When he was first elevated to the status of Acting President on 19 January 2017, Professor Yemi Osinbajo embarked on a tour on Niger Delta region. His entourage included Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Ikachukwu; Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, as well as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. A move seen as a welcomed development by the good people of Niger Delta who saw it as a new chapter to finding lasting solution to the seemingly unending Niger Delta question. Not one of the rhetorical promises made to the people of Niger Delta by Acting President Osinbajo was ever fulfilled or rather, is yet to be fulfilled.
Some of us, however, suspected that the Osinbajo was neither interested in proffering solution to the Niger Delta question but to start a clandestine move to build his political capital ahead of 2019 Presidential election having read his body language.
As Vice President and sensing that President Buhari is/may be medically unfit to stand for re-election in 2019, Professor Yemi Osinbajo shifted his attention to build network in the north all for 2019.
On Thursday April 13, he went to Adamawa state to acquire the title of “Jagaban of Adamawa Emirate”. Only yesterday, he went to Cross river state to collect another traditional title in Efik kingdom, Ada Idaha Ke Efik Eburutu. For what reason if not political?
While I recognize that the Nigeria Constitution gives Yemi Osinbajo the right to contest for any office, including the Presidency, I must also state that his clandestine moves to succeed Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 is counterproductive to the interest of Nigerians and threat to the unity of our country, this is aside his sheer incompetency in public service since he assumed office as Vice President, Chairman of National Planning Commission and Chairman of National Economic Council.
This article is not to talk about his preference for employing only people of his Yoruba ethnic group as Personal Aides, all these are stories for some other time. This article is strictly about the injustice that his Presidency will mean to the rest of the country if we allow it to materialise.
1. HIS PRESIDENCY IS UNJUST TO THE SOUTH
In the history of Nigeria, the Southwest and Yoruba nation have led the country for a combined period of 11 years and 11 months; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo held sway for 11 years and 8 months (8 years as President and 3 years and 8 months as Military ruler) while Ernest Shonekan held sway for 3 months.
Meanwhile, the South-south only led Nigeria for only 5 years and 25 days through Goodluck Jonathan, while the Southeast has NEVER led the country in Executive capacity save the 7 months under the military reign of General Aguiyi Ironsi.
Under this present democratic dispensation, SW and Yoruba nation has led the country for 8 years and has been occupying the Vice President office since 2015.
The Southsouth led the country for only 5 years and 25 days and occupied the office of Vice President for 3 years through Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The Southeast has neither produced the President nor the Vice President.
Being a multi-ethnic region, it will be highly unfair for one region and ethnic group to seek to occupy the slot of the South in the Presidency in 2019 irrespective of whether it is the office of the President or the Vice President. It will amount to injustice to the ethnic nationalities in the South save the Yoruba for Yemi Osinbajo to succeed Buhari in 2019..
2. HIS PRESIDENCY IS UNJUST TO THE NORTH:
Since the return of this democratic dispensation in 1999, while the South enjoyed power for a total of 13 years (SW 8, SS 5), while the north only did for 5 years and counting through late Umaru Musa Yar’adua (3 years) and Muhammadu Buhari (2 years and counting). If the status quo remains till 2019, the north will haul a meager combined period of 7 years; a far cry when compared with the 13 years that the South held sway.
It is both morally and politically just that the North be allowed to produce the President of Nigeria come 2019 for another 4 years period. We must realize that injustice is injustice anywhere. Allowing Osinbajo, a Yorubaman/Southerner to succeed Buhari in 2019 will only cause disaffection among those in the northern part of the country. There will be feelings of marginalization will crept in. This is a situation the country cannot afford to entertain at this period.
MY SUPPORT FOR NORTH/SOUTHEAST TICKET IN 2019
Nigeria belongs to everybody, it does not belong to a section of the country. While it is fair for power to remain the north, it is also fair for the Southeast to be part of the equation after years of absence. The only way to allow justice prevail is for a North/Southeast Presidency in 2019.
This arrangement, I strongly believe will calm the nerves of the people of the Southeast, give the Igbo people a sense of ownership in the Nigeria project and a sense of belonging in the affairs of Nigeria.
Also Read: The 9 People Nigerians Believe Are Potential Presidential Candidates For 2019 – Who Would You Vote For?
The Yoruba nation has always stood for justice, I am optimistic that they will stand for what is right come 2019. I have no doubt in my mind that they will not oppose the aspiration of a credible aspirant from the northern extraction and an Igbo man to assume the office of the President and Vice President respectively in 2019.