“Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea, the other was elected Vice President, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.”
—Thomas R. Marshall,Vice President under Woodrow Wilson.
One of the greatest burdens on earth is to be a nation’s vice president because the job description actually says nothing. Unless the president comes to a very serious grief- insanity, permanent infirmity and or death, the Vice President remains a No 2 man or woman, forever in the shadows of the president. And sometimes, even those shadows don’t want anything to do with him/ her.
The latter seems to be what has happened to Nigeria’s diminutive and often garrulous Vice President Yemi Osibanjo. Mr Osibanjo is cautionary tale about holding office without power. But first the following:
Monday, September 15, Femi Adesina announced that president Buhari has desolved Nigeria Economic Recovery Team which has Mr Osibanjo as head.
A new one is in place ,headed by another person and would “report directly to the president”.
The announcement is the latest stab at Mr Osibanjo’s office. On the day ministers were inaugurated, Mr Buhari said he would be largely unavailable and practically handed powers to Abba Kyari and Boss Mustafa, Chief of Staff and Secretary. That it doesn’t follow due process didn’t bother Mr Osibanjo. Some said he had neither a say nor a choice.
Mr Osibanjo’s credentials were exaggerated.
In 2014, when Bola Tinubu was able to impose the former attorney general of Lagos state on Nigeria, then candidate Buhari was behaving like a desperately helpless old man. Because he wanted to be president at all costs ( and what a long list of costs) anyone could have been his running mate- even Mr Osibanjo, who was sold to Nigeria as having a doctorate in business as well as being a senior lawyer . It turned out that, like most things in Mr Buhari’s government, Mr Osibanjo didn’t know the first thing about business and economics.
He first betrayed himself on October 1,2015 when he told Nigeria to “ignore JP Morgan because they are only about portfolio investments”. JP Morgan? Did this man know the depth of the hole he was digging the nation ? And because all that mattered to Mr Buhari and the interests he serves was power, they didn’t examine the potential disaster that the talkative lawyer was bringing on Nigeria.
In 2016, shorty before the recession from which Nigeria has not recovered, Mr Osibanjo said that “we ignored JP Morgan to save the economy “. History today has shown what sort of quark Mr Osibanjo was. Even when the Naira became the worst performing currency on the continent, Mr Osibanjo still led Nigeria’s “Economic Team”.
And Mr Osibanjo didn’t help his case.
In 2017 as acting president with a very smarmy disposition he said in Katsina that:
“Buhari is like a father to me. I feel very much at home in Katsina. More so, because this is the state of the President who has taken me as a brother.
“In fact, the President has taken me as a son in the way he treats me,” Laolu Akande ,his spokesman quoted then 60-year-old Osinbajo as saying about then 74-year-old President.
And wait for this!
“The amount of responsibilities President Buhari has given me shows he seriously believes we can live together as brothers.
“I pray the Lord will preserve our President to continue to lead as the nation has voted him to do. He seriously believes in Nigerian unity,” he added.
No one can put a price on a person who doesn’t think that he/she has one.
At the time, Mr Buhari had spent more than it was constitutionally time away from office.
Clipping his wingsLike we alluded, a vice president is really a president – In waiting. That is, waiting for a disaster to strike the president. And what did Mr Buhari’s famed cabal do? Well, in 2017 ,”Northern group” told Bola Tinubu that they knew about his “plans” should anything happen to Buhari. Again, at those times when the president spent months in a London hospital treating an undisclosed illness.
And so, Mr Osibanjo had his ADC chosen for him as was his chief of staff. The theory went that, he was told not to attend the ECOWAS Summit in Monrovia because Benjamin Netanyahu, Isreal’s prime minister, was invited.
As acting president too, he appointed Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice against the wish of the cabal but the man will be sacked by Buhari. The same would go for the sack and appointment of Lawal Musa Daura and Matthew Seiyefa respectively as heads of Nigeria’s Secret service, DSS.
Oh, before we get ahead of ourselves, it is theorized that Mr Osibanjo doesn’t fly Nigerian Airforce Two, the way Mike Pence does Air force Two,for instance. He goes on hired planes and helicopters one of which almost killed him last year after a crash land in Kogi state.
Mr Osibanjo personally dispensed Tradamoni, a vote buying scam, some say, before the elections.
A week after he lied that cases of kidnappings and killings are exaggerated, a daughter of Afenifere leader, Funke Olakunrin, was murdered by men suspected to be herdsmen. It’s might help to recall that a week previously, the same group called Mr Osibanjo ” a disgrace to the race ,Yoruba “
I do not think that anyone will make bonesvof any kind out of Mr Osibanjo’s latest political castration if the team replacing him will be a capable one. His decafeination has nothing to do with his obvious lack of strength of character and competence. It is just another quark remedy meant to hoodwink the millions of the credulous.
What will Mr Osibanjo do now that he is practically out of work? To be sure, he will give more pesky lectures and tell even more lies.
But like all vice presidents, he must also wait and, well ,hope that something insalubrous happens to his number one. Until then, it’s a huge vacancy at the Vice President’s office. It is also another step in consolidating all powers in one office.