By Oluwafemi Popoola
Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Debo Adeniran, has identified the current Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as the most qualified and experienced person to lead the country to development ahead of the 2023 presidential run.
Adeniran said this on Monday, while answering questions on the Arise News TV live programme, with the topic: “2023: Who Leads Nigeria?”
Throwing his weight behind Osinbajo, the chairman of the civil society organisation maintained that the Vice President has the requisite qualities expected from a good leader.
He said Osinbajo has the cognate experience, capacity and courage which he made manifest when he was Acting President in 2017.
He said the Vice President implemented numerous policies, programmes and agenda that endeared him to the people across the country when he stood in for his boss while the President was away on medical holiday abroad.
According to him, “The last time during the first tenure of this administration when the President had to travel for medical care and stayed for so long. Somebody actually stood in for him and that person implemented a couple of programmes and agenda that actually won him into the mind of the people because people were yearning for a new policy direction, and when this gentleman came, he used the opportunity, and that is the present Vice President.”
“I don’t have to begin to shy away from the reality because if we have to recruit somebody fresh, where will you say he has a cognate experience from. If somebody had not been in government at the level of federal executive and has not distinguished himself in his professional calling and has not come up with a kind of skill, capacity, courage and all of that then how would you be able to convince people that this fellow will grow overnight to the level of implementing people’s agenda that will change the polity for the better. So basically I am talking about the present Vice President. I don’t care whether he came from anybody’s background, anywhere he comes from, the quality and capacity is what we should look at,” Adeniran said.
When asked if security would be a defining factor for the potential candidates vying for the office of the president going into 2023 presidential race. Adeniran said security will ony be one of the defining factors but not the main defining factor for 2023 presidential candidates.
He said: “The main defining factor will be how to galvanize our potentiality towards ensuring that there is improvement in the economy that will create job for the jobless, that will take care of scholarship of those that require scholarship, that will make adequate provision for those who could not secure a job and will keep them busy in legitimate area of engagement rather than leaving them on their own.”
What we should face now is how to diversify the economy the more. We should focus less on petroleum because it’s getting out of fashion. We should allow farmers to go back to their farms. We should allow utilities to be readily available for the people. There should be power supply, there should be energy, there should be drinkable water and there should be health care delivery for the people.
Recall that This Day newspaper on July 9, 2021 had published a list of 30 eminent Nigerians likely to emerge the country’s presidential candidates following an exclusive interview of a former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, on Arise News Channel TV when he gave a cryptic description of an ideal Nigerian president in 2023 and hinted at the qualities that Nigerians should consider in their choice for the next president.
In a subsequent conversation on Arise News Channel TV on August 10 by political analysts on who should emerge the nation’s president, among those eminently qualified Nigerians listed by THISDAY, the name of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was consistently mentioned during the programme as the most qualified person, noting that “Anybody who has been Vice President for eight years should be a frontline candidate.
For instance, one of the analysts, Mr Mahmud Jega, in his reaction lauded the Vice President’s statesmanship, saying: “Osinbajo is extremely capable technocratically to lead this country in 2023. He has all the qualities and is naturally in the lead ahead of the others.”