.
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“I stood where they stood aKadunaat where they sat. I know their hopes and their aspirations and their fears. And in I believe that in those hopes and aspirations are the seeds for the great Nigeria that we all desire.” His declaration has truly stirred the hornet’s nest and has indeed set the ball rolling. Against all cautions and speculations that the VP should and will not run against his benefactor, Tinubu, it seems the professor is ready to take his destiny into his hands along with all that comes with it. Featured Image Source: Punch Newspapers
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