By Jimmy Fatunbi
A renowned constitutional lawyer and Coordinator, Progressive Lawyers For Osinbajo, PYO, Dr. Kayode Ajulo has said the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, does not need an ultimatum to declare interest to run as President in the 2023 election, saying the VP’s becoming the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the next presidential election is constitutional and non-negotiable.
He said Vice President Osinbajo will make official declaration at the appropriate time, and even contrary to speculations that the number two citizen may not contest despite calls from loyalists and associates.
Ajulo stated this while reacting to the 30 days ultimatum given to the Vice President by a pro-APC group, National Coalition Group, NCG, asking him to officially declare interest to run for the Office of the President, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
“It is an unpopular speculation that Prof. Osinbajo may not contest as president in 2023. We have even moved beyond the pedestrian stage of thinking if PYO will run or not. It is a prescribed arrangement and we are already preparing for a Prof. Osinbajo’s presidency because he represents everything Nigeria deserves at this crucial times.
“Though, we all have been expecting but Prof. Osinbajo has not declared because of the magnitude of responsibilities on his desk as the incumbent vice-President, which are huge and very important to national development and cannot be merged with a presidential campaign that demands very much time dedication too. And we shouldn’t expect a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and full Professor of law to jump the gun, there’s electoral law and guidelines and he mustn’t be found wanting.
“For me, this is another evidence of the VP’s unwearying characteristics of a dutiful man who is committed to the law and development of the country, and would not rank it above focusing on seeking a political office, an office of the president for that matter.” Ajulo said.
The former National Secretary of the Labour Party said Osinbajo is arguably the best face of the APC for the 2023 election, saying it is not over with the APC presidency, despite many known challenges, with Prof. Osinbajo as the candidate of the party in the election.
He said “We are in a democracy. But the unfortunate reality of the 2023 political calculation is that Prof. Osinbajo is the only credible candidate the APC can present for the election. He’s loved both locally and internationally, and equally enjoys the support of Nigerians across board.
“Prof. Osinbajo will contest and win the 2023 election and his campaigns will be done within the ambit of rules and laws, and in accordance with INEC guidelines as against other aspirants’ campaign procedures we have seen in recent times.”
Ajulo, recounting his earlier statements on the presidential ambition of the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, claimed that the former Lagos State Governor is one of the major leaders supporting the Vice President for 2023 contest.
He also said all political steps and strategies of Tinubu towards the 2023 election is in favour of the Vice President.
“No genuine supporter of PYO will abuse Asiwaju because of his presidential ambition. He is no novice in this political game. I can bold say that Asiwaju is strategically working for Vice President Osinbajo, judging by his moves.
“Without any iota of doubt, all the meetings and consultations Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is presently doing will eventually be in favour of Prof. Osinbajo. Asiwaju is so calculative and whoever has been following his political moves lately will understand the gimmick that Asiwaju is out to ensure the 2023 presidency is truly for the southwest.
“Osinbajo is Asiwaju’s political creation and no creator will allow such a beautiful and convincing work of his hands fail. Now, and as at last count, there are over 126 professional, cultural, political groups across the country working for Prof. Osinbajo.” Ajulo claimed.
Ajulo further said he is baffled that some people equate the demands of office of the Vice President to demands of office of the President, saying the responsibilities of both offices are separately and clearly defined by the Nigerian constitution.
“Let me add this for the enlightenment of the people who, out of finding no substantial fault of him, have questioned the competence of Vice President under the present administration and expect him to operate beyond his constitutional marks. Prof. Osinbajo is a Senior Advocate of Law, and would never jump the gun. He understands that his roles as the Vice President have been cut clear by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“There cannot be two drivers on the wheel, his brief as the VP is to take charge in the absence of his Principal, and that he excellently did in the few times he spent on the driver’s seat, which marked a resounding of the hope we seek as a nation”. Ajulo said.