By Kazeem Shuaib
Everybody loves this attribute, “Being active in whatever you do”. Nobody appreciates a dormant or docile personality, ranging from school, work and even in politics or governance.
Many would wonder why the vice president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is loved and appreciated in the country, well the answer to this is the Professor’s pro-activeness to urgent matters and his not ever sitting in the villa attitude.
Nigerians who couldn’t see or access their Vice President years ago are now coming to know a visible one. This article seeks to take a look at the current Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s body language, and behavioural attitude to matters of urgency and national importance compared to the previous administrations’ hidden and mostly inactive vice president.
The recent visit of the Vice President to Plateau State where there were disastrous killings over the weekend is of worthy mention. One would have expected the usual sending of delegates or the service chiefs to assess the site as was the case in other dispensations, but here it was not the case. The Vice President and the President both visited the state to get a first-hand brief on the crisis and to know the kind of solutions to tackle it with rather than just being briefed.
The Vice President has been of great assistance to the President as well. He has represented him at key events and carried out these functions graciously, unlike what many have described as the ghost Vice President in the former Vice President Namadi Sambo.
So far the Vice President has visited sixteen states of the Federation as an evangelist of the President Buhari agenda especially in promoting technological innovations, the social investment programmes and MSMEs.
Prof has indeed redefined the position of Vice President giving whoever would succeed him in years to come hard work to do in matching his records. Traditionally, a person occupying the position of the Vice President may choose to hide in the shadows of the villa and be non-accessible, but it takes determination and high value for what one does to step out from the traditional way of doing things.
On May 15, 2018, the Vice President arrived Benue amidst crisis in the state and further went to an internally displaced person camp for on-site assessment; that same day he later addressed stakeholders in providing solutions to the crisis in the state.
Due to the recent killings in Plateau State Professor Yemi Osinbajo paid a condolence visit to the state and the people who are currently in grief after losing their loved ones and also met stakeholders to proffer solutions to the killings in the communities.
The Vice President also recently visited Ibadan for the state’s edition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic and a town hall meeting with the youths. As described by Adeyemi Agaba, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives; “This programme is one of the socio-economic interventions of the Federal Government domiciled in the Office of the Vice President to assist businesses to thrive in Nigeria,”
In May 2018, Professor Yemi Osibanjo inaugurated Kano state’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for viable enterprises in Kano State, he also inspected the on-going construction of Zaria Road, Dangi Underpass and Overhead Bridge and the state’s skill acquisition centre; he was also in Enugu State where he commissioned the Vocational Skills Training Centre at the Anamco Automobile Plant in Emene where youths are to be trained.
He also went to Abia State where he launched the Multi-Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Umuobiakwa in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state. In driving Nigeria’s technology revolution, Osibanjo has championed a very robust campaign on technology and entrepreneurs, he has visited tech hubs across the country and also partnered with many of them.
Afterward, Prof Osinbajo declared open the North East Innovation Hub in Yola, Adamawa. Days later, he was in Benin City, capital of Edo State where he commissioned the first Benin Innovation Hub that will host over twenty-five Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies for the training of people and residents of the state on various ICT-based skills. He has also visited loads of hubs in Lagos and Abuja. On the 23rd of June 2018, he inaugurated a large tech hub, which he said could drive Nigeria’s technology growth and export of innovations.
We have also seen the Vice President travelling from one state to another – sometimes in just one day he visits up to three states.
Also worthy of note was the event tagged “The Student Innovation Challenge” aimed at promoting innovations by the youths of Nigeria ably supported by Professor Yemi Osinbajo. The Student Innovation Challenge (SIC) held in the University of Lagos on the 22nd of June 2018 and was graced by the Vice President. During the visit he noted that “…The Student Innovation Challenge is about collaboration, innovation, and creativity. Students from across Universities and Polytechnics in Nigeria will pitch their innovative ideas, learn the skills required to start and grow a successful business, perfect pitch delivery, receive business developmental support and join a network of successful entrepreneurs and innovators.”
The support offered by the Vice president didn’t come as shocking to many as he has always been accessible to the Nigerian youths.
From all these, and even more unmentioned, we can easily conclude that we have a very visible Vice President in Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
By Kazeem Shuaib
(Media Strategist and Public Affairs Analyst.@ibn_qazeem)