by: Judah Bamigboye

Were it not for my pastor’s recent admonition that one should always, like Jesus Christ, exercise patience and longsuffering even in the face of serious provocation, I would have landed two, three or more slaps on the face of my ever rambling, talkative friend, Faith, for positing with such shameless dare-devilry that Profesor Yemi Osinbajo was a serious traitor for declaring for the presidency. 

 He is Faith. But only in name. This was a long term friend who had thrice cheated on his wife with two neighbours. It took the intervention of other friends and I to douse the ripples of his lecherous acts of marital betrayal. And even as he pontificated, with an air of hubris, that Osinbajo was another Judas, he still reminded us all of his potential night of tryst with another distant girlfriend.

“Osinbajo is a traitor. For a man of God who attained his present vice presidential office by the sheer benevolence of Asiwaju, he should have just completed his tenure and stepped down for the grandmaster himself,’ “faithless” Faith declared .

This declaration by my hypocritical friend sums up the very mood of our Social Media and political space ever since the declaration of the Vice President’s interest in contesting the presidency of our dear nation. Amidst the analysis and the beer parlour gossips, the Social Media has gone into overdrive. Many have wondered why the Vice President, knowing full well his former boss’ presidential declaration, would throw his hat into the ring. Several others have draped his actions in all sorts of negative connotations, from treachery to betrayal to backstabbing. One very lexically creative commentator called his action the “Judas-isation of our pastor-politician!”

 A major point worth noting is how a collective social media hysteria, fuelled by a rented crowd has distracted a large chunk of digitally versed Nigerians, including the youths, away from serious issues around this declaration, sinking them low into the abyss of issues as  less important  as betrayal and backstabbing. These poorly veiled criticisms of the Vice President’s declaration have appeared to ignore more important matters such as the capacity of the vice president, his credentialed academic attainments, his wealth of experience in national politics, the deafening cry of Nigerians across the country for his presidency and the likes. For a nation where the subordinate implicates the boss just to gain the next appointment and have his boss demoted, where anointed protégés of former governors fight their principal tooth and nail to the extent of nearly denying them entry into the states they once governed, where an assistant pastor would go to any length to ensure the main pastor falls so he can be appointed, one wonders where the hoopla is coming from. As recently as the 70th birthday celebrations of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo still released a public statement, attesting to the sterling attributes of his former principal through fitting tributes. This demonstrates that his declaration is never in bad blood but with a serious commitment to the Nigerian project. As Vice President for eight years and with his ringside view of governance, Osinbajo holds every right, just like any other Nigerian to aspire for the highest office in the land.  For as long as the Vice President has not publicly insulted his former boss, or released slanderous allegations against his personality, then the national focus should be on his message and not vague contextualisations for his non-qualification.

If Nigerians think they are in for some Father-son covenant-breaking saga, they are watching the wrong political scenes. We had enough of that in Anambra, where a sitting Governor was caught on tape stark naked, making a covenant with his godfathers, and swearing an oath of allegiance. Prof Yemi Osinbajo is a serious minded man of God, who would not have sworn to any oath or visited any shrine in desperation for vice presidential nomination. It is very possible that if he had gone into any of such unholy alliance, the powers-that-be would have released such videos, since it would seriously undermine his credibility as a man of God and more importantly, as a presidential aspirant.

The revered man of God should be given a breathing space. We have had enough of serial smokers, back stabbers, perennial defaulters and internet fraudsters masquerading as genuine citizens pontificating on what should ordinarily be a non-issue. 

Who are then the real traitors? The real traitors are the crowd of Nigerians who bypass electricity supply, thereby starving Nigeria of one of her most veritable sources of revenue. I refer to you, yes you! the young masters student who plagiarizes academic content and submits it as original just for marks. I also refer to the young Nigerian, who collects 5k from politician A, 2k from politician B only to vote both candidates on the same ballot paper. I also refer to the young Nigerian, who bribes his way all through, from the NIN accreditation centre to even the waste management arena. How do we forget the young man, who defrauds innocent foreigners of their hard earned dollars only to wail against SARS brutality?

Of course, I just have to add the increasing army of political jobbers and bootlickers, who would do anything for the leader, including snatching ballot boxes and running covert thumb printing of unused ballot boxes to subvert the democratic process. If you are one of these elements, before you define an innocent presidential declaration as treachery or backstabbing, you had better change else thunder fire you!

Judah Bamigboye is a journalist at Red Carpet Communications Limited. He runs a weekly column at TALE , Nigeria’s leading online romance magazine. He can be reached on sirjudah05@gmail.com

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