The attention of the Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front (BOSF) has been drawn to a Daily Independent interview granted by elder statesman Pa Ayo Adebanjo, excerpts of which was published on Sahara Reporters, alleging that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have kept quiet on the issues of restructuring and recent killings in the South West.
While we respect Pa Adebanjo as an elder statesman, we beg to differ on his recent allegation, which, in the face of facts, come off as mischievous.
Also, BOSF frowns at every attempt to misinform Nigerians and distort truths for personal motives.
It is also disappointing that a person of Pa Adebanjo’s calibre, a chieftain of Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, would make such misguided and divisive statements that does no good for the unity of the South West.
Without doubt, Asiwaju Tinubu has been vocal and unapologetic in his passionate advocacy for unity and harmony of not only the Yoruba race, but of Nigeria as a nation. For many years as a leader, Asiwaju has been a prominent voice and has made significant contributions for the advancement of the Yoruba race and collective national development. Not only has he always spoken for all tribes and ethnic groups in the country, he has always been an advocate of peace and proffered solutions concerning matters of national importance.
There is no question of cowardice or betrayal. The world knows that Asiwaju Tinubu stands for the Yoruba race and Nigeria’s unity; ensuring Nigeria remains a sovereign state, bounded in love, togetherness, despite our differences in ethnicity, religion or tribe.
Pa Adebanjo may wish to settle any personal score he has with Asiwaju Tinubu in private, and should not for any reason project his personal grievances in a bid to misguide Nigerians.
Also, His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has always positioned himself in place of respect and dignity and truest obedience to the Oath of Office that binds him as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is his responsibility as Vice President to advice and act with the President to protect all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or ethnic groups. And he has been doing that.
Recently, VP Osinbajo spoke against the violence in the South West, stating that anyone arrested for any form of criminality should be arrested and prosecuted.
The Vice President also urged for stronger collaboration between the Police, states’ Ministries of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Justice to arrest the situation of unrest in some parts of South West and other parts of the country.
Very recently, precisely last week, the Vice President called for State Police in Ikenne, Ogun State. He supports fully, the devolution of more powers and responsibilities to the State. In the National Economic Council, Governors who are members commend how he runs the Council.
It was Vice President Osinbajo who affirmed that FG cannot take an inch of land from the States. It is the same Osinbajo who is behind the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), designed to end farmers-herders conflicts. During the RUGA debate between Federal Government and some other stakeholders, Osinbajo openly and publicly spoke against it.
When there was no headway between the South West Governors and the Federal Government authorities on Amotekun, it is a known fact that Vice President Osinbajo’s intervention cleared the road and ensured that the idea of Amotekun went forward. How can anyone say this VP is silent?
After the October 20 incident at Lekki Tollgate, the Vice President who is a Professor of Law and a Senior Pastor, insisted on Judicial Panels so victims of alleged police and military brutality could openly air their views and issues investigated. How can anyone say this VP is silent? It is completely untrue, a mischief and a simply red herring by Chief Adebanjo, who is a known PDP supporter.
In the same vein, it is quite unfair to claim that the VP has been silent on issue of restructuring, when in fact, the VP has consistently been vocal about the issue and has taken decisive action on it. Matter of factly, Pa Adebanjo admitted this when he stated that Prof. Osinbajo “took (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo to court over the creation of local government areas in Lagos on the issue of true federalism when he was Attorney-General in Lagos.”
Nigeria is a nation bound by a constitution. Restructuring is only achievable by legislation. The demands and pressure should be pushed before the National Assembly and not the Office of the Vice President, who has no legislative power to single handedly enforce the Restructuring of the Nigeria State.
For emphasis, Vice President Osinbajo, on several occasions, has expressed worry over violence and terror acts being embarked upon by criminal elements in the South West and other parts of the country. Also, he has assured that Government is making efforts to address the security concerns in all affected communities. The Vice President is concerned and advocates for the peace and unity of all Nigerians regardless of tribe. The likes of Pa Adebanjo should refrain from stoking the embers of ethnicity and sectionalism.
BOSF would urge Pa Adebanjo not to be economical with the truth, face the reality and at least, admit the progress being made by the Buhari administration in addressing security challenges in the country, some of which are offshoots of the mishandling by past governments. Rome, they say, wasn’t built in a day. If Pa Adebanjo cannot commend Government’s efforts because of personal reasons, it is honourable that he exercises a dignified silence.
It is our firm belief that Nigeria and Nigerians will continue to thrive with the spirit of unity, togetherness, love and genuine passion for fatherland, and not sectional campaigns.
In line with the objectives of the Buhari administration, the Vice President remains focused on delivering the hopes and expectations of Nigerians for good governance and the dividends of democracy; that includes securing the lives and properties of all Nigerians.
Liberty Olawale Badmus