Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday April 30th, shared the journey that led him to become the Vice President of Nigeria. Speaking at the Platform Abuja, Osinbajo narrated how his drive for integrity and forthrightness led him and some others to form a group of concerned professionals that will speak against corruption. According to Vanguard, Osinbajo also narrated his clash with the Abacha government and how providence brought him and Buhari together as running mates
“Permit me to begin (the speech) with a story about myself. All my adult life, I have always believed that our country was performing far below its potentialities, in practically every aspect of life. In governance, corruption was always so outrageous that it made the majority poor and development almost impossible. Law and order was always a problem, usually no consequence for wrong-doing. Doing business and even our daily existence have always been difficult, no power, no fuel. Getting anything done in government establishments, a nightmare of delay and extortion. So as a conscious decision, I joined various pressure groups. From human rights groups to good governance advocacy groups. In 1995, I co- founded an organization called Integrity, an anti-corruption organization. I joined various think tanks and professional groups, including the Concerned Professionals. Under the Abacha regime we Concerned Professionals, one day gathered at Yaba Bus-stop and some were thoroughly beaten by Police and the Army. From that day on, people disappeared and did not show up again. I served as a two-term Attorney- General in Lagos State and pushed reforms in governance and the justice sector, I believed and continued to believe that the Nigerian people deserve better lives. In December 2014, the unexpected happened; I was nominated as Vice Presidential candidate to then General Muhammadu Buhari.”
Osinbajo recalled that he was still a young man when Buhari became head of State
“As a young university lecturer, then I was impressed by his, President Buhari’s single-minded fight against corruption and indiscipline. There was a serious war against indiscipline. For the first time, government held corrupt officers accountable. 30 years later, providence brought us together. A retired general now and a Professor of Law. We both believed that our country needed to change. We argued about how and what needed to be done. We reached consensus on many of the major issues. Certainly our country need a different set of values; a new way of doing business; an economy that is able to give opportunity to young people to work in their chosen professions and to build strong and profitable businesses. We knew that we had to provide social protection for the poorest and the most vulnerable. We recognised that innovation and change will be key, and that we must implement and not just talk about diversification of our economy. So we led our party’s campaign on that single, simple, but profound word, CHANGE! Nearly a year on- there are many problems and many have asked where is the change? Is this the change we voted for? Even some fifth columnists in our midst have suggested bring back corruption! “But let me just say here for the records that the government of Muhammadu Buhari is completely and irrevocably committed to change”.