Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice president and presidential hopeful, has said that the 2023 presidential election provides an auspicious moment for Ogun State to produce another leader of the country.
Ogun, the home state of the vice president, has produced notable leaders in the country, including Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president; Chief Ernest Shonekan, head of interim national government; MKO Abiola, the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election; General Oladipo Diya (rtd), former Chief of the General Staff and de facto Vice President of Nigeria under military head of state General Sani Abacha, among others.
Osinbajo spoke at the palace of the Alake of Abeokuta and paramount ruler of Egbaland Oba Adedotun Gbadebo on Tuesday.
According to him, he was in the ancient Egba town, not to campaign for votes, but to give a progress report of his consultations on his presidential ambition to the Ogun monarch.
Osinbajo, who emphasized that he was nominated and eventually became the vice president in the year 2015, “by sheer providence”, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has over the past seven years, been extremely fair to him in various ways and as such, exposed him to every aspect of governance without keeping any secret of governance away from him.
“I am not campaigning here, only to inform Kabiyesi of the progress I have made so far in my journey. This is why I am here: just to inform Kabiyesi that we have made a lot of progress so far. Of course, Kabiyesi knows that as of 11th of April, 2022, I finally announced my intention to run for the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After, I did consult with the state governors, the legislatures and I have also been in some states,” he said.
‘’But today is very special because today, I am formally reporting progress so far to Kabiyesi, the Alake of Egbaland; my own dear father.
“I want to say that our state has never been short of notable personalities in leadership. Several times, we have produced presidents; we have produced Vice Presidents and we have produced some of the leading men and women in various aspects of our various endeavours of life in Nigeria.
“But the year 2023 calls for again, is a moment when history calls upon us to produce another leader from this state by the grace of God.
“I have very good reasons, when I was called upon to serve as Vice President of Nigeria there was no big politician anymore. But at the time, I could say that I was not a politician. But by sheer providence, I was nominated and elected as Vice President to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“And I must say that President Muhammadu Buhari has been extremely fair to me in various ways and has exposed me to every aspect of governance; he has kept no secret of governance away from me. He has made sure that I have seen everything that I needed to see.
“Anytime I have the good fortune of serving as acting president on many occasions. On each of those occasions, he would tell me that as far as he was concerned, you are president of Nigeria, don’t refer to me; don’t call me, just take the steps that you need to take. I will not get your discretion in any way. And he never did.
“So, I want to say that after a seven and half years of serving as vice president; being able to see for myself; being able to understand for myself, what we have done right; what we could have done better and various other things, I think when the opportunity now arose for me to decide whether or not, to run as president of Nigeria, I have only one question to ask myself.
‘’ And that question is whether I will be faithful to my oath to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria? To serve with all my heart and might? That is the only question I need to ask myself.
“And because previously, I have served others in various capacities and have given everything, not once, to those whom I have served. I have served under His Excellency, Prince Bola Ajibola, Judge of the World Court. When he was the Federal Attorney General, I was one of the four advisers throughout the federation at that time. I was his adviser for five years. When he was at the World Court, I was with him there for a couple of years.
“I want to say that everyone of those people I had served in their most difficult moments; the moment when their jobs were even threatened; the moment when sometimes, even when their lives were threatened, I was with them. Sometimes I was the only one standing by them. I cannot go into details for confidential reasons and that is the truth.
“Not one of them can in truth say that I have not stood with them in their most difficult moments. I am not speaking of the periods when everything was going well, because you’ll have many friends then. Many people will come around and say “ah, we are the faithful; we are loyal”. When they have been in their difficult moments, I have stood with them.
“Today, all that I am required to do is to offer that same service; the same level of loyalty, with all humility to my nation, Nigeria. To our generation and the incoming generations. That is the question I asked myself. Should I not.
“I want to thank Kabiyesi very much for hosting me here today. Kabiyesi is a man of good fortune. And whoever walks with such a man will also see good fortune.
“Each time I visit Kabiyesi, after it, I am victorious. And I want to say that just to say that is the truth. Each time I have visited him in this political journey since 2015, I have always been victorious. So, I am always happy when I am coming to see Kabiyesi because I know that the outcome will be victory. And this one also, the outcome will be victory.
“Kabiyesi! We are making progress. It is a journey that involves all of us as citizens, as people of destiny. I want to ask you and all of our leaders, our fathers, mothers and people of this state to join me. Every benefit that will come for my being in this position will also come to this state, there is no way that it will not come to this state. As it comes to this state, it will come to all parts of Nigeria.
“So, I urge you to join me and support me in every way you can, even if it is prayer and good wishes. I urge you to support and prepare for this enterprise and God helping us, come May 29, 2023, we will attain that position. And it will be to the glory of God and for the benefit of every single Nigeria