Professor Yemi Osinbajo: An unfailing role model per excellence
By Usman Abdullahi Koli
Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa, is indeed endowed with talented, patriotic, and foresighted leaders that always strive towards bringing ease to the hardships of all citizens. Most such leaders see projects they executed as nothing despite the colossal appreciation they are receiving from the mass majority. One of such kinds of leaders is Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He is a vigorous academician, agile politician, unrelenting philanthropist, and, above all, God-fearing (He is a Pastor of the Redeem Christian Church of God). Before his political struggles, Osinbajo had been a pioneer in reminding leaders, cautioning the effluents, helping parents in need and their children. He
was born into the family of Opeluwa Osinbajo on 8th March 1957. He started his educational quest at Corona Primary School and from there he proceeded to Igbobi College in Lagos from 1969 to 1975. After that, he studied Law during his undergraduate at the famous University of Lagos between 1975 and 1978. He furthered his education at the Nigerian Law School in 1981 and later joined the London School of Economics. Yemi Osinbajo enjoyed a beneficial career in the legal profession where he contributed immensely to Nigeria’s legal system through publications and lecturing. He started lecturing at the age of 23 and in just five years he became a Senior Lecturer in Law.
Unlike other lecturers, Osinbajo became a Professor of Law and, at the same time, the Head of the Public Law Department at the University of Lagos, which is rare amongst his contemporaries. He became a member of the Cabinet at the Lagos Ministry of Justice and later an adviser on legal and litigation to the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola. Osinbajo served as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Committee of Experts on Conduct and Discipline. He is a member of the International Bar Association and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and he also worked with the Nigerian Body of Benchers and the Council for Legal Education of Nigeria.
The indefatigable Osinbajo founded the Orderly Society Trust (OST), which covers a literacy programme that aims at providing children in public primary schools with equal training in English similar to that of their counterparts in private schools. As a pastor, Yemi Osinbajo has championed the Liberty Schools Project, which provides free education along with free lunches to children, mostly from poor families. Similarly, Osinbajo did not leave the health sector untouched. He ordinarily went round to hospitals in Lagos State along with professionals to provide free health care and, at times, donated necessary facilities to clinics that were in dire need of them.
In his area of expertise, law, he stood in courts for the voiceless for free whose rights were violated or assets illegally taken away. Social rehabilitation for drug addicts is amongst the areas he focuses more on. After they undergo rehabilitation, he usually enrolls them in skills acquisition for them to care for their needs without relying on others. Yemi Osinbajo’s political career started alongside other Nigerian delegates when they brought-up a manifesto for the All Progressive Congress (APC) which included a plan for free meals at schools and financial support for over 25 million poor Nigerians. It eventually led to the party’s victory. Osinbajo’s incomparable expertise and experience convinced Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to pick him as his running mate.
After they were declared winners of the 2015 Presidential election, General Buhari, along with Professor Osinbajo, first effort was to put an end to the lingering bomb blasts which destabilized the nation. Insurgents are now surrendering by the hundreds due to continuous pressure by our gallant armed forces. Rail transportation is a worthwhile initiative by Buhari/Osinbajo’s administration. Insecurity and uncertainties about travelling by road made the government invest hugely in rail transport, which is fast, safe, and affordable for all while the fight against bandits, insurgents, and militants is on. The office of the Vice President, under the leadership of Yemi Osinbajo, was mandated to oversee the task of giving more capital to petty traders and women entrepreneurs.
In view of the above stewardships for the betterment of all, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a leader worthy of emulation because throughout his past work he was never found diverting funds, collecting bribes or any financial scandals. The indelible good qualities of Osinbajo are what influenced even Muslims in the North who have different faiths to vote for them. Individually, Osinbajo donates food items during festivities like Christmas to all irrespective of tribal, religious, race, etc. Whenever an attack on citizens or ethno-religious conflicts occur amongst people, Osinbajo openly condemns it, uses the power reposed in his office to help the injured and command security to flush-out the perpetrators.
Moreover, Osinbajo played a significant role by intervening in the people’s accusation of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). He first sacked the Director General of the Department of State Security and asked the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the numerous allegations, which led to the establishment of complaint panels across the 36 States of the Federation. One thing that makes people love Osinbajo more is that whenever he is invited to events or social gatherings, he attends without sending a representative unless he is over-occupied. Looking at all these qualities of this honorable man, he can be described as the best candidate for 2023 who can heal, unify and take Nigeria to greater heights than Buhari. Osinbajo is the only messiah to liberate Nigerians. During Yemi Osinbajo’s early life, he garnered lots of awards, which comprised the State Merit Award in 1971, and the School Prize for English Oratory in 1972.
Other awards to his credit include the Adeoba Prize for English Oratory 1972 – 1975, the Elias Prize for Best Performance in History (WASC) 1973, the School Prize for Literature (HSC) 1975, the African Statesman Intercollegiate Best Speaker’s Prize in 1974, and lastly, former President Goodluck Jonathan conferred on him the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger in 2015. Professor Yemi Osinbajo is gladly married to Dolapo, who is a granddaughter of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Their marriage was blessed with three beautiful children, Damilola, Kanyinsola, and Fiyinfoluwa Osinbajo.
Koli, a graduate of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi