BY OGUNTOYE OPEYEMI
History has it that most noble and wise men did miraculous things and this distinctive and unarguable miracle performed by Jesus of Nazareth attests to this. At the dead of night, the disciples were on a journey, passing through the sea of Galilee when a furious sea rose from all sides to foment trouble and kill at will. They and all that gathered inside the boat were afraid. They tried all they could to steer the boat away from the wind’s direction. Some even contemplated jumping into the sea. Seeing the magnitude of the wave and having heard countless stories of how the deadly wind had swallowed boats, the whole crew knew there was danger. No one wanted to be another victim. Inside the boat, they had Peter, who had been a fisherman for years, before he met Jesus. They also had others who were of different professions but none could save them from the impending doom. Suddenly, they remembered they had the savior in the boat who could rescue them and they woke him up. The bible documented that, Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind “ Peace! Be still!” and then, the wind ceased, bringing about a dead calm. For unaccounted hours that the storm was raging, none of them remembered that they had someone so powerful inside the boat and it was until they were about to give up that they remembered Jesus.
The wreck of the RMS Titanic lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet. This will bring back the memories of one of the iconic movies shot in 1997, which narrated the incidents even though there was some fiction attached to it. However, one of the most important messages passed through the movie was that the RMS Titanic sank, with more than 1,500 people losing their lives in the incident. Fortunately for Rose, she survived but without Jack. RMS titanic could have been saved if they had someone with a solution that could have averted the incident. Many great minds or generations could still have been alive today if the ship didn’t sink. But unfortunately, they didn’t have a savior on the ship.
In 2015, after the election and Buhari was sworn in, there was a bit of calmness all across the country, and the people who had mismanaged our resources were running around the world as they had already imagined what could be their fate, one of them is Diezani Madueke who used her office to milk the country dry. Recently the EFCC got a final forfeiture of some of her properties and the most astonishing was her acquisition of jewelry of about N15billion. Tompolo and Asari Dokubo also fled the country, because the past government’s body language enabled them to operate in all the creeks and smuggled crude across the Atlantic but the government of Buhari is a principled one, that doesn’t bend to irregularities and corruption.
Unfortunately, a year after, the government started experiencing a new uprising from the south-south where a new group of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) started killing people and also hijacking and bombing the pipelines. The nation was already suffering from the drop in oil price in the international market, and at that particular point, it was still solely depending on the oil revenue to embark on any major project, so, the renewed interest of the armed group started threatening the economy of the country. Most countries across the globe were already in recession with Nigeria later being hit by the same. The president’s absence (having to travel for urgent medical attention) and the fact that the people of the south-south, as well as their leaders, couldn’t pacify the armed group, led to a great disaster in the country. Not to forget that the north-east was also already very volatile, as Islamic extremist group (Boko-Haram) had started advancing towards other regions. It was a year no nation will want to ever experience.
So, we needed a saviour and then the vice-president Yemi Osinbajo stood up and carried the mantle. While the president was away, the vice-president travelled down to the south-south and suddenly, he used his skills and God-given talent to quench the rage. All of a sudden, there was no more Niger Delta Avenger and the oil business resumed.
In 1980, there was a major issue between the Singapore Airline (SIA) and Singapore Airlines Pilots Association (SIAPA). There were fights over various union issues with the SIA, to the extent that three SIA pilots disrupted the flight going to London from Dubai. The then President, Lee Kuan Yew who has had enough of their excesses & excuses called the two groups together in a room and said “I can tell that when I met the SIA pilots, I didn’t meet them on TV, I met them face-to-face. Five feet across the table so they can see me, and see whether I’m still vigorous, able to take them on. Whether its worth taking me on”
In 65 minutes after he addressed them, they decided it wasn’t worth the fight and they called off the inconsistent strike.
Many are aware that the President of Nigeria has done tremendously well over the last couple of years and though he didn’t bring along his firmness and strictness as a generalissimo into this democratic regime which has allowed some lackadaisical acts, that has not been the case with the vice-president. In 2018 when the president was away for a medical check-up in the United Kingdom, there was a small fracas between the national assembly and the Department of State Service (DSS) headed by Mr. Lawal Daura (who was believed to be a close associate of the president). This fracas which was due to the high-handedness of the latter could have resulted in an internal crisis and serious judicial cases, but the vice-president immediately took a decision to relieve him of his position. A call many Nigerians believe to be brave and timely and as well shows that if we have someone like that with such good qualities at the elms of affairs, it would be kind to assume that the country will be headed in the right direction. It is undisputed that at times, something has to give way for this country to move forward. Most especially, loads of people who aren’t functional in their various positions and capacity should be relieved of their duties so that capable hands will manage it effectively and in overall, help the nation in its transformation.
Professor Osinbajo is a man that you need in your team because when trouble comes, he is always ready to calm and solve the problem. Prior to 2015, when Professor Osinbajo was nominated as the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB), some Nigerians were already wondering how GMB would address the nation on various APC policies that were designed to get to every corner of the country but suddenly came an orator. Professor went to all the states of the federation, visiting schools and various communities, breaking down the party’s policies and people couldn’t resist but applaud his skills.
During the 2019 pre-election debate, when the president and his vice were invited to the Silverbird venue of the debate in Abuja and the president stuttered at the question asked by Khadirat Ahmed, the vice-president kicked in and answered the question for him. Opposition was already waiting for an opportunity to tell Nigerians that he is not capable but professor denied them that joy by bailing his principal out.
Most of the jobs assigned to him have been done tremendously well. In 2020, there was turbulence in APC which was a result of the post-governorship elections across the country. The governors in the party felt they were being sidelined by some of the leaders and the party chairman, so, they skimmed and Oshiomole was removed. The turbulence grew in the party and everyone was wondering who the actual chairman of the party was. The president then delegated the role to Professor Osinbajo as the senior advocate of the country and truth be told, the vice-president didn’t disappoint anyone as the peace enjoyed till date has been due to his wise counsel to the president.
When some ask questions on why the vice-president is considered different, exceptional and the world hails and respects him, they are often challenged to produce anyone that has surpassed his achievement in that role since the beginning of our democracy. The kind of respect he is accorded in every country that he visits signifies the spread of his capacity and wisdom. One thing that is worthy of note is that if war can solve any problem in the land, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Syria will all be Eldorados by now. If it was to be that easy to save ourselves, Titanic would not sink, and neither would more than 1,500 souls be lost. Also, Peter and the great minds among the disciples of Christ would have subdued the wind but they had to call on a savior to bail them out. When the time is right and we need a savior in this country, the Vice President should be an option to help us navigate this turbulent period.