The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, says Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo lost at his polling unit at Victoria Garden City, Lagos, because he was the victim of an elite conspiracy and tribalism.
Apart from winning at Osinbajo’s polling unit, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won the entire Eti Osa Local Government where VGC is situated.
Ojudu, who accompanied Osinbajo on many of his campaigns, including the ‘TraderMoni’ distribution, said this in a piece titled, The Battle Osinbajo Couldn’t Win.
He wrote, “In a period of two months, he must have visited VGC more than 15 times.
“Town hall meeting here, parlour meeting there and street walk there. He met with professionals and engaged resident associations, just as he spoke with people of faith.
“At the end of the elections, they still did not let him deliver his unit.
“I have received many calls and text messages asking what happened? It is not far-fetched. It is a combination of ethnicity, elite mentality and living in the midst of people who the policies of the administration do not favour.
“As we held those meetings, I saw it coming and remarked to colleagues that coming to VGC and appealing to the voters there may be a waste of time. I could see it in their utterances, in their body language.”
The President’s aide said many of the residents of VGC who voted against Osinbajo had complained during some town hall meetings that the Vice-President failed to help them tackle the challenge of flooding in the estate or build a stadium for them.
The ex-lawmaker said some of the persons who complained comprised importers who had lost money due to the curbing of importation by the Buhari government.
He said many even went as far as insulting the Vice-President, but Osinbajo remained undeterred and continued to campaign.
Ojudu added, “There were cases of some fellows who had nothing to say than ‘Osinbajo you have come now and you didn’t bring kola how do you want us to vote for you again’, kola in the local parlance meaning money or bribe.
“And this is a supposed elite location. I was shocked hearing this. Some said since he was elected they expected him to have donated a mini stadium in VGC. Some wanted him to have solved their problem of flooding. A fellow said he and Buhari stand blamed for the loss of his would have been first child who died when his pregnant wife walked into electrified flood water in his house.
“One expressed disgust at his men parking in front of his gate. Another accused him of lying that the 2nd Niger Bridge project has taken off. Every effort to convince him was ignored and he kept interjecting until Osinbajo moved on to other topics.”
Ojudu said the Vice-President, who is originally from Ogun State but has lived most of his life in Lagos, could have decided to change his polling unit, but he decided to remain in VGC out of conviction.
He said Osinbajo could have registered to vote in Somolu, Lagos, where he schooled and where his mother still lives; but he decided to vote in VGC because he believed he could still touch the hearts of the residents.
The ex-lawmaker wrote, “Yes Osinbajo lost the vote in his neighbourhood of VGC. VGC is not his constituency, certainly not. He could easily have gone to vote in Ikenne, his ancestral home where he is deeply loved and referred.
“He could have queued to vote in the Somolu area of Lagos where he was born and raised and where his aged mother lives and is adored. He could still have chosen to cast his vote in Akoka, on the premises of University of Lagos where he taught and taught for many years and his unit could have embraced him and give him a landslide victory but Osinbajo is one who never runs away from a problem. He will dig his teeth in it until he is able to bite through.
“Knowing him he will not quit VGC until he is able to make the new money residents see reason. Left to me he ought to move his base to that glorious abode of late Obafemi Awolowo, a place of history, a community that is synonymous with progressive politics and intellectual pursuit.”