Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has given an insight into how he became the number two citizen.Osinbajo’s explanation came against the backdrop of the controversy trailing a portion of a recently launched book by Prof John Paden on President Muhammadu Buhari, titled “Muhammadu Buhari: Challenges of Leadership.” The book claimed that Osinbajo emerged as vice president despite opposition by the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Paden had in the book stated that the former Lagos State governor had wanted the position for himself and not Osinbajo.The vice president said with Buhari coming from the north west geopolitical zone, the vice-presidency had been zoned to the south-west geopolitical zone.
Speaking at a dinner organised in honour of graduates and beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), at the Presidential Villa, Wednesday night, Osinbajo gave indications that he was not in the reckoning ab initio.
His words: “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 become 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.
The vice president assured the Niger Delta ex-agitators that a bright future awaits them on their successful completion of training as pilots, automobile and electric transformer technicians among other educational and vocational skills in Nigeria and foreign universities.
Congratulating the graduands, Osinbajo urged them to stop blowing up the oil pipelines in the zone considering its negative effects on the economy of the nation now and in the future.
He said that government had by the programme given them an opportunity to harness their God-given potential, urging them not to hesitate to also transfer the skills to others.
He said: “The future is here and your time has come. Just looking at you guys, I know that the future is bright. I see you becoming the great people that God has made.”
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator PAP, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd) revealed that the young men and women had excelled in their areas of human endeavour.
He said the Buhari-led administration was committed to addressing the challenges of the Niger Delta region and to give the youths in the area an opportunity to excel.
He added that some of the beneficiaries who majored in automobile were able to build a 30-feet coaster bus even as he called on some other agitators to join the programme.
“I wish to call on other agitators to join the programme. Violence is never the best way to achieving anything. You must all submit to peace in the Niger Delta area,” Boroh said.
One of the First Class graduates, Alexander Obiechina, who spoke on behalf of other graduands, called on the government to sustain the programme to accommodate others ex-agitators.
Out of the 260 outstanding graduands, 45 graduated with a first class while 171 graduated with Second-Class upper Division.