Nigeria - Former Chairman of Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu, has described Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) as the oasis of thoughtful competence who refused to brook privileged lawlessness that characterizes President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime since 2015.
According to Odinkalu, as Buhari regime quickly descended into a misadventure, Osinbajo proved to be the epitome of competence who, when entrusted with responsibilities delivered capable leadership with clear results.
In an op-ed in Law and Society Magazine, Odinkalu writes, "As the Buhari presidency quickly descended into a misadventure, Osinbajo proved to be the one oasis of thoughtful competence. On occasions when the president entrusted him with responsibilities for running the government or any part of it, he delivered capable leadership with clear results".
He continued, “When he emerged as Vice-President in 2015, Osinbajo arrived with an intellect and record more accomplished than any previous occupants of the office since Dr. Alex Ekwueme in 1979. It was a record built on an ethos of empathy, clarity, relentless application, timeless values, and a stubborn belief in the better angels of human nature, all of which have been severely tested in eight years at the most rarefied levels of Nigeria’s public life and politics. The expectations were unrealistically stratospheric and he may, in hindsight, be surprised at how quickly many in and around the government dispensed with the platform on which they were elected".
Odinkalu recounted some of the landmark achievements of Osinbajo while he served as Acting President.
According to him, "In this, posterity will be kind to Osinbajo, and with good reason. As Acting President and against the timorous advice of securocrats in government, he attended a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Civil War in 2017 with a powerful personal symbolism and message of national healing.
"In a regime short on any notable displays of empathy for a traumatized country, he never lost sight of the pastoral role of government. On 8th March 2023, Yemi and Dolapo Osinbajo were in Maiduguri to spend the day at the North East Children’s Trust, NECT, in a school which he founded six years earlier to support the education of children orphaned by Boko Haram. It was his last birthday in office as Vice-President but also the clearest signal from him that his commitment to education, mentorship, and investment in empathy will be undimmed long after life in The Presidency".