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The language he failed to speak


Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Did you listen to the Acting President on Democracy Day?
I did. He was speaking English.

How do you mean by ‘he was speaking English?’ Were you expecting him to speak Urhobo or what? Don’t you understand English or was there nobody around you to help out if understanding him was the problem?
You are getting me wrong. The man spoke more to himself and less to Nigerians who are tired of listening to these ceaseless sermons on peace and unity of the country. Even in speaking English, there is a way it is spoken for everybody to understand. The Acting President spoke eloquently but completely outside the current street language that people wanted to hear. In the end, he was admired more than he was understood by his listeners.

Stop speaking in tongues. What exactly are you driving at?
Nigerians had expected the Acting President in the absence of the Executive President to discuss justice not peace. Discussing peace before justice is like putting the cart before the horse.

Stop this nonsense talk joo! What makes one acting and the other executive? Doesn’t the Acting President have full powers of execution?
Let’s not derail the discussion. I am sorry if I made you angry. I am only trying to say that the Acting President missed a vital point in his celebrated Democracy Day speech.

And what could that point be?
As you can see, this man you people call Acting President with full executive powers to do and undo, somehow did not have the power to speak the new language of tremendous appeal called restructuring. Instead, he created a pulpit and started preaching peace as if peace is no longer a by-product of justice or something that can be earned and sustained without a premium.

Now, who, between you and Osinbajo, is talking grammar? See, learn to give credit to whom it is due. The man is doing pretty well. He was in Calabar only on Thursday in continuation of his noble efforts to reconcile the aggrieved people of the oil-rich region of Niger Delta with the rest of the country. What else do you require of him? You are the only one showing this kind of bad belle. The man is loved by everybody. Didn’t you see how children were crowding him and struggling to touch him in Calabar?

That actually is another talking point.
What are you saying again? What is there to talk about the Acting President showing love to little children? He did the same thing on Children’s Day, May 27.
Yes, yes, yes! In fact, on the matter of showing love to children, I must give it to the APC government. It is doing very well in that regard. The school feeding programme of the government at both the federal and state levels for which big money has been spent says it all. But if hugging of innocent children is additional demonstration of child-care by the APC government, I just want to advise the Acting President to exercise some discretion when he gets to Maiduguri or any other location in the Northeast. The children there, I am told, are not too innocent. Or does it sit well with you or anybody for that matter for the Acting President to hug a suicide bomber just to prove a point about government’s commitment to the Nigerian child?

That is not his portion in Jesus name!
Amen O! But na wao! People are wicked sha!

What is it again?
I read somewhere about how the Acting President has been behaving like his oga.

How does his oga behave?
Are you a stranger in Jerusalem? Shebi it is from my mouth that you want to hear that the oba is dead? Ok; I will tell you. Some people including Femi Fani-Kayode and Chief Mike Ozekhome have been saying that President Buhari belongs to some people in Daura and Saudi Arabia contrary to his declaration on inauguration day that he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody.

And so?
Some letter writers have listed Osinbajo as belonging somewhere and to somebody as if he is a piece of furniture. In fact, they say he belongs exclusively to the Redeem Christian Church of God and some folks from Ogun State and that he cannot go outside these two locations in driving his official duties the same way they say Buhari has not gone outside Daura and Hausa/Fulani in making major appointments.

And you believe them?
I am trying hard not to believe them but they are trying even harder to convince me with facts and figures. I am struggling not to be convinced though. I know by God’s grace, I will not be convinced.

You can choose to believe anything, all I do know is that the Acting President is doing very well in the absence of the President and everybody except you and those article writers is saying so.

Take am easy na! We are not quarreling; only robbing minds. By the way, do you know if the budget as passed by the National Assembly has been signed by the Acting President?
There are processes for some of these things. You don’t expect the man to sign the budget just like that simply because the National Assembly has said it is good to go. He is taking his time to go through the document again to ensure that the legislature has not tampered significantly with the budget as to make its smooth implementation by the executive difficult or even possible. This is called checks and balances in a democracy.

I am so relieved to hear you say this! It is not what they have been saying after all!

What have they been saying?
Why are you always behind the news? You mean you did not hear that the power to sign budget was not among the powers transmitted to the Acting President when

President Buhari was living for London to resume his medical vacation?
Now that you people know the specific powers that were transmitted, could you enumerate them for record purposes?
That will be difficult to do because even the Acting President himself does not appear to know all the powers contained in the transmission. For him, it is more like a trial and error thing. And so, if he tries something and it goes well, he knows automatically that the power to do that thing is part of the powers transmitted to him. If it is otherwise, he knows also that there is a limitation and he will re-adjust accordingly. Anyway, as he gets on with his ‘acting mandate,’ the scope of his powers will be manifesting alongside too.

You are simply impossible. See how you are talking as if Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution contains all of these definitions. All of you people who are going about creating scenarios shall be roundly disappointed by the time the Acting President dissolves the Federal Executive Council and names new ministers.

I really would love to be disappointed. Let me confess this. My sincere prayer is for the President to recover and return to his job. But if that is not happening, the Acting President should be encouraged to manifest beyond rhetoric.

Just wait and see!
I am waiting to see. After all, it is not yet 50 days since the President resumed his medical vacation; it is only 28 days today!
Na you sabi!

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