REVIEW: How Osinbajo failed the first Law of Power
On Monday, the loud murmurings of several weeks on social media finally caught the attention of the presidency.
The issue had been the quiet but sometime quarrelsome debate between and among contending forces over how much shine Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had taken away from President Muhammadu Buhari since the latter embarked on medical vacation in UK on January, 19.
It would seem trivial but the debate had been intense.
For many fans of Osinbajo, his ‘magic wand’ must be the reason there appears to be some renewed vigour, hope and pace in governance.
They were quick to point to his ‘diplomatic’ shuttles to the Niger Delta, a region the ailing President had avoided lately for some unconvincing reasons. There is a belief that his ‘wide’ consultations explain the relative calm that pervades the zone, and the increasing volume of oil production that is helping to stabilize the nation’s revenue.
Osinbajo’s recent push in the Forex market is also reported as reason the Naira has been saved further bashing from other international currencies. The Naira had gained some 15% value in 4 days after a long spell on the downside.
Other supporters have added that there is renewed confidence in the economy with Osinbajo’s aggressive pursuit of ‘ease-of-doing-business agenda which hopes to remove unnecessary bottlenecks on the way of would-be investors and visitors to the country.
The icing, his fans claim, is the outcome of the final phase of the Rivers re-run poll which seemed to have also restored some confidence in the electoral process. The trouncing of a ruling party chieftain, Rotimi Amaechi, even in his own area, is said to owe largely to Osinbajo’s insistence that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must deliver on its integrity mandate.
Osinbajo’s perceived brilliance was bound to raise eye brows, and it did create some measure of discomfort within contending forces in the ruling party.
On Monday, the presidency, speaking through Babafemi Ojudu, Buhari’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, reacted sharply to insinuations that Osinbajo may be out-performing the vacationing president. He described as ‘mischief makers’ those who, by their positions, held that the Acting President had done appreciably well in leading differently.
“There is nothing that has been done since the Vice-President started acting that is not something that started far back in the past.
“The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing, are the ones saying this. It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.,” Ojudu said.
“These are mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy. They are the ones promoting this kind of divisive tendencies,” he added for emphasis.
Rationalizing the import of power distribution at the presidency, Ojudu said, “He (Osinbajo) is in charge but like I said earlier on, this is a joint ticket. The President of Nigeria remains the President of Nigeria. He is acting because it’s one and the same.
“He (Buhari) is more experienced, he has been in the game longer than the Vice-President and if there are major issues that he needs to take decision on, he could call on him and say ‘Sir, what do you think about this we are about to take decision on it? Do you have an opinion? That does not mean he is not in charge.”
The presidency betrayed some emotions, undoubtedly. There are obvious jitters within the fold.
Perhaps, without knowing it, Acting President Osinbajo broke the first Law of Power. He had, for all practical purpose, taken some shine off his principal.
If anything, there is a very strong perception that, being erudite, he has brought more panache and energy to governance. His style appears to engender an environment for fertile discourse which reverberates in the, ‘We hear you loud and clear,’ posture.
He is seen as more accessible, demystifying the office of the President and reaching out more closely to the citizens. True, he mingled with the populace in ‘dreaded’ Niger Delta and even took a stroll at the International Airport in Lagos, personally investigating why services may be out-of-order.
Osinbajo broke the first Law of Power! And, it’s about who should take credit for a job well done.
His ‘failure’ provides a disturbing insight into the contradictions of power and the on-going power play in the presidency. It speaks of the many challenges that hold the country down and the impending battle to mobilize and win over Nigerians in the concerted effort to build a great nation.
Osinbajo’s ‘failure’ informs the greater need to demystify government and bring governance closer to the people.
By Sam Ibemere
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February 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm
This piece has just proven my agitation about Nigerian government right. The government that is supposed to be by the people and for the people is too far away from the people it’s supposed to focus on.
Truly, Osinbajo has not done anything special, he’s been working on the strategies led by Buhari, but everything seem calm because Osinbajo has been able to make himself more accessible, and available to the citizens than Buhari.
Osinbajo may have perfectly played the script written by Buhari, but we should remember Osinbajo’s head is resting on Buhari’s neck, without Buhari, there can be no Osinbajo as far as this government is concerned.
February 28, 2017 at 5:58 pm
……..the government is simply Buhari’s Team: No matter whatever any person does, good, bad or ugly, it is still Buhari – but only if we could be objective, truthful and without any negative sentiment!!
February 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm
When Buhari was around, Nigerians were panicking, we need to remember Osinbajo that everyone seems to be giving all the credits Today, has always been right beside and behind Buhari as the VP.
There was nothing wrong when Buhari was around other than Nigerians were faced with the fear of the unknown because Buhari was a military man who once ruled Nigeria as a military leader, the fear of military rule is still very much alive writhin Nigerians.
Nigerians forgot, this is a democratic regime. The perception of the majority about Buhari is “this man is a military man who takes no nonsense”, if we don’t erase the “military ruler” mentality off our heads, we’d keep seeing Buhari as a monster and we won’t see the good sides of this administration.
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February 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm
This writer must have been paid heavily by osinbajo or his loyalists. What nonsense write up? Are they trying to rate osinbajo higher than buhari? You people should not incriminate him if not when baba comes back from UK, he stifle his excessiveness granted to him by BABA. All things fallen in place is work of buhari and not osinbajo.
February 28, 2017 at 7:14 pm
Aboki, you are mad. Osinbajo is the main man and not your buhari. He is a man of the masses truly who understands Nigeria’s plights and not your sick one. And who told buhari is coming back again, someone who has sent another letter to the National Assembly that he does not know when he will be back, Osinbajo is our own president Now.
March 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm
Join the discussion…VP is a gentleman that cannot pay for this trash
March 1, 2017 at 9:41 pm
Just because he refused to succumbed to the mischief makers, Hypocrisy.