Osinbajo: Celebrating Nigeria’s ‘Star Boy’ at 62, by Abdullahi Yunusa

Abdullahi Yunusa
Abdullahi Yunusa

I really have no idea of how or when the sobriquet, “Star Boy” became part of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s name. But I know for a fact that the pet name is popular among young people, especially on the social media, who are inspired by the erudite law professor’s simple, exemplary and humble lifestyle.

There is absolutely something unique about Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s personality which endears him to many, especially the Nigerian youths. Given the way he freely interacts, relates and reaches out to Nigerians during most of his official outings, many see and regard him as a true friend of the common man.

President Muhammadu Buhari wasn’t wrong when he entrusted his administration’s Social Investment Programmes into his hands. His choice of Professor Osinbajo as the chief implementor of the scheme tells of the importance government attaches to it. Such an important and very critical assignment of ensuring that every Nigerian, especially the common people directly feel the impact of governance requires a man of impeccable character and integrity for it to succeed.

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Professor Yemi Osinbajo has not only acquitted himself in the transparent manner he discharges his responsibility as the coordinator of SIP, but has displayed capacity, competence and accountability in the handling of the various components of the entire programme. The general consensus out there is that the SIP initiative which is principally targeted at empowering ordinary Nigerians is the most impactful, transparent and accountable social intervention programme ever introduced in our chequered political history as a country. Nigerians have since taken ownership of the various aspects of the SIP scheme which has for the very first time brought government closer to the people.

Professor Osinbajo, like his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, is so passionate about the welfare of Nigerians, which he said occupies a significant position in the overall programme of the President Buhari administration. The Vice President has continued to reiterate government’s resolve to touch the lives of all Nigerians through faithful implementation of all government programmes and policies.

The truth is, Nigerians, especially the youths are happy with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s style of handling official matters. There is hardly a day that the Vice President isn’t out there interacting with ordinary Nigerians on how best to meet their yearnings and aspirations. Apart from sitting to hold regular talk sessions with the youths, market women, artisans and petty traders across markets, Professor Osinbajo always welcomes suggestions, ideas, criticisms and opinions on how to achieve the Nigeria of our dream. One outstanding attribute of the Vice President is that he’s a listening leader. He believes strongly in the fact that every Nigerian should have something to offer in our desire to develop our dear nation.

By now, Professor Osinbajo’s security men have become so used to the huge crowd of Nigerians that often struggle to see or have a handshake with him during his numerous official outings. He’s made himself very accessible and easy to locate. I’ve lost count of the number of youth-based programmes that Professor Osinbajo has graced and held frank discussions with young Nigerians. He’s made it a point of duty to always honour such invitations himself, an indication of the fact he attaches much importance to issues that pertain to our youths.

Only recently at the 30th Biennial Conference of the Student Christian Movement of Nigeria held at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd, Enugu, urged youths to see themselves as key players in Nigeria’s march to greatness, adding that contrary to the belief that the young people were the leaders of tomorrow, the time for the youths to showcase themselves was now.

Even when he hosted a delegation of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement, sometime ago he charged them to remain steadfast and committed to the task of realizing our full potential as a country.

“My dear young people, we need your energy, passion, charisma and creative abilities in our march to greatness. The time has come for all of you be deeply involved in politics and governance,” he said.

Nigerians are always pleased to see the country’s number two citizen visit towns, villages and cities to explain government’s programmes and policies to the masses across markets, bus stations, campuses and social gatherings. This is a complete departure from the way and manner officials of past governments treated us. We now welcome top government functionaries to our homes, not the other way round.

This is one task the VP is so passionate about. He clearly understands the fact that it is the responsibility of elected and appointed government officials to keep the people abreast of developments, especially on issues of welfare and security.

It is our expectation that the Vice President, under whose office and supervision the SIP scheme is domiciled, would continue to do his very best to ensure that the various components of the scheme like the N-POWER, Conditional Cash Transfer, MSMES Clinics, Trader Moni, Farmer Moni, Market Moni etc are meaningfully implemented in line with the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Once more, happy 62nd birthday anniversary to our dear VP.

Mr Yunusa wrote from Abuja.