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Reno Omokri: “Yemi Osinbajo: When an Acting President Acts Well”

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This article first appeared on THISDAY – Saturday, February 18th 2017.

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I am loving the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo right now and for good reasons too. In the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, Pastor Osinbajo-led the Executive Council of the Federation’s meeting and ministers were forced to deliberate for seven hours!

It is the longest meeting ever under this administration and my reaction to it was WOW! This is my kind of man!

I have previously said that Nigeria actually attains more progress when President Muhammadu Buhari travels out of the country and Vice President Osinbajo has again vindicated my judgment.

Only on Monday the 13th of February, 2017, while in Rivers State, Vice President Osinbajo declared that the federal government would work with illegal refineries and help convert them to modular refineries.

Such forward thinking! Professor Osinbajo represents the Progressives in the name, All Progressives Congress. I applaud and celebrate him today.

His approach to the Niger Delta challenge is an approach of intelligence and diplomacy and will achieve far more than President Buhari’s shock and awe approach!

The man approached the region with compassion and understanding, not with threats and bluster as his boss did when he had the chance. He physically visited and toured the region whereas his principal made promises to visit but chickened out when the time came to implement his promises.

Professor Osinbajo spoke kindly and respectfully to the governors of the region and praised them for their efforts, even giving one of them the pet name, ‘Mr. Projects’.

Is it any surprise then that oil production has continued to rise and militancy has waned in the period that Vice President Osinbajo has been acting?

The man speaks to Nigerians as a leader should. He does not talk at us like the President. He talks to us.

I may have issues with what he said to the protesting labour leaders but I am still impressed that he met them, listened to them and was courteous to them.

And look at his Kennedy-esque response to the #IStandWithNigeria protesters: ‘To those who are protesting, WE HEAR YOU loud and clear.’ He sounded like JFK in Berlin on June 26, 1963 saying to the oppressed people of that iron-curtain enclave, “Ich bin ein Berliner”!

You see, he is a remarkably poised Acting President! Even if you do not like him, you must respect Vice President Osinbajo.

President Buhari can stay back in London or any foreign city that catches his fancy, all he wants – waiting for tests and taking phone calls. With Osinbajo acting for him, Nigerians do not miss him!

In fact, he can turn his vacation into a sabbatical if he so pleases. We have tasted civility and are in no hurry to return to the barbarity meted out to the Shiites, IPOB protesters, Rann Internally Displaced Persons and sundry other protesters in the recent past.

From his actions since President Muhammadu Buhari travelled to London this January, there is no doubt in my mind that Vice President Osinbajo knows the whereabouts of all his academic certificates!

Even when President Muhammadu Buhari returns, I would advise him to make Vice President Osinbajo the face of his government in just the way that the late Major-General (rtd) Tunde Idiagbon was the face of his first incarnation.

Recall that Nigerians so loved Idiagbon and that it was when Idiagbon travelled that that regime collapsed, proving the point that he was the legs that held up that table!

With Vice President Osinbajo, President Buhari does not need his disastrous and fallacious minister of information who has caused credibility issues for his government.

Lai Mohammed acts as if his job description is to make enemies for this administration rather than to attract friends for the government in which he serves.

The same Lai Mohammed, who once claimed that thousands of jobs could be created by masquerade dressing, was only able to generate a paltry ₦620,000 from the culture and tourism arm of his ministry in 2016! Obviously, Lai Mohammed did not find enough Masquerades to dress!

This brings me to the issue of the Trump/Buhari call. Immediately that call was announced, I knew it was genuine and I said so on my social media profiles. I was the first person other than the President’s aides to do that.

I did not bargain for the intense vitriol that was thrown at me by the President’s haters who had weaved all manner of conspiracy theories and felt that their web of conjecture had been punctured by my validation of the call.

Thankfully, a day after I publicly affirmed that the call was genuine, White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, confirmed the Donald Trump/Muhammadu Buhari call.

Will all those who insulted and denigrated me over my assertions that the call was genuine now be honourable enough to apologise to me? I hope this will put an end to all the conspiracy theories.

I DO NOT believe in the Buhari administration for even one minute. In my opinion, former President Goodluck Jonathan is a much better leader than Buhari BY FAR. However, I will never lie against or support those who lie against Buhari for political purposes.

Do not allow your hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari affect your love for Nigeria. The Donald Trump/Buhari call indeed took place and is good for Nigeria! Give the man his due. When opposition becomes hatred or leads to a death wish, it stops being Godly and starts being satanic. I am an opponent not a hater!

And talking about haters, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, was on television this week and called the President’s critics ‘haters’. Apparently, he has not got the memo. The President’s greatest hater is within.

Nobody can hate President Muhammadu Buhari more than his Secretary to the Government of the Federation because if the SGF really loved his boss, he would have seen how much of a liability he has become to the President’s famed integrity and resigned.

As long as Babachir Lawal sits on that exalted chair, nobody in his right mind will believe in the anti-corruption war anymore even if they once foolishly believed in it before. Not Nigerians, not the international community and not even the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission itself!

Babachir Lawal is an unabashed, brazen and in-your-face proof that what we have is an anti-opposition war not an anti-corruption war!

On Valentine’s Day, we read the comments of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as he spoke to an obviously sponsored motley crowd of pro-Buhari protesters.

The SGF said, ‘When President Buhari finishes ruling, Nigeria will never return to the Jonathan era.’ Babachir Lawal should know that Jonathan’s era is gone. But we beg him to please ask his boss to return our economy to how he met it. At this stage we are not even asking for improvements!

The Jonathan administration left $2.07 billion in the Excess Crude Account when it handed over to the Buhari administration on May 29, 2015 as well as foreign reserves of $29. 6 billion. Slightly over $5 billion was left for the Buhari administration by way of dividend payments from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company.

At the time of the handover, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate was 6.1% (for the last full year before the handover), inflation rate was in the single digits and stood at 9.5%, the Naira to Dollar exchange rate stood at $1 to NGN199 and on the parallel market, it was $1 to NGN216.

The price of premium motor Spirit (also known as petrol) stood at NGN87, the price of a 25kg bag of rice (a staple food in Nigeria) was N8,000. We were also generating 4000 MWs of electricity at the handover (still not enough) and were projected by CNN Money as the world’s third-fastest growing economy even as we were very comfortably the largest economy in Africa.

Also the International Food Policy Research Institute had listed Nigeria under President Jonathan as one of only a handful of nations to have reduced hunger levels (Nigeria’s hunger index dropped from 16.3 in 2005 to 15 in 2013).

Every economic indicator I have just cited above can be verified by a simple Google search and I urge my readers to perform one and not take my word for it.

If the Buhari administration can return Nigeria to the economy we had on May 29, 2015, we will all be pleased and start celebrating. But alas, the SGF is saying that those good old days will never return. Maybe for him and his family!

On that same Valentine’s Day, the papers had the ‘achievement’ that the Buhari administration has ₦5 trillion in the Treasury Single Account. If that is true, then why do we still have to borrow?

The next day’s headline had the presidency saying that the economy is recovering ‘fast’. If that is true why is the Naira’s value dropping fast? Or is a failing currency the new economic indicator of an improving economy? These are all efforts by loyalists of the President to divert our attention from pressing national issues.

On the February 12th, 2017, I tweeted as follows: Over the next few days, there’ll be desperate attempts to divert attention of Nigerians by announcing both real and imagined recovered Loot!

The very next morning an administration surrogate on Channels Television falsely accused Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of returning $35 million to the Federal Government!

This is a lie. I have spoken to Pastor Ayo and he neither received nor refunded $35 million to anyone but most especially the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government or any of its agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission or the Central Bank of Nigeria. He has also not been questioned by anybody or agency of this administration. Beware of more of such distractions in the coming days!

‘They nurse disputes amongst citizens, so that citizens, distracted by differences, should not unite against them’ – Machiavelli The Prince, Chapter 20. Does this sound familiar?

This is exactly what is happening in Nigeria today. When Nigerians start asking relevant questions about where we are as a nation today, they start regaling the nation with sensation from yesterday.

It is like this: Nigerians ask why the economy is collapsing and they respond by saying, ‘hey look, see $9.7 million loot!’ That distracts the public and gets them fighting each other while they prepare the next distraction for when the people’s suffering slaps them back to reality.

If you have not read Nicolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, do yourself a favour and read it. It will help you understand the new and improved Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari!

And on the Andrew Yakubu loot. Do not be deceived. This is the truth of the matter which you can again verify via a cursory Google search.

Andrew Yakubu was found wanting and then President Goodluck Jonathan fired him while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission investigated him. The Grass cutter, Babachir Lawal awarded a contract to himself and allegedly received kickbacks from the company and the APC controlled Senate published proof of this, yet President Muhammadu Buhari did not fire Mr. Lawal and instead wrote so long a letter to defend him! And you are here, a brainwashed APC loyalist, celebrating?

Do you know who criticised then President Goodluck Jonathan for firing Andrew Yakubu in 2014? It was the APC. It is because they believe you are mentally lazy that is why they expect you to blame Goodluck Jonathan today for the Andrew Yakubu they fought for and defended when he sacked him.

23 Comments

  1. nwa nna

    February 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Reno, Reno, Reno! I was enjoying your write up until you began to sing GEJ’s accolades and you lost me.. Come on, you can fool the people once but you cannot fool the people all the time..
    GEJ may have been a decent individual, but he was an inept and abysmal leader, period!! He fretted away the goodwill of the Nigerian people, he was in a position to right a lot of wrongs but look at the mess he left Nigeria in.. I’m not here to sing the praise of anyone, I’m just stating the obvious, let’s stop making excuses for mediocrity and start holding all our leaders accountable!!

    • jade

      February 18, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      I agree. There’s not much to praise about GEJ. So much corruption, no track of embezzlement took place under him. He seems like a nice guy personally but as a president he was terrible and weak. And no, I’m not here to praise Buhari either. He’s a tyrant and dictator.
      Nigeria just need a transformation and renewal of minds.

    • nene+

      February 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      @nwa nna he lost you lol. Well ur opinion. Nigerians had a smooth 16 year of reducing single digit inflation, SMEs grew, People prospered, honest working men and women were rewarded, many doctors I know relocated to set up in businesses in Nigeria, in this 16 years we saw the finest of Nigerian ministers. Today what do you see? Clowns and more clowns! Tyranny and highest nepotism ever recorded in our history. Buhari blamed man, age, every one but himself!
      Osibajo has done well as a matter of fact a bus conductor would achieve better than our excuse of a president. Ask me why and I will tell for a moment think Buhari as your conductor and imagine how miserable your journey would be. He would be too arrogant to call a bustop or every give a direction. At least a conductor would call bus stops, but yours is receiving vistors hale and hearty in London without uttering a word to the hard working citizens who pay his bills. Don’t tell me about nonsense letter. While in London the nation swirled, protest carried out and he shouldn’t still talk? Think again.
      I will jejely choose a reasonable conductor any day.
      But for absurdity why will a professor nod yes sir to one who can’t boast of a certificate of WAEC?

    • nene+

      February 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      *set up businesses in Nigeria… arrogant to call a bus stop or *even give a direction.

    • blackbeatle

      February 18, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      nice try nene….i hope we don’t go back to pdp / apc next elections . both are the same .defend pdp all you want truth both have a case to answer about the terrible state of the nation …

    • Mysn

      February 18, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Nene the stealing that went on under Jonathan’s tenure was horrible. I don’t have any facts but who knows it may be worse than all that went on from 1960 till his tenure. Jonathan was a leader with potential that he squandered. Just like Obasanjo (a strong leader who could have united Nigeria but ended up serving his own ends). Buhari is not the best we can have but if his war against corruption continues then definitely he should be commended because corruption has brought Nigeria to its knees. That is not arguable.

  2. nnenne

    February 18, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Truth!

    BTW,
    BN, today is Anna Banner”s birthday. Any pictures of the queen?
    I don’t really know her and may not get to know her but I love her. We all have made mistakes in our life, one way or another.
    Am drawn to her by her strength and may be, the fact that people who don’t even know her judge her unfairly. Even those who are
    not better than her.
    I serve a God of second chance!

    Please post her birthday pictures, if there’s any.
    Her last year’s went viral!
    HBD, Anna!
    Thanks BN

    • TeeS

      February 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      I’m sure she has an Instagram you can go shower her with pages
      People are talking seriously issues about Nigeria and you’re asking for pictures
      See where your priorities lie ?

    • nene+

      February 18, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      See children of hate on top of ordinary queshun.

    • ant

      February 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      And this is the place to post such ‘estupidez’? we are talking national issues you are talking some person’s birthday! O ma se o.

    • blackbeatle

      February 18, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      nnenne why nah..was waiting for your pdp vs apc comment ..you dey fall our hand o..Osinbajo may be the man for the job o..hes seems a very calm man

  3. TeeS

    February 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Praises*

  4. FasholasLover

    February 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Those who know on this blog know that I do not fancy the APC motley crew one bit. But, so far, Osinbajo ain’t doing badly. Visiting the 5% that Buhari refused to entertain etc and actually working. In the last one month, he has been impressive. As a so called man of God, I wish he never told all the lies he told during the campaign. Anyways, Buhari can get lost for all its worth. Missing in action/dead or alive, he is/was really of no value except to his immediate family and cronies. Osinbajo we can manage till 2019.

    • Grace

      February 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Yoruba people draw your ears, we are not falling for this nonesense. Our president is still alive and anything the VP does is on give presidents orders, that is what we must believe.

      Yes I am tribalism. It is the stupid tribalism of the Yorubas that got us here.

    • Blessing

      February 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      *I am tribalism? Bimbo are u from Ibadan? lmao…

    • Blessing

      February 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      *Grace*

  5. Zee

    February 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    David has killed 10000 while Saul only 1000

    I love the Prof. Jut saw that fuel subsidy has been replaced.. Lol.. I only expect to see the Buhari arm of APC to separate. Interesting times are here. Long live the FRN

  6. patrioticNigerian

    February 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I was enjoying the writeup till you started praising Jonathan as well. After a while, I was forced to start skipping lines. I agree with you partially about the SGF but I will also like to hear the story from the other party. If you are a good Nigerian then you need to oppose all those that brought our nation down and not be selective, exactly as you accuse others. The GEJ government enjoyed the biggest windfall in the history of Nigeria and raped the Nation of all her income like an ATM card without a pin code; a grossly incompetent and corrupt government. We should all abhor corruption and call for all those who have ruined this nation to be brought to book. In fact when the current administration too should be probed after its tenure as well.
    Always be a Nigerian first before taking sides

  7. Dami

    February 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    No one deserves to be praised, given much credit until SERIOUS actions with results. We are yet to see substantial results. Let’s not settle for just words and busy-ness. We need proper efficiency and productivity.

  8. Luqman

    February 18, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Goodluck’s Goons won’t stop praising him after they depleted Nigeria reserve massively from $60b to $30b despite the fact that the crude oil was sold above $100. Why didn’t Omokri tell us what they met in our reserve when they took over? Okonjo even said in 2014 that Nigerians should prepare for hard times due to the over-dependency on oil revenue and the prediction is now in existence. We would have had experienced this same scenario during OBJ’s regime in which our banking industries were in a state of coma, but they were bailed out because we saved money. You’re saying as if you left us a robust economy whereas you people were given us what to eat and also killing us slowly by looting all our money – Na God go judge person wey dey use mouth to share the meat. Libya that has been plagued by war even saved better than us during the time the oil price was skyrocketed – Father Xmas Jona.
    APC that suppose to kick the ground running have performed below expectations and everything seems to be stagnant.
    Though I still laugh with your punchline on Lai Muhammed “The same Lai Mohammed, who once claimed that thousands of jobs could be created by masquerade dressing, was only able to generate a paltry ₦620,000 from the culture and tourism arm of his ministry in 2016! Obviously, Lai Mohammed did not find enough Masquerades to dress!”

  9. Bimbo

    February 19, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Reno is a snake – a slimy dangerous one ! All this nonsense he wrote praising osibajo is to make the relationship between the vp and his principal uncomfortable ! As if osibajo is simply not acting according to plans agreed to between him and the president.
    He stated very evasively the reason for Andrew yakubu s sack as if GEJ could a really sack anybody for corruption ! Andrew yakubu was sacked for insubordination to dieziani- not for corruption! GEJ embodied corruption and was deliriously happy in the company of corrupt people – he would never sack anyone for corruption.

  10. Grace

    February 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Tribalistic not tribalism

  11. nnenne

    February 20, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Wow!
    Nigeria is now corruption free.
    Buhari”s administration is the best!
    But can anyone imagine, if GEJ did what Buhari is doing now in London?
    Some people are really sacred cows.

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