Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday night cleverly avoided to be dragged into the raging controversy over who nominated him to be President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 presidential election.
Although he confirmed that “somebody somewhere” must nominate one before occupying a position, Osinbajo refrained from disclosing who nominated him.
Controversy broke out recently when the author of Buhari’s biography, “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria”, Prof. John Paden, claimed in the book that the President chose Osinbajo as his running mate despite the alleged opposition of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Despite the general belief that Tinubu was instrumental to the emergence of Osinbajo who served as his Attorney-General when he (Tinubu) was the governor of Lagos State, the author claimed that the names of Tinubu; the then Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and Osinbajo were forwarded to Buhari for him to pick a running mate shortly after he emerged the party’s candidate at its convention in Lagos.
The author claimed that Buhari chose Osinbajo above others despite enormous pressure from Tinubu to do otherwise.
Tinubu’s loyalists have since faulted the account of the author, saying he (Tinubu) nominated the Vice-President.
Speaking at a dinner organised for former Niger Delta agitators at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Osinbajo made a veiled reference to the controversy when he admitted that he was nominated by “somebody somewhere.”
He said, “I was in a group of young men and women and one of them asked the question how did I become Vice President?
“I was never a politician or anything like that. So I tried to explain it is quite simple that someone somewhere has to recommend you.
“Somebody somewhere has to give you a helping hand, whether to be a Vice President or to be an aircraft pilot or to be an engineer, somebody somewhere has to give you an opportunity.
“I think that all of you that are here today are the beneficiaries of the opportunities that you have somehow received. And this is why this event is so important. I think that it is one way we have to remind ourselves that we are bound as individuals to give opportunities to everyone.”
Osinbajo said all Nigerians, including the future generation, will remain losers once Niger Delta militants continue attacking oil and gas installations in the region.