Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has confessed many reasons why he considers himself lucky to be number two man to President Muhammadu Buhari in the governance of Nigeria.
He described the relationship between him and President Buhari as ideal and exemplary, saying that he has been “more fortunate than others in my relationship with my principal, Mr. President.”
Vice President Osinbajo spoke today, October 25, at the launch of the book titled: “Deputising and Governance in Nigeria” by the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
According to the Vice President, President Buhari “genuinely believes in the role of the Vice President. When he was leaving on medical leave, the second time, there were a few things that were outstanding to send to him, and he said: “I don’t want you to send me anything. It is your job now; just make sure you do a good job.
“As former President Jonathan said, of his relationship with late Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the President does not expect me to call him when he is away. He expects that I know what to do and should do it.
“Indeed, once when I called him, he said: “Professor, I am on leave, you are supposed to do your job. Do whatever you want to do, when I come back, we will discuss it.
“And that is the way we have always related. I think that is ideal, and I recommend it to principals everywhere.”
Professor Osinbajo said that in the Constitutional Democracy, the effectiveness of the number two, the Vice President, depends a great deal on the trust reposed in him by the President, adding: “that is a function of loyalty.”
The Vice President stressed that the importance of dedication, loyalty and service in political office on governance is very important.
Osinbajo noted the analogy of the spare trye widely used to describe the role of the deputy to the President, saying that a better description would be that of the relationship between a captain of a flight and his deputy.
“Imagine a commercial flight with people, including yourself on a plane, there is the captain, and then there is his deputy. The captain flies the plane, but no human being can be completely focused for several hours.
“So, sometimes he gets up and goes to the bathroom, while the flight is on, his deputy had better be a good pilot otherwise lives are at risk.
“Can you imagine a situation where the captain leaves the cockpit briefly and you hear an announcement from the cockpit, “ladies and gentlemen, I am the deputy to the captain, the captain is in the restroom, and I am only a spare tyre and I am not sure what to do now?” If you are on that plane you will ask God for forgiveness, for expecting that a deputy or vice plays no role.”
The Vice President said: “the deputy or vice must be up to the task every day. He must be the most hardworking in the government, bringing his own skills and talents in representing the principal as efficiently and effectively as possible every single day.”
according to him, unlike deputy governors, Vice Presidents have a few more well-defined constitutional roles.
“The Vice President is the chair of NEC, the monthly meeting of 36 governors, the Chair of the National Planning Commission, the Chair of the National Council on Privatization, the Chair of several boards and also deputy of several other official bodies.”
Professor Osinbajo observed that the book is “full of wisdom and wit from a practical politician and erudite social scientist, Governor Umar Ganduje.
“Governor Ganduje is worth studying not because he has always succeeded politically, but because he failed many times, yet he always knew how to lose and not get lost.”
Professor Osinbajo observed that Governor Ganduje has first-hand knowledge and experience to write on such an important subject of ‘Deputising and Governance in Nigeria’, having served as deputy before becoming governor himself.
“More importantly, on the subject of deputizing, no one has his experience. He has been deputy governor twice.
“Governor Ganduje is one of the few who from being deputy governor, became governor and he is perhaps the only governor who has now put forward his deputy to succeed him.”
He noted that it is rare for a politician to write a book that is not about himself or herself and their great achievements.
“This book is not about Ganduje and his achievements, it is more a textbook on governance and politics. And we have heard this most eloquently from Prof. Jega, the book reviewer today, it contains important nuggets on those two subjects.
“In my very early interactions with him, and there have been many, I found that Umar Ganduje is probably one of the wittiest, most cerebral and most humorous politicians that you could ever found. I always find his views incredibly witty and perceptive. I thought it would be interesting to have his thoughts in writing somewhere. If you are looking for a deep, witty, unforgettable analysis of a subject, you have your man.”