On the question of Osinbajo and the search for credible alternative in 2023 – Written by Gbenga Oloniniran


In 2015, the ruling class of Nigeria sold Buhari as the messiah for Nigeria under the “Change” mantra. For the unsuspecting masses of Nigeria, it was either Buhari or no one else that could save the sinking ship of Nigeria.

Upon the assumption of Buhari, the hope was very much high. I remember that I was a 100 level student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. In Angola hall Block F room 6, we were always having time to time arguments on the capacity of Muhammadu Buhari to take Nigeria to the promise land. In my room there were political science students, law students and students in the sciences who were always conscious in the debates. While some of us took position that Buhari was not the messiah for Nigeria, others felt otherwise.

Personally, the side of this argument I chose was premised on two things – (1) that there is no messiah anywhere, only the people can liberate themselves; (2) that history at any moment could actually afford an opportunity of a people’s candidate, but such would not have come from same parties that had ruined Nigeria for decades. Such a person would have actually emerged from a party/movement built by the people themselves not by the money bags of the system and the ruling class. This is because we can never disconnect the product of a chemical reaction from the reactants that produced it. Muhammadu Buhari would not have pleased Nigerians against the greedy interests of the party which he belong- the APC.

After about 100 to 300 days of Buhari in office, his achievements were the number of foreign trips he had made within those periods. Still delusional, my colleagues, just as many unsuspecting Nigerians, felt that he needed more time, that Nigeria had been so ruined before him and time was of essence. After some time, the narrative of his failure started to change from how he needed 100 years to fix Nigeria, to how he was then being choked by some caucus or cabinet or powers that be. That was the best consolation the unsuspecting followers had then. Meanwhile, I really wondered how on earth someone could be choked by same people that brought him in except he started to do radical things against them.

Could Buhari have had a different interest from that of his cabals and they would have supported him?

People began to make excuses for Buhari which he did not even make for himself. He rather became more arrogant and despotic in his cluelessness.

To history be the glory, my then roommates are now Lawyers and others, professionals of their respective fields in a Nigeria worse than how bad it used to be.

Why is this history necessary? Yes time beckons again. The ruling class of Nigeria are at the game again. From the “Change” to “Hope”, I have seen stories of how Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is capable by virtue of no reason whatsoever. Perhaps because he is a professor, a senior advocate and a pastor.

Meanwhile, the best reason I have seen is that of pity. The famous one is that Osinbajo could have performed if not sidelined or caged in the Buhari’s administration. However, he was not sidelined when he was standing for the interests of Buhari at presidential debate in 2019. He was not sidelined when he was sharing ‘Trader Moni’.

Are we still saying that Osinbajo was sidelined by his own members of the APC that brought him in? Where is this logic from? If this is the case, then on whose horse’s back would he now be riding to run for 2023 presidency? Same APC that “sidelined” him in the Buhari regime?
Alas! Not even Osinbajo is making these excuses for himself.

By virtue of interests, the agenda of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is that of the APC which we have always known.

None of the potential flag bearers in the APC and PDP today identified in actions with the youths during #EndSARS, #Twitterban or over the incessant fuel price hikes over the years of the Buhari regime.

On Tinubu’s candidacy, a decision for him is like choosing between frying pan and fire as many have opined. It only means that the same cabals who packaged Buhari for us are coming to take over by themselves.

Indeed, the Nigerian state is still in deer search of sociopolitical and economic liberation. However, this search does not end at the ballot alone. If the people are not ready to take charge with their radical wills in all the important spheres of this system, we might continue to feature in the scripts of these recycling cabals that are organized against Nigerians.

We must watch out! At any point that history affords us a credible alternative that is glaring to the eyes, we should take charge of it. However, the political cankerworms should not be retained in the system because we feel that a credible alternative has a weak chance. This only means we are not ready for the Nigeria we deserve.

Nothing is wrong with protesting elections in Nigeria if the people feel threatened by the corrupt chances of same recycling rulers to emerge from the APC and PDP. Yes! We should not be too weak to take such an action.

With persistent yearn for freedom backed by actions, Nigeria will be free!

Gbenga Oloniniran.

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