To be or not to be — Opinion — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
The proverbial inhibiting or restrictive character of legal education, the unquestioning acceptance of principles received from the past, and a disastrous lack of political instincts have all combined to lead to the current palpable state of confusion and anxiety regarding the signal ambition of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. to run for president.
A studious law professor, Osinbajo is imbued with the spirit and “progressiveness” of the nominally progressive party of which he is a leader. Of course, he is somewhat sensitive to the creative discoveries of the present despite his cultivation of a spirit possessing unusual power. It has been curiously difficult to discern Osinbajo’s true position in light of conflicting and confusing information on an issue that should normally be expressed unequivocally.
A generally simple or direct person, Osinbajo learns quickly and manifests the tricks of politicians. Over the past week or so, an inexplicable controversy has erupted over promotional material resembling a finely scripted speech espousing some of Osinbajo’s virtues and offering his skills and prowess to be considered as his party’s premier candidate and, to the future, President of Nigeria. No sooner had the din of this cheering news died down than a brazen and joyless rebuttal of the earlier position surfaced in new media and the generally reliable mainstream media. What has not been questioned or denied, however, is whether the two parts came from the same stable. It will appear that there are at least two sides to Osinbajo’s muted presidential ambition. One part presumably pushes him to run even while another carefully weighs the moral, psychological and empirical costs of such an undertaking.
When it comes to the 2023 presidential election, the campaign of aspirants in the South West geopolitical zone to run as their parties’ candidates seems doomed from the start and they should know it. Long ago in the reasoned formulation of the zoning model, an aura of granite integrity had settled over the inhabitants of the southwestern zone or, for that matter, over the direction of its socio-political guiding ethic. No endorsement of Tinubu or any South West candidate by Afenifere, no tribute to the humanity or scholarship of Osinbajo in acclaiming civil society organizing and no characterization of Olufunmilade as progressive by those who aspire in an era of progressive and orderly development of Nigeria can alter this central fact: the Nigerian federation is skewed to the detriment of truly progressive elements or progressivism. The country is hopelessly divided on all important issues of its governance – restructuring, fiscal federalism, insecurity, establishing local government, state policing, etc. Wise and sensitive leadership would have held the country together. For more than that one could have hoped in vain, especially under this government.
To compound Nigeria’s difficulties, Buhari proved to be a singularly ineffectual head of government. He opposed a number of critical or strategic options to straighten things out. He postponed the reorganization of important state institutions; was slow to set up a military division headquarters to combat banditry in the northwest and turned a blind eye to savage attacks by Fulani herdsmen on sleepy communities. He insisted on being the only one to hold the post of Minister of Oil alone when he only knows a similar model even though oil revenues constitute the pillar of the country’s economy. One cannot think of what has been done or what has not been done without indignation or contempt. Not even the disparate National Party of Nigeria (NPN) of second republic disgrace ran a softer and dissonant administration. Seven years into Buhari’s party rule, governance is in chaos. Nothing tangible has been achieved because everything is upside down.
It is in this context that we approach 2023 with all its projected incidents of fear, anxiety and confusion. Reports abound of rampant unrest among the general population. Buhari refused to denounce the rampaging Fulani herdsmen; was slow to refer to the so-called bandits by their proper names; remained indifferent to the steadily rising standards of ethnic and religious prejudice. He has, in fact, encouraged the odious policy of making ethnic origin or religious belief the criterion for fitness for public office. The strident repudiation of Buhari’s negligence by Buhari’s men over these accusations has not satisfied even ardent Buharists who earlier in 2015 swore that he was the answer to Nigeria’s convoluted socio-political and economic problems. They have now identified Buhari’s methods as the manifestation of a painstakingly choreographed or well-rehearsed approach to the now magnified ethnic or geosocial problem. It is hard to imagine how far those vying for Nigeria’s highest political office are willing to go. Stripped of Afenifere’s principled position that the practice of rotation or zoning must take its full or orderly course and the unfitness of Southwestern aspirants, the current climate of rudderlessness and optimistic bigotry does not encourage the participation of people who possess some sense of self-apprehended self-esteem.
The general atmosphere is not helped by an unfortunate pervasive absence, on the part of those who seek the people’s mandate, of conviction regarding the much-vaunted resolution of the key issues of the Nigerian question. The pusillanimity or timidity to adopt a position that opposes the status quo has revealed that many aspirants were weak and unable to confront the terrible dimension of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political bete noire. Even though the 2023 election agenda seems tailor-made and presented itself clearly, politicians are filibustering – playing with words whose ordinary meaning is clear and unambiguous. The restructuring, for example, assumed a strange understanding in a malicious attempt to hide under one finger.
The vice president’s office that Professor Yemi Osinbajo occupies at the moment with its greatest strengths and obvious weaknesses may have helped the vice president identify the chasm between law and the dynamic force of politics, morality . Industry or hard work. The conservative character of lawyers’ performance in public office blatantly reflects the influence of powerful brokers or their godfather-appointers rather than Holmes’ dismissive view that law contains “only the axioms and corollaries of a math book. Many lawyers in public office display a great sense of immediate usefulness and less of the requirement of posterity or the demands of an enduring legacy or legacy. They are eager to get what they can and, for example, to “win” their case. Or what about Osinbajo’s promise to continue with Buhari’s ‘legacy’ if he is lucky enough to succeed him? This is not just laughable, it is dismissive or insensitive to the plight of the people under Buhari. What is there to pursue in Buhari’s term of disjointedness, broken promises and outright bashing of the people’s mandate? Nigerians are really fed up with the Buhari administration and cannot wait for her to exhaust her time. They can’t wait for him to go and his policies to be erased from the books and from their memory. It is the government whose policies and programs Osinbajo wants to pursue.
One commentator insightfully suggested that it’s more real for Osinbajo to continue living out his ambition in the realm of guesswork or suspended animation instead of a false or hesitant entry into the fall season.
Rotimi-John, lawyer and public affairs commentator wrote empty [email protected]