Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo has revealed how he became President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate, saying “somebody somewhere” recommended him for the position.He however refrained from disclosing who nominated him.
Controversy broke out recently when the author of Buhari’s biography, “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria”, Prof. John Paden, claimed in the book that the President chose Osinbajo as his running mate despite the alleged opposition of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Despite the general belief that Tinubu was instrumental to the emergence of Osinbajo who served as his Attorney-General when he (Tinubu) was the governor of Lagos State, the author claimed that the names of Tinubu; the then Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and Osinbajo were forwarded to Buhari for him to pick a running mate shortly after he emerged the party’s candidate at its convention in Lagos.
The author claimed that Buhari chose Osinbajo above others despite enormous pressure from Tinubu to do otherwise.
Tinubu’s loyalists have since faulted the account of the author, saying he (Tinubu) nominated the Vice-President.
At a presidential dinner in honour of the beneficiaries of the amnesty programme on Wednesday night in Abuja, Osinbajo, for the first time, spoke subtly on the matter.
“I was in a group of young men and women and one of them asked the question how did I become vice president; I was never a politician or anything like that,” he said.
“So, I tried to explain it is quite simply that someone somewhere has to recommend you. Somebody somewhere has to give you a helping hand.
“Whether to be a vice president or to be an aircraft pilot or to be an engineer, somebody somewhere has to give you an opportunity and I think that all of you that are here today are the beneficiaries of the opportunities that you have somehow received.
“And this is why this event is so important. I think that it is one way we have to remind ourselves that we are bound as individuals to give opportunities to everyone.”