The Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD), a political group in Nigeria, has raised the alarm over fresh plans by some elements to rehash old, baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
One of such ploys, the group said, was allegation by the Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, in an interview with a tabloid during the weekend.
The ISD, which noted that the allegation was baseless, untrue and laughable, described it as another calculated attempt to disparage a good, upright and honest man who is committed to the true progress of the country.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Peter Oladele, the ISD said that it was clear that the Vice President is one of the most loved and balanced public office holders, who offered equal opportunities to all around him irrespective of tribe, religion and other differences. It noted that Osinbajo’s impact on the lives of average Nigerians cuts across all religions, tribes and other divides.
The group noted that contrary to claims by the elements behind the rehashed unfounded allegations, the highest ranking officer in the Office of the Vice President is the deputy Chief of Staff who happens to be Ade Abdulrahman Ipaye, a Muslim while other senior aides of the Vice Presidents are Muslims.
”The highest ranking officer in the Office of the Vice President is the deputy Chief of Staff who happens to be Ade Abdulrahman Ipaye, a Muslim. His Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters is Dr. Bilkisu Saidu while the SSA/Director of Protocol is Ambassador Abdullahi Gwary from Yobe State,” the ISD added.
The group, which harped on Osinbajo’s detribalised nature, said that only a few weeks ago, the fearless northern lawmaker, Senator Ali Ndume, expressed his satisfaction about the manner the Vice President prioritised the welfare of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northeast, adding that that Osinbajo was very passionate about humanitarian crisis in Borno.
It said: “Recently, Prof. Osinbajo organised the construction of a world-class school in Borno State (Maiduguri International School) and this was before the former governor of the state, Kashim Shettima, named a world-class school (The Yemi Osinbajo Primary School) after him because of his contribution to the state.
“Then there is a case of little Aisha Ibrahim, a Boko Haram victim whom the Vice President met during a surprise visit to Maiduguri. According to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ibrahim Goni Lawani, Prof. Osinbajo personally covered the costs of the operation, including flying in a U.S.-based skin surgeon, Prof. Ferdinand Ofodile, to conduct a corrective surgery.
“The question that Nigerians should ask Junaid Mohammed is simple, is Prof. Osinbajo from Borno State? Or are all the people from that state from his church? It’s ludicrous that people are trying to tarnish the name of a good man.”
The ISD, wondering why the politician could make such baseless allegations, noted that even the ordinary man on the street will find his accusation of tribalism laughable and ridiculous because Prof. Osinbajo is one of the few politicians in Nigeria that relates freely with everybody across the country irrespective of social or academic status.
According to ISD, “The Vice President flows freely with market women and artisans across the country. He attends Muslim events and has never been drawn along with this nonsensical allegation. He is an upright man and a leading light in this administration.”
The ISD, however, urged those behind the rehashed allegation to allow the Vice President focus on the task of making Nigeria work for all citizens with President Muhamamdu Buhari, instead of embarking on a campaign of calumny with frivolous and unsubstantiated allegations.
“They should allow the Vice President to focus on the task at hand which is supporting the President in governance and delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians who voted himself and President Muhammadu Buhari into office for a second term,” it said.
It urged Nigerians to ignore elements who seek to divide the country along religious and ethnic lines, stressing that they are up to no good.