Since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, no Nigerian leader has ever absolutely enjoyed the people’s approval. Leaders at all levels are always faced with disapproval irrespective of what they do, and it appears it has become a norm. Well, very much unlike what everyone is Nigeria is really used to, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is still enjoying the approval of the people which he gained in just 10 days of acting as the president. It might seem quite casual that the vice president is enjoying the approval of the people, this situation is one that is not common in the political sector.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has enjoyed the good will of the Nigerian people because of a couple of the vital and prompt decisions that he took when the president of the country was away fro 10 working days. Although Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is an obvious subordinate to the president, it really does appear that he is very much preferred over President Muhammadu Buhari when it comes to critical issues that concern Nigeria and its citizens. It is believed by lots of people that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is very quick to take vital actions when the stakes are high as compared to the president who has already been given the name “Baba-Go-Slow” because of his constant dilly-dallying in the face of challenges.
It might all look like the vice president is exactly what Nigeria is in need of at the moment, it is, however, most unlikely that he will take part in the forth coming elections which are scheduled to take place next year. In as much as there are lots of very obvious reasons for this, one of the major reasons for this is; he is a southern Christian, and at the moment, it is the turn of the northerners to be in power. This is based on the zoning formula that the political system in Nigeria has adapted. This formula involves the alternation of power between the northern axis which is chiefly occupied by the Muslims and the southern axis which is occupied by majorly Christians.
The president Muhammadu Buhari has been out of the country a couple of times since coming into power. And each time he leaves the country, he leaves things in the hands of vice-president Yemi Osinbajo. The vice president does not fail to perform each time he has to run the country for a couple of days. This could be attributed to the fact that he is not always at the forefront of things and as a result has the privilege of spotting all existing flaws and therefore correcting them. There are lots of instances where the vice president has made things appear better because of his decisions and promptness. However, in recent times it appears that the vice president has taken decisions that have pleased the Nigerian people, the young people especially. So, what exactly has the vice president done to deserve all the accolades that he is being showered with so much praise?
SARs Torture and Seemingly Unending Brutality
The most valuable thing that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has done for the Nigeria people, the youths especially is his intervention in the SARS widespread brutality. The Vice President recently reshuffled the very unpopular Special Anti-robbery Squad which is popularly known as SARs. In as much as the overhaul of this unpopular security outfit is quite satisfactory to the Nigerian people, he did not stop at that. He went ahead to ensure that the nation’s Human Rights Commission gets to look into the many cases of torture and inhumane treatments that have been carried out by this special police unit.
This intervention of the vice president is coming at a time when a lot of Nigerians have already given up on the much expected intervention of the government in the many activities of the Special Anti Robbery Squad. For over a year, Nigerians have complained endlessly about the activities and the atrocities that have been constantly carried out by the special anti-robbery squad. As a result of this, the president Muhammadu Buhari has been pressurized to take a stand to prevent the activities of the special police unit. Lots of stories about the actions of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad were posted on social media. Included in these social media posts were stories of torture, extortion, killings, unwarranted arrests, and abuses that were carried out by these police unit.
A campaign which was focused on bringing an end to the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was launched on social media. This campaign was known as the #EndSars campaign. Although this campaign was popular on Facebook and even on the street, it was a major event on twitter.
The Vice President made it known that he was concerned with the many complains about the actions of the special anti-robbery squad that were mostly violations of human rights that were widespread on social media. As a result of this, he had to take actions.
Although contrary to what a lot of people expected and really hoped for the special anti-robbery squad was not disbanded by the vice president. It was, however, overhauled. The vice president mandated the Inspector General of Police to reform the police, who in turn made it known that this police unit would be given a new commissioner and would carry out its activities based on intelligence reports. It also went ahead to make it known that this special police unit will only have to deal with the activities of armed robbers and kidnappings only.
That is not all, the members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad are known for putting on black t-shirts on jeans with no form of identification. However, all that will also stop. This is because the IGP has also directed that members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad will have to put on uniforms that will make them easily identified while they are going about their duties.
The actions of the vice president was the first time that someone in authority has given proper attention to the complaints of Nigerians and meeting their needs in just the right way. This has therefore gone a long way in making Nigerians to begin considering Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for the post of president. That is if he is interested in that position.
The Sack of the Department of State Security Boss
Although the intervention in the activities of the Special Anti Robbery Squad by the vice president is the most recent action of the vice president which definitely deserves some accolades, it is not the only thing that he has done in a while. Vice president Yemi Osinbajo made a very huge impact in the political sector of the country when he fired the director general of the department of state security (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura. This was done after the men of the department of state security laid siege on the national assembly building and prevented senators, as well as law makers from gaining access into the national assembly complex. The Department of State Security is quite similar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation which the United States is known for. As a result of this, firing the leader of this group for misconduct is definitely a tall order and one that the vice president should be applauded for.
It was really strange to see men of the Department of State Security at the national assembly complex and preventing people (staff, and lawmakers) from gaining access into the national assembly complex. The reason for this occurrence still remains relatively unknown by the average Nigerian. In spite of this, a lot of people believe that this unfortunate situation is quite connected to the activities of some of the biggest politicians in the country in preparation for the general elections that will take place in 2019.
Just in the same way that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was a source of bad reputation for the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), The department of state security led by Lawal Musa Daura was a source of embarrassment to the reputation of the federal government. This is as a result of the unnecessary intimidation of some important personalities in the country.
Prior to the termination of the appointment of the former DSS boss Lawal Daura, a lot of people, political analysts and average Nigerians alike have thought about reasons why the former DSS boss was still in charge of the Department of state security and why he was yet to get fired by his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Unlike the president who is usually slow to act and would not have taken any actions if the siege of the national assembly complex had taken place under his watch, the vice president Yemi Osinbajo did not waste any time in terminating the appointment of the former Department of State Security’s boss’ appointment. He made it known that the actions of Mr. Daura were unacceptable” and a gross violation of constitutional order, rule of law and all accepted notions of law and order”. He took this major step a week before his actions on the special police unit.
What the Public Thinks abut the Vice President’s Action
The vice president of Nigeria is a former professor of law and is considered to be a quiet person. He is also very hardworking, jovial, and eloquent.
Prior to becoming the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was the commissioner of Justice for Lagos state. He was in office between 1999 and 2007. During his period in office, he made quite a number of reformations that were and still are very effective in the protection of the rights of Lagosians. In addition to being a former commissioner, the vice president is also an ordained pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The vice-president being able to successfully bring about the overhaul of the special anti-robbery squad, as well as the sack of the former director of the Department of state security is no fluke in any way. This is because this is not the first time that the vice president is making a major mark in the absence of the president. A year ago, in the absence of the president, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made some moves that saw the naira gain against the US Dollar. At that time, the demand for the US dollar was much higher than the supply for it. Therefore, in order to bring a balance, and ensure the stabilization of the naira. Although the vice president never made any campaign promises as he was not the one that ran for the post of the president, it appeared he helped his boss ( President Muhammadu Buhari) carry out a couple of his campaign promises. One of them is a revival of the nation’s economy.
A lot of Nigerians might be giving the vice president a lot of accolades for some of the vial decisions that he has taken, but Professor Yemi Osinbajo has made it known that he has not taken any decision without first seeking the approval of the president.
The vice president might be trying hard to stay out of the spotlight, regardless of this, his pattern of leadership is beginning to attract followers.
Although a lot has been said about the ability of Vice President Osinbajo to make good and drastic decisions when they matter the most, some others have put up arguments stating that running a country for a few days is very different from doing so for 4 years. And as a result of this, there was really no basis for comparing the achievements of Osinbajo in few days to the huge demands that are associated with the running of a country for years.
Some Nigerians believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of integrity and also has the good will to bring an end to a lot of problems that have been militating against Africa’s most populous country, however it is believed that a lot of people that work very closely with the president are selfish and have put their own interests over those of the country, impeding the president’s aims.
Also, the many health challenges that President Buhari has encountered have slowed him down to a large extent.