Osinbajo: A quality VP Nigeria must not miss
SIR: It was the late Nkemba of Nnewi, the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, an icon in the annals of Nigerian history, who asserted boldly in the condolence register, after the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, that – “He was the best President Nigeria never had.” But these are strange times in political campaign and media advertisement. Ethical considerations and African values matter little when economic gains steer media people in the face.
Or how can you explain a recent advertisement in some of our print media by the ruling political party that “General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) humiliated late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and he is now using his in-law as a spare tyre”. For me whoever is elected to the position of Vice President, is elected to do the job of a president, when the latter is overloaded with state duties or is absent. To suggest in a hate-suffused advert that the position of vice presidential candidate is like what a spare tyre is to a car, is terrible.
From my encounter with Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Legal Research and Resource Development Centre I have no doubt in my mind that the south-west has put forward one of their brightest. Coupled with this is the fact that he is integrity personified. These two qualities in one person as the number two man in a country with leadership problem is great. We must always remember that “ integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful”. Prof, as we fondly refer to him taught some of us “the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.”
When we do not vote people who can re-invent decency in our body polity into government, where lies our hope as a nation. Decency here does not have to suggest the mere veneer of morality, the suppression of conscience. It can instead mean the rigorous search for the fitting and appropriate right response to the situations in which we find ourselves. To be “decent” is not passive, or hypocritical, or mediocre, or callous. It is instead to find the response commensurate with the needs of the moment. Those needs are many and various. Some moment call for respect, some for humours, others call for outcry or restraint or the call to collective action. All of these responses can be decent. The trick is to know which is required and when.
Indecency is the harm caused by the wrong responses at the right moment. Obedience, when resistance is called for, is indecent. So is the lavish excess of outrage, when constructive action would be more fruitful. Indecency is mockery when empathy is needed, violence when restraint is fitting, silence when outspokenness is required, self-righteousness when humility is called for.
General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB), is compatible with Professor Yemi Oshinbajo, in the political will to fight corruption. I believe that if these two can tackle corruption, head on, the country will be on the part to glory.
•Olusola Akinbode, Lagos.
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