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OSIBANJO:THE IRONY OF BEING VICE-PRESIDENT

A pattern is a predictable line of event(s). Please don’t ask me the source of this definition or demand I cite it, only my thesis Supervisor has that right.

The simpler the pattern, the easier it is to predict. Similarly, the more frequent occurring it is, the easier it is to predicate as well.

Our dear President, TGICOTAF(The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces) embarked on a 10-day medical vacation to his usually destination, hospital and medical team. We didn’t hear much about President’s Buhari’s health condition of oversea treatment travel pre-2015. It’s understandable, he wasn’t President then and if we are to go by his claims, he probably would not have been able to afford such given the “modest” financial status he lived or claimed he was living then.

Anyway, he is our President now and all his expenses is financed by taxpayers money(lucky him) so whatever he spends tax payers on is our business, or should be our business.

Today marks the 12th day of his departure. So far, there has been no news of his return. But it’s nothing to worry about. Afterall he once spent over 100 days overseas on his health matters. I doubt the 10 days can possible stretch to beat that record. Given that we have seen worse, it’s not that bad, I suppose.

This medical leave is not the first, neither is it the second, I don’t know if I should pray it would be the last; will my prayers be that he gets cured or what?

As much as it is an unfortunate reality that the President of our country habitually seeks medical treatment overseas, frequently, there’s a silver-lining to it.

What might that be, one may ask?

Well, it’s simple, we get to see our (able) Vice- President function. There’s this irony of a more educated person being the Vice. I assure you, the Buhari/Osibanjo pair is not the only instance. Indeed, electoral positions are not about educational qualification. If not, why is the minimum educational qualification for the Office of President and Governor pegged as low as SSCE? Too bad it’s a popularity contest where the person with the highest vote wins, afterwards, can go on and appoint/employ technocrats to oversee the affairs of things. The bigger irony being that the highly specialized technocrats still wait upon the consent, approval or nudge of the person in power(who appointed them) before they carry out activities.
Back to my talk on patterns.

It’s been observed that Nigerians enjoy a (temporal) new lease of life(or is it leadership) whenever the President embark on his frequent visits and leaves his very amiable Vice-President in acting capacity.

In him(the Vice-President), Nigerians see a pro-active, thoughtful, swift-acting, leader. Nothing less is expected of a man of his calibre given that he had made his mark in academia, law and in the church. The kind of leader they crave for. This pattern has been observed over and over. And the pattern is repeating itself in the President’s ongoing, overstay absence. I suppose it’s needless mentioning his visible strides within the last 12 days.

Nigeria and Nigerians are in dire need of many things, most of which would simultaneously be solved or resolved if we get our leadership right. The few days the Vice-President works in acting capacity as President gives us a feel of that, or maybe an illusion of it. Given the level of dissatisfaction among citizens, a thing like this is good, maybe not ideal, but good enough.

This realization comes with the admittance of a sad truth; the redundancy or incapacitated of the role of deputies or “vices”. Just beneath the helm are men who are (equally) capable or even more capable, yet they are statutorily obligated to function under the shadow and directives of another, in our case, someone who is arguably, apparently, less competent and effective.

Let’s not get our hopes up believing we have found “the one” who would take over the mantle of leadership in the unfortunate event of our President’s demise while in office. As new legislation has been passed which makes it impossible for the Vice-President to complete the term in the event of the demise of the President, like Jonathan did. So if Osibanjo is to ever become President, he would have to stand for an election and depend on the votes of you and I to occupy the office of the President in his own right.

My prayers goes to President Buhari, I pray God grants him sound health, more importantly, a sound mind so he can make the wise decision which would be in his best interest and in the best interest of the entire nation.

With 2019 in view, what do you think that decision might be?

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