(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, May 17, 2021)
In between 2015 and 2021 are the years of the locust when hope was on his shoulder, law wisdom in his cerebrum, gospel on his lips but Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, law professor, politician, and pastor, crash-landed like Humpty Dumpty under the weight of lawlessness.
I sincerely sympathise with the General Overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adejare Adeboye, over the death of his son, Oludare, at 42. I pray God grant Baba Adeboye, his amiable wife, Mama Folu; Oludare’s widow, Temiloluwa; his children and the global RCCG family the fortitude to bear this painful loss.
Describing the priceless treasure that children are, and the potency of death’s sting on parents who lose their children, King David, the psalmist, says, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of one’s youth.”
I don’t trifle. I don’t take the name or the church of the Lord in vain. For I know, death doesn’t crack jokes. It cracks joys. When death strikes, it leaves truckloads of pain to last a lifetime.
As true believers, I know Daddy and Mummy G.O will forgive the verbal diarrhoea that afflicted Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Igboho, who not only accused Baba Adeboye of not supporting the clamour for Yoruba nationhood, but also urged God to kill the wives and children of Yoruba leaders who do not support the agitation for a Yoruba republic.
That was activism gone mad. It was the most soulless statement to say against a parent who just lost a child.
Baba and Mama, I apologise on Igboho’s behalf; his outburst mirrored his intelligence and emotional quotients. Please, forgive Igboho, the child of circumstance thrust on the society by misgovernance.
As a friend, I’ll advise Igboho Osha to go see a former Lagos Senator, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, and learn the lesson in the Afikuyomi surname which affirms the Yoruba worldview that forbids mocking the dead.
Because these are trying times for the RCCG, I should exclude the name of the church from my constructive criticism of Vice President Osinbajo. But being a Redeemer myself, doing so will put me at the risk of being accused of hypocrisy, a form of moral corruption ruining the Buhari-Osinbajo administration.
Also, discussing Osinbajo without referencing his Christian background is tantamount to discussing Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) without affirming his bizarre love for cattle or nepotistic affinity for his Fulani ethnic region or permission of corruption.
Verily, sidestepping RCCG in this article would defeat the charge of Christ Jesus which implores the believer to seek and know the truth in order to be set free.
Conversely, one would believe that being a pastor of the RCCG and a reputable law professor, for that matter, Osinbajo won’t trade his place in paradise for the allure of political office because he knows the truth.
I say this because Osinbajo seems to be blinded by the grandeur of political office and chained by untruth. Or, what explanation can be provided for Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and pastor, leading a government delegation to Uganda for a sixth term presidential inauguration of Yoweri Museveni who has clamped down on opposition in a bloodletting iron rule?
For starters, in 1986 when then guerrilla leader, Museveni, snatched power in Uganda, Osinbajo was a 29-year-old senior lecturer at the University of Lagos. Since burning the candle at both ends, and rising to the post of a professor in 1997, serving as Lagos State Commissioner between 1999 and 2007, returning to teach at UNILAG between 2007 and 2013, up until a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, nominated him as running mate to the retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari in 2014, and now that he’s serving a second term as vice president, Museveni’s fangs have remained buried in the jugular of Uganda.
Today, Osinbajo is 64, yet the antiquated 76-year-old Museveni is still president, and without a thought of relinquishing his chokehold on Uganda. The Alakenne of Ikenne, Oba Oluwayomi Odeneye, who is the traditional ruler of Osinbajo’s town, has just spent three years on the throne, whereas Osinbajo applauds Museveni, a ‘democratically elected president’, who has spent 35 years on the throne of his forefathers.
I have a question for Osinbajo, the lawyer and SAN: Is there any aspect of the Ugandan Constitution that allows for lifetime presidency? I also have a question for Osinbajo, the Man of God: Is it right in the sight of God and Man for Nigeria to support a fascist who has made the yoke of Ugandans heavier and chastised them with scorpions when Milton Obote, his predecessor, used the whip? I await the answers to my questions from Osinbajo, the politician.
Were he still a lecturer in UNILAG today, it doesn’t take divinity to picture a short lecturer standing before a class of undergraduates taking ‘Law 101: Introduction to Africa’s Bloody Rulers’, describing Museveni as a fascist, tyrant, despot, dictator and oppressor lacking regard for rule of law and due process.
But being the vice president in the corrupt maelstrom called Nigerian politics, Museveni’s bloody reign appears to have changed in the eyes of Osinbajo from crimson red to a whiteness the eskimo would envy.
I can correctly second-guess the response of the vice president to my Christianly criticism of his action: “The Ugandan Constitution gives room for Museveni to contest as many times as possible.” To which I ask, did General Ibrahim Babangida not annul Nigeria’s freest election and backed up the smelly-armpit Interim National Government led by Chief Ernest Shonekan with constitutional provisions? Did the reprehensible actions of Babangida make the cancellation of the June 12 1993 election right?
If Osinbajo justifies his attendance of Museveni’s inauguration, I consider it a given that the husband of Dolapo can defend the symbol of ‘modern political evil’, Adolf Hitler, who murdered six million Jews during the Holocaust, which epitomises German’s expansionist rule.
Osinbajo is a huge letdown. Millions of Nigerians, who were suspicious of Buhari’s military antecedents, voted for the Katsina leader because they saw in Osinbajo a strong rudder to stabilise the Buhari government during tempests. But Osinbajo has failed woefully and come short of Nigerians’ expectations.
When the residence of Buhari’s Chief of Staff and next-door neighbour in Aso Rock, Ibrahim Gambari, was attacked last week by armed robbers, a megaphone of the President, Shehu Garba, described the incident as a ‘foolish attempt’. What a mishmash megaphone!
How I wish the robbers gave all the residents of the infiltrated residence a dose of what Nigerians suffer daily in the hands of bandits in order for the dividends of banditry to go around, regardless of class, creed or colour. Maybe that would drive home the point that Nigeria, under Buhari, has become more lawless, unsafe and corrupt than the APC met it.
When will this acid rain stop beating Nigerians? Nigerians have received the thorny end of the stick in the last 22 years of democracy. Billions of dollars went down the drain during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s miserable attempt at revamping the electricity sector and providing Nigerians with phoney national ID cards.
After the Goodluck Jonathan years, his wife, Patience, aka Mama Peace, returned money to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a plea bargain while $153m and 80 houses have been recovered from a former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who served under Jonathan, among the disappearance of $2bn security funds and sharing of fake contracts to militants.
It’s tragic that Buhari for whom Nigerians risked their lives and limbs to elect President, and clean the country’s Augean stables, has become the oasis of odour.
Facebook: @tunde odesola