89 days after Tinubu’s declaration: Osinbajo joins presidential race, to declare in 10-minute video broadcast

Barring any last minutes change, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would Monday, formally declare his intention to run for the Office of the President in the 2023 general elections.

Sources close to the Office of the Vice President told Blueprint that Osinbajo would make the declaration in a nationwide video broadcast.

It was also gathered that Osinbajo’s tour of some parts of the country where he visited governors and traditional leaders, was a prelude to his formal declaration of his intention to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

The declaration is coming about three months (89 days) after his godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made similar declaration January 10, 2022 in a chat with journalists when he visited President Buhari in the Villa.

With the declaration, Osinbajo becomes the sixth presidential aspirant on the APC platform. Apart from Tinubu, others who had earlier declared publicly their intent are Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello, Ebonyi state Governor Dave Umahi, former Imo state Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 general elections, Pastor Tunde  Bakare, who declared Sunday (yesterday).

Osinbajo’s style

Blueprint gathered that unlike others who either declared at a gathering or spoke to journalists, Osinbajo would release a seven or 10-minute recorded video to intimate the Nigerians home and abroad of his intention.

Further to this, the source said: “The video will now be pushed to various social media platforms where the message will now keep reverberating. With this, you can be sure that the campaign team will take it up from there. This is a modest way of   hitting the ground running for Osinbajo Presidency in 2023.”

VP meets APC govs

And ahead of the declaration, Vice President Osinbajo reportedly met with the APC governors for Iftar (Muslim’s breaking of fast) last night  at his official residence in the Villa.

According to our source, “the VP felt the need to inform the Governors ahead of a planned public declaration Monday of his decision to contest presidency in 2023 on the APC platform.

“He is also discussing his plans with the governors and continuing the consultations with more governors and other critical stakeholders in the National Assembly and others. Being the Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) in the last seven years, he has an excellent relationship with governors across party, ethnic and religious borders.

“Many of the governors are also members or directors of some federation-owned agencies where the VP is chairman and their relationship in these agencies has also strengthened the bonds.

“Practically, all the governors are very well disposed to him and vice versa over the years as the VP has actually become a champion of states’ cause, even as the Buhari Administration has come to the aid of governors with some different financial bailouts and refund of Paris Debt,” Blueprint further gathered.

Call to serve

Meanwhile, thousands of groups and individuals had, in recent times, urged the VP to run for the presidential election in 2023, saying, “Osinbajo is the most experienced and best prepared for presidential responsibilities.”

Leader of one of such groups, ‘Lawyers for Osinbajo,’ Abioye Akerele, in a statement said, having contributed significantly to the success of four great Nigerian personalities, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is the best candidate for the position of President.

The statement reads in part: “After a careful analysis of the leading potential presidential candidates in the coming 2023 Presidential Election, it is most imperative to be made known that in the present political calculation, there is no other Nigerian, old or young, who comes fully prepared like Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

“It is an undeniable fact that Prof Yemi Osinbajo has no doubt established a strong base upon which we can consolidate for the future and his political ideology has stood the test of time. Prof Yemi Osinbajo has more intellectual endowment, superior pedigree and moral heft than other potential contestants. However, these attributes are not the focal point of this discussion, but his experience that stands him out as a man for this moment and a man of greatness far above other contestants.

“William Shakespeare, the wordsmith, tells us not to be weary of greatness, saying:

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em”

“Prof. Yemi Osibajo ticks the three above boxes of Williams Shakespeare – he was born into greatness, he has a good pedigree, he’s the late sage’s son, and a scion of a world-acclaimed family. The Prof also achieved greatness: as an academic, I know what it is to be a Professor of Law of an Ivy League institution and as a lawyer; I know what it takes to rise within the ranks and be elevated to the enviable and prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

“While most of the aspirants have been peddling what they did in the 90’s, Professor Osinbajo has had greatness tossed upon him from the 80’s when he was appointed as an SA to Dr. Teslim Olawale Elias, one of Nigeria’s most exceptional, intellectually-gifted judges ever and who also became President of the International Court of Justice. For those who may not know, Taslim Olawale Elias, was born on the 11th day of November 1914, the year of our amalgamation and died on the 14th day of August 1991 the year the Federal Capital Territory was moved from Lagos to Abuja. Dr. Elias, as he was fondly called, was a super jurist. He was Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Nigeria before rising to higher responsibilities at the World Court in The Hague.

“He was a scholar who modernised and extensively revised the laws of Nigeria and above all, he was a devout Moslem. And to this great world-renowned legal luminary, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was his Assistant at the World Court in the Hague in Netherlands.

“Another very distinguished legal luminary with whom Osinbajo’s name was associated in the 80s was Prince Bolasodun Adesumbo “Bola” Ajibola. A Knight of the British Empire, he was born on the 22nd day of March 1934. This great jurist was the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, he was the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice of Nigeria from 1985 to 1991 and a Judge of the International Court of Justice from 1991 to 1994. He was also one of five commissioners on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. A devout Moslem, he established an Islamic and co-educational institution, Crescent University, in Nigeria in 2005, and also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN).

“He was also the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2002. And to this great legal juggernaut, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was his Special Assistant.

“Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, and Asiwaju of Lagos needs no introduction: he was an accountant, elected as Senator in 1992 for less than a year. In 1999, Asiwaju Tinubu served as the Governor of Lagos State till 2007 and he’s known as the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress since the party’s formation in 2013.

“Again to the Asiwaju of Lagos and Jagarban Borgu, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was his Chief Law Officer and Attorney General of Lagos State Government with unprecedented ground-breaking achievements in the governance of Lagos State.

“Fourth is President Muhamadu Buhari, retired General and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He had served as military Head of State in Nigeria in the early 80s and he doggedly ran for the office of President of Nigeria in 2003, 2007, and 2011. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress party for the 2015 general election and won.

“To assist Buhari, the lot fell on Prof Yemi Osinbajo who ran on a joint ticket with President Buhari and they won the election with a very comfortable margin, defeating incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It was the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent President lost a general election. Muhammadu Buhari is also a Moslem like Taslim Elias, Prince Bola Ajibola and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“Prof Yemi Osinbajo’s contributions to the successes and elevations of the above named colossus are better imagined. Yet he and those four eminent men that he served diligently ultimately achieved much without any of those inter-religious frictions that bother little minds and hold back the unity and progress of Nigeria.

“Of more significance is the fact that since the beginning of Nigeria’s existence – since the amalgamation of North and South in 1914 – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has been acclaimed as the most engaged, experienced and utterly loyal Vice President.

“For the benefit of hindsight and by most accounts, no other Vice President seemed to have had such a crisis-free, corruption-free, more genial working relationship, with his principal than Prof. Osinbajo.

“One must also add that since he started, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo waa not just born or destined for leadership and greatness. He has been groomed, cultured and nurtured for greatness. Of greater significance is the fact that he never lobbied to be chosen as the Vice President to President Muhammadu Buhari but a recognition of his innate capacities made the leading men of his day to recognise and accept him, for meritorious ascendancy into national leadership.

“Today, when you talk of loyalty, trust, competence, capability faithfulness and capacity, Prof. Yemi Osibajo comes to mind as one most capable of taking Nigeria to the next level. Truly, the heights reached and kept by great men are not attained by sudden flight; Osinbajo has long been primed for the leadership role of President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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