The Osinbajo story by Bright Okuta
By Bright Okuta
I woke up this morning and saw a Twitter trend #TheOsinbajoStory with over five thousand tweets. Ordinarily, I would have scrolled past with a smirk on my face, especially this season of political campaigns where unnecessary hashtags trend effortlessly. But I stopped and clicked on it and what I saw was unexpected.
I haven’t really taken a sight at the current Vice President’s stance on certain issues in Nigeria. And I am indifferent about his position as VP and how it has affected the lives of Nigerians since the past seven years.
But what I saw today this morning is a shocking eye-opener to who and what he is, and why his support system is growing with a rat chase.
Many Twitter users took to the social media platform to share their story of one instance where they had an encounter with the Vice President or someone they know who had an encounter with him.
A certain Twitter user with the name OJBest5 wrote: ” If everybody should draw their pen to write the good deed of his @ProfOsinbajo we will have more stories about him than we have in the Bible…Thank God my PVC is mine.”
I asked myself could this be some exaggeration? Because the Bible is a collection of different epic and inspiring stories. It’s funny how someone likens the story of the 69 year old VP to the biblical stories. So I clicked and scrolled through his account and I saw a thread of how, from a random tweet he made, he was invited to meet the VP in the presidential villa. He would later make sandals and shoes for the Vice President. He hinted the fact that the VP patronises his products and he is now the official shoemaker of the VP.
Another user Austine Abel with the username @SirAbelOfficial wrote about a story of how the Vice President adopted Chinaza, a teenage girl who broke pass security protocol to grab the hands of the VP in order to make him visit her mum’s shop in Nyanya market during one of his many visits to monitor the TraderMoni scheme.
He wrote “..Some months later, Chinaza sits with her mum in the presidential villa, with a man who has now come to know her as a “daughter” Almost three long years since their time of contact and a few correspondences later, Chinaza is on her way to The University with dreams of becoming a medical doctor.”
The Vice President, marveled by the bravery of this little girl adopted her as his daughter.
This story is akin to the story the SS 1 girl who jumped fence to meet with the Vice President during the 2019 electioneering campaigns in Kubwa, Abuja.
This same Twitter user also wrote about how the Vice President stopped his convoy to engage protesters at Goza Village in the FCT. Residents of the community had gathered on the major road connecting the airport to the city protesting the invasion of their land by the military.
He wrote: “They were protesting the alleged invasion of their land by the military..” The Vice President stepped down, engaged them and proposed to meet with their leaders on the matter and intervene with a view to finding an permanent solution to the problem.
Another Twitter user Chika with the username @medoosa wrote about how the Vice President tackled the Farmer/Herder clash and brought it to a permanent solution. She wrote: ” Anyone else noticed cases of farmer/herder clash has significantly reduced? Osinbajo since 2018 proposed the NLTP as a way to curb this menace. It was only adopted in 2020 and already implemented by many states.”
Another user Tums with the username @Tunmiee1 wrote: “VP Osinbajo paid for the reconstructive surgery of baby Aishat Ibrahim, a victim of a Boko Haram bomb explosion. She sustained extensive burns to the eye, the face and chest.”
Tunmi also wrote about how the Vice President built a house for Internally displaced children in Borno. “On VP Osinbajo’s first official visit to Borno to meet IDPs, he realized there were so many out of school children. He decided to use his birthday to raise funds to build an international School and a learning Centre for close to 2000 vulnerable kids.”
She wrote in a separate tweet: “As commissioner of Justice Prof. Osinbajo addressed access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC).”
The Osinbajo story hashtag also captured his life as an accomplished lawyer, from his days of little begining to his time as Assistant to the then Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ajibola (1985—1991) to his days as University of Lagos Lecturer, Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner of Justice, Vice President and Acting President. If you ask me, I’ll say this is a beautiful life story worth emulation. It has always been from one point to a higher point carefully and steadily.
Amongst all the avalanche of praises in this trend, what pricked my heart the most is the humanitarian part. Although, it is quite difficult to handpick a politician in Nigeria who does these things without political intentions but many of the stories these Twitter users wrote happened after the 2015 and 2019 elections. So invariably, they have no political attachment.
An average Nigerian perceives all politicians as corrupt with amoral behaviour. It is very unusual for Nigerians to write or pour encomiums on someone whose administration’s performance is below par—especially in the area of security—since the last 7 years.