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Osinbajo at 60

Even though Vice  President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who has been Acting President of Nigeria for the past seven weeks,  celebrated his 60th birthday on March…

Even though Vice  President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who has been Acting President of Nigeria for the past seven weeks,  celebrated his 60th birthday on March 8 with little fanfare, it is a major milestone  in the life of this important Nigerian. Attaining the age of 60 in good health and with a very good track record of public service and private life is worth a lot of celebration. 

Born on March 8, 1957 to Mr. Opeoluwa and Madam Bisi Osinbajo, he attended Corona Primary School, Lagos and   Igbobi College Yaba, Lagos  from 1969-1975. He then went to the University of Lagos, where he read Law. Osinbajo was at the Nigeria Law School in 1979 and later went to London School of Economics for his Master’s Degree in 1981, where he bagged a Masters in Law. He was then employed as a law lecturer at the University of Lagos in 1981 and he rose after a few years to the position of Senior Lecturer at the university.

From 1988-92, Osinbajo was Legal Adviser to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Prince Bola Ajibola. He became Professor of Law and Head of Department of Public Law of the University of Lagos from 1997-1999.  He then became the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice from 1999 to 2007. Osinbajo came to national limelight when the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari chose him as his running mate in December 2014. The rest as they say is history as they won the 2015 election.

The Vice President has been an achiever throughout his life because he won awards such as State Merit Award in 1971, the School Prize for English Oratory in 1972 and Elias Prize for Best Performance in History (WASC) in 1973. Osinbajo, who   is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, is a member of Nigeria Bar Association, International Bar Association, Nigerian Body of Benchers and Council of Legal Education in Nigeria. He also contributed chapters to many books. 

He has been widely praised for his ability and sense of proportion in steering the ship of the nation as Acting President of Nigeria when President Muhammadu Buhari was in the United Kingdom on medical vacation, before he came back last Friday. Osinbajo led other government officials to receive Buhari at the Presidential Villa. We commend him for being level headed and he did not heed the incitement of the people that wanted to put a wedge between him and the President by unnecessarily comparing them and portraying him as better than the president.

Suddenly all those people who were castigating the Buhari Administration  turned around and were praising Osinbajo, adamant on creating a division between the two men. The “comparison” was totally unnecessary because the presidential ticket is a joint one and it is not valid without either party. Even though President Buhari and Prof Osinbajo were not known to be well known to each other or close political allies before fate thrust them together in 2014, they have worked with exemplary harmony since they took over the presidency last year. 

Even when the president was around, Osinbajo faithfully discharged both his statutory duties, such as presiding over the National Economic Council, and those duties assigned to him by the president. In particular, he took up the challenge assigned to him to lead the way for negotiating a lasting peace with communities and restive elements in the Niger Delta. He always did so with grace, with passion and he brought the full impact of his solid background as a lawyer, academic, public servant and pastor to bear on his duties.

We congratulate Professor Yemi Osinbajo on attaining the age of 60. We thank him for his dedicated service to the country and we urge him not to relent in the face of the many challenges that confront the Buhari Administration and this country as a whole.

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