Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is trying to puncture the established sentiment that tension will always mark the relationship between a vice president from the south and a president from the north in Nigeria–or vice versa.
In a series of tweets by his media handler Laolu Akande on Thursday, Osinbajo, visiting Katisna to launch an SME scheme, was excited telling Katsina’s emir President Muhammadu Buhari is a big brother, and, in the same breath, a father.
“I feel very much at home in Katsina. More so, because this is the state of the President who has taken me as a brother,” Osinbajo told HRH Abdulmumin Usman.
“In fact, the President has taken me as a son in the way he treats me.”
But political observers believe the 60-year-old law professor is just trying to be a good guy by managing the tension.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice President Atiku Abubakar grew apart in their second term between 2003 and 2007. And the rift has kept widening since then.
Many, including the northerners, believe the southwest led by APC leader Bola Tinubu spearheaded Buhari’s nomination and victory in the 2015 election.
Some however observe a group of power grabber from the north, including Buhari’s Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, and his nephew Mamman Daura, are trying to edge the Yoruba out of the power loop.
Kyari, in particular, is said to have been manipulating Buhari to put Osinabjo in hos proper place—as the second fiddle.
Kyari’s latest move to undercut the vice president was in the third letter Buhari transmitted to the National Assembly before he travelled back to the U.K on Sunday for medical attention.
Aso Rock officials, according to Sahara Reporters, confirmed Kyari tucked in the phrase that generated some hee-haws when Sen. President Bukola Saraki read the letters to the upper chamber.
The letter indicated Osinbajo will be “coordinating all government activities” while Buhari will be away–a wide departure from the previous letters expressing that the Vice President becomes “Acting President” as the constitution demands.
“Abba Kyari has some explanation to make to the President who was completely taken by surprise,” the online portal quoted an Aso Rock official as saying.
But Osinbajo probably is having a blast doing whatever he is assigned to do either when Buhari is around or abroad.
“The amount of responsibilities President Buhari has given me shows he seriously believes we can live together as brothers,” Osinbajo said.