I really sympathise with Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A few weeks ago, Osinbajo was in Lagos. It was the very day some Fulani herdsmen went into a Catholic Church in Benue State, killing two priests and 17 other worshippers who had gathered for morning mass.
While speaking to a large audience at the event that brought him to the City of Excellence, Osinbajo deplored the massacre and acknowledged that Nigeria was indeed in a perilous time. He reeled out the challenges of presiding over a nation like Nigeria and urged Nigerians to, instead of criticism, pray for leadership.
Fast forward, on February 19, 2018, a band of Boko Haram insurgents besieged Dapchi, a sleepy community in Yobe State, and made away with about one hundred and ten (110) girls. Some weeks later, when all other girls were released and cleanly rejoined their parents, one was detained and remains detained till today.
The poor girl, Leah Sharibu, was said to have refused to denounce her religion and declare for Islam. Government said it was going to do everything humanly possible to secure the girl’s release. Up till now, she is either dead or alive; no one is certainly sure.
Again, although many of the kidnapped Dapchi girls were from Christian homes, on the day they returned and on the day they visited Aso Rock to see the President, they were dressed in flowing gowns and hijab. Were they all Muslims? Why were they so dressed? A development many people described as conversion by intimidation!
Last Tuesday, Osinbajo was in Benue, apparently to take part in the burial ceremonies of the two murdered priests. While addressing Benue stakeholders, he said he was not a politician and that he would step down from office any moment he felt convinced that the killings by herdsmen had any religious undertone.
My take in all of these is that the type of politics being played in Nigeria has a colour that is not suitable for people of Osinbajo’s standing in faith. We are talking about politics of intrigues, wheeling and dealing, outright lies, subterfuge, assassination of character and of lives, occultism and a host of others.
It is believed that when a person decides to go into partisan politics in the country, he has elected to embrace the culture of politicking that is laced with the afore-mentioned ills. There’s no middle road.
If Osinbajo was appointed and not elected, his claim of not being a politician should have been tenable, but with all that comes with standing election in Nigeria, we may as well tell the erudite vice president to tell us another story. Many people believe that it is very difficult to find a virgin in a labour ward, getting ready to give birth!
On the issue of whether or not the killings have religious tinge, it is still debatable. But we had expected him with all the intelligence gathering apparatuses at his disposal, to have sensed the direction of the killings. He sure has the necessary antennas to figure the direction. On this score, many people are really expecting his resignation even quicker and sooner than he imagines.