BY Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
That Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is a workaholic is no longer news. Sometimes one wonders where he gets all the energy from. His work schedule are puzzling; I also wonder if he delegates some schedules. Even President Muhammadu Buhari had once indicated that he was aware of the dexterity and youthful energy of his deputy. When came back from his 49 days medical vacation in the United Kingdom, the president enthused that, while Osinbajo had “youth and intellect” going for him, he (Buhari) had age and “purely military experience”.
Truly, the two men complement each other brilliantly and so far the acting president has demonstrated and shown that he is a die-hard Buharist.
Last week, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which usually holds at 10:00am started at about 11:00am. The tradition had been that most assignments or visits don’t hold before the FEC meetings but last Wednesday, the acting president had an engagement with Civil servants on the executive orders he signed to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The event held from 9:00am to 11:00am, after which Osinbajo rushed to the presidential villa for the FEC meeting which lasted over three hours. After the FEC meeting he still had engagements till night.
It is instructive to note that the longest FEC meeting in the two years of this administration was presided over by Osinbajo. The meeting lasted over six hours and we were wondering if the cabinet members will solve Nigeria’s myriads of problems that day.
On Thursday, the same scenario played out again as the National Economic Council meeting which holds once a month was scheduled to hold. Before the meeting, the acting president had an engagement on the anniversary of Biafra. He attended the event at Yardua centre and was late for the NEC meeting by some minutes. Trust Osinbajo; marathon meetings are his stock in trade. The council meeting lasted almost the whole afternoon.
On Friday, he made a surprise visit to the Garki market where he interacted with traders who were pleasantly surprised by his visit. The same Friday, he flew to Italy to attend the G-7 meeting. On Saturday, he was back in the country where he attended the Lagos at 50 gala in Lagos.
On Sunday morning, he was back to Abuja and that same Sunday evening by 4pm, he attended the democracy day interdenominational service. On Monday morning, he was back to work where he attended the Social Investment Programme which is domiciled under his office.
On Tuesday, Osinbajo inaugurated the membership of the Nigerian industrial policy and competitiveness advisory council. After that, he held some private meetings till late in the night. On Thursday, the acting president travelled to Calabar to commission some projects.
Sometimes, I wonder if he has time for rest or to spend with his family. In all of these busy schedules, the acting president also attends weekly church services. It literally depicts the character of a man who is enjoying the confidence of his boss.You cannot deny the zeal and passion of Buhari and Osinbajo to change the story of Nigerians.
Sources in the Villa say President Buhari trusts his deputy to a fault, which can be deduced from the number of tasks he has given to him. He handed over the running of the economy to Osinbajo and also he gave him the task to resolve the agitations in the Niger Delta, which he has done admirably well. The country had enjoyed some peace in the region after Osinbajo’s peace moves to the region.
It suffices to say that the opposition and some fifth columnists are not happy with the relationship between Buhari and Osinbajo, which their close aides have described as that of needle and tread. The armchair critics have looked for every possible way to cause some frictions between the two to no avail.
When Buhari travelled out of the country for his medical vacations, Osinbajo was praised to high heavens on how he was turning the country around. It was amusingly ironical that most of the people praising Osinbajo were members of the opposition. Like a smart man that he is, Osinbajo didn’t take the bait. Perhaps, he had Robert Green first of the 48 laws of power at the back of his mind, which says “Never outshine your master”.
Even Osinbajo innocuous statement that he enjoyed a father and son relationship with Buhari was twisted by the opposition. Still, he knew the objectives of the praise singers whose main goal is to push him towards the moving train. As Nigerians still relish in the aftermath of democracy day, we hope and pray that in the next two years, we will begin to experience the real ‘change