I was surprised l was nominated as Buhari’s running mate in 2015–Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday night said the news of his nomination as running mate to then-candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election came to him as a surprise.
Prof Osinbajo was speaking at a breaking of fast in his Aguda residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he hosted State House Correspondents to a breaking of fast (Iftar).
Osinbajo, a professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is one of over 10 people seeking to be the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said he was working on a case of a defection of a federal lawmaker at the Supreme Court when he learned of his nomination.
“I was working on the case at Peniel Apartments in Abuja on December 18, 2014, when at about 1 a.m. in the morning, I received a call from Rauf Aregbesola that they were coming to Lagos to pick me,” Osinbajo said.
“I said I was in Abuja. He said ‘good because you have been nominated as the vice-presidential candidate’ and I said is that how you nominate people.”
The vice president added that after his case that day, he returned to his hotel accommodation in the city. He said immediately after he removed his wig, he was hit with a feeling that “this is probably the last time I will be wearing it.”
He said the current Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, and former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, later in the day took him to Buhari.
Osinbajo said he was telling his story to the journalists to let them know that an individual’s life can change at any minute.
He said he always believed in and worked for a better Nigeria all his life and his decision to run for the office of president in the 2023 election is to enable him to make a difference.
He said very few people have the kind of training and experience that he has.
He said in terms of preparedness for the job, he stands out amongst all other aspirants vying for the All Progressives Congress Presidential ticket ahead of May’s Primary elections.
“I have been given opportunities that many may not have had. I think those opportunities are meant to be for a particular purpose,” he said.
“And I think that time has come. This is the time when all of my experiences have now come to the fore. And I will use all of what I have to serve this country.
“This is really one of the reasons why I chose to run. There are those who may say ‘well, he’s just a politician speaking. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I believe that we have a real opportunity here to do something different for our country.
“I know everyone else who is running for office. Frankly, to tell you the honest truth, just in terms of preparation for the job, I don’t think I need to make a case. In terms of preparation for the job, no one else comes close to me.”
Continuing, Prof Osinbajo said the Iftar with the journalists was the first he was holding with a group that will not vote during the party primaries.
Osinbajo, however, stoked laughter from the newsmen when he said: “I am probably meeting you for your financial contribution.”
“I don’t know why you think it’s a joke,” he said, eliciting more laughter from the journalists.
The vice president was to later seek the support of the journalists in his ambition.