Professor Osinbajo And The Moses Comparison, By Sunday James Akinloye

Like many Nigerians, I have read the constant comparisons between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Moses in the Bible. Most of these writers have little knowledge about the character of Moses, but for some reasons they believe that they have earned the right to misconstrue people.

In all fairness, I don’t know where the comparison between Moses and Prof. Osinbajo started but one thing is clear, the writers didn’t attend Sunday School as kids and have also spent very little time reading the Bible.

Like Moses, Prof. Osinbajo alongside President Muhammadu Buhari liberated Nigeria from the hands of corrupt rulers that had ruled for 16 years. Nigeria was on the brink and God needed to send someone to salvage the situation. He looked at the land and picked two men of integrity.

Unlike Moses, Prof. Osinbajo is not the outright leader here, he is the deputy to the leader, a role similar to that of Aaron but that has never been the basis for these writers who are bent on twisting the narrative of the Bible.

The question none of them will never answer is why did the children of Israel spend 40 years in the wilderness when they should have spent just 40 days? It was due to their disobedience and unbelief. Are you seeing a pattern here?

God has sent two men of integrity to free Nigeria from the shackles but there are some that will complain until they force God to do the unthinkable. Despite all what Moses did, there were some children of Israel who were wise in their own eyes and who questioned Moses and God.

Upon their arrival at Kadesh Barnea, twelve spies were sent to survey the Promise Land and its people (Numbers 13:18-25) but the spies returned after forty days of exploration. Ten of the spies had a bad report: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. All the people we saw were of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes” (Numbers 13:31-33).

Only Joshua and Caleb dissented (Numbers 14:6-7). Believing the report of the ten doubters, the people lost heart and rebelled. They “raised their voices and wept aloud,” grumbling against Moses and Aaron, saying, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword” (Numbers 14:1-2, emphasis added).

Again, do you see a pattern? These writers have often pontificated on how the PDP years were ‘better’, they even had a hashtag #BringBackOurCorruption to go with it. On how money was flowing everywhere, on how PPP is better than government’s direct involvement in infrastructure, among others. Just like the children of Israel, nothing is ever enough.

Here’s what happened next, Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them” (Numbers 14:11).

Moses once again interceded for his people and turned away the wrath of God (Numbers 14:13-20). Although God did forgive them, He decided that “not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it” (Numbers 14:23). Rather, they would suffer by wandering in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each of the forty days they explored the land (Numbers 14:34).

Here is another pattern. Some people do not even know that they have incurred the wrath of God in Nigeria and would not reach the Promise Land as it is; they are still nagging God and the men he sent to take us to our Promise Land. Like the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait” but not these ones.

Back to the Bible, God would give them what they asked for: “I will do the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall, every one of you twenty years old or more” (Numbers 14:28-29).

The ten men who had given the bad report were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord (Numbers 14:37). Only Joshua and Caleb survived, the two faithful spies who believed God’s promise to give the land over to them.

There is a learning here, not only is the comparison of Prof. Osinbajo and Moses not accurate, those who nagged, moaned and groaned against God and his servant didn’t get to the Promise Land. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to criticize the leaders and even pastors, just know that there is a price if you do it with a wrong motive.

Like the saying goes, “A word is enough for the wise”.

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The Economist And Its Double Standard Poll Prediction, By Sunday James Akinloye

For those who take The Economist prediction as gospel, you might be in for a long haul because they do have a handful of failed poll predictions that has hurt their believers hard in times past.

In 2016, they put Hillary Clinton to the sword by falsely making her and her campaign team believe that they will win. Here’s how The Economist predicted the outcome of the 2016 election in the United States.

“Could it happen? Absolutely. But it would be a very, very big upset—about as likely as, say, the Chicago Cubs baseball team coming back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win their first World Series since 1908. So yeah, Hillary’s got this. Democrats, just ask a Cleveland Indians fan whether you have anything to worry about.”

We all know what happened at the end. Clinton lost and Trump won. The Economist misled them and billions across the world. Coming back home for a bit. In December 2018, The Economist predicted that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will win a second term in office and that the opposition will collapse.

The Economist in its edition, “The World in 2019” said: “The president, Muhammadu Buhari, will win re-election in February, as the new opposition coalition may collapse before the vote.

Just to state categorically, the quote from The Economist claimed two things. One is that President Buhari will be re-elected and that the opposition will collapse before the elections. One thing is clear, President Buhari is clear favourites to win if the campaign rallies across the country are anything to go by.

President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have embarked on a more proactive and people-oriented campaigns than any other party in Nigerian democratic history. The mammoth crowds at the rallies are also a confirmation that the presidential duo is loved.

Fast forward to February 2019, barely two weeks before the presidential election in Nigeria, the supposedly reputed magazine did a U-turn and claimed that the main opposition party will win.

Please stop for a minute and take a deep breath, do you expect the truth from a man who speaks from both sides of his mouth?

Little wonder, economic historian and professor of Economics, Bradford DeLong wrote this about The Economist, “As a longtime reader of The Economist, let me just say that in the past six years I have come to the conclusion that in five important issue areas–U.S. politics, U.S. economics, finance (U.S. and global), Middle Eastern politics, and African politics — anything The Economist states that I did not already know is likely to be wrong… And it’s the reason I pay much more attention these days to the Financial Times.”

In all fairness, there is nothing left of The Economist’s credibility when it comes to political calculations and predictions. Hopefully, The Economist will have the decency to apologise to Nigerians after the elections on 16 February.

Akinloye is President of Initiative to Save Democracy. He is a social commentator and political analyst

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There He Goes Again, By James Akinloye

*An editor of an otherwise respectable medium develops incurable obsession against a distinguished leader.

*The tale of a certain Abraham Ogbodo

Mr. Abraham Ogbodo seems to have an obsession with Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He is constantly searching for what next the Vice President would do – but if he was searching with good intent it would have been better, unfortunately for this suspicious journalist, he is always on the lookout for whatever the Vice President would do with the intent to malign his character. 

He claims to love him in his recent piece, ANOTHER SERMON ON PROFESSOR YEMI OSINBAJO, but I think he is mistaken love with perjorative obsession, and an embarrassing partisan slant that is easy to detect. Give it to him, Ogbodo knows what he is doing and the readers too understand his despicable mission. 

Right from 2014 that President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as APC presidential candidate, this man decided to submit himself to the task of attacking the candidate. But when Prof Osinbajo became running mate, the matter became for him a lasting mission to embarrass seeing the undoubtable value Osinbajo brought to the table.

His latest article is another example of expression of this unwholesome mission. He makes an attempt to deceive his readers by painting a scenario as if the Vice President goes to markets to handover N10,000 to TraderMoni beneficiaries. Deliberate misinformation. 

A click on Google to search for how the TraderMoni is disbursed by the Bank of Industry would have brought sense and clarity to Abraham’s position. Unfortunately his intent is to malign the Vice President and deceive his readers hence his conscious failure to make the necessary enquiries. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s visits to the markets have simply been to monitor the disbursements of these monies to the traders. He has never gone to the market to share money. The intent of the VP is simply to be with the people. Mr. Abraham may forget that leaders in government are elected for the people and there is nothing wrong whatsoever in the Vice President going to ensure a programme of the government is being carried out righteously. If Mr. Abraham Obodo is afraid that this will win the Vice President support, then he must be ready to live with this fear forever.

He fundamentally fails to understand that government is for the people and these traders are citizens as much as Governors, as much as Traditional Rulers, as much as Head of Parastatals and Agencies, and as much as business leaders who meet with the Vice President every now and then on official purposes. They are citizens as well and the Vice President has only shown himself to be a leader of the people by going down to meet with them and interact with them on their levels. It is unfortunate that his involvement in observing the disbursement of the Trader Moni loan scheme surprises people like Abraham. He  perhaps looks down on the poor, and believes that nothing should be done to salvage and elevate them. A thinking derived from an aloof elitist mindset that government should be for the few, the wealthy while abandoning the majority who are poor. 

Those baselessly making the accusation of electoral fraud are simply unaware and oblivious of the duties of government to the people at the least. Indeed if the government is working and fulfilling its promises to the people and that is termed vote buying then I think we need to encourage vote buying as an official practice.

Another item of controversy that Mr Abrahma raises in his opinion article is the Vice President’s comment vis-a-vis the conversation on the 2023 Presidency. 

This was an innocuous remark that has been taken out of context. The Vice President was only encouraging the South-Western region of the country to participate in deciding the equation of who produces the President in 2023. 

Misinterpreting him is only to subject a simple democratic and political issue to the pettiness of ethnicity. We must not pretend not to know how Nigeria’s politics operates.

It is expected as a matter of unspoken consensus that in 2023 power will shift to the south, and that means the contest to produce the President will be between the South-West, the South-South and the South-East regions. Each of the regions would have a place in the contest. 

The Vice President in a discussion with leaders in the South-West has only put forward the reality that the South-West must present itself as a relevant contender and one of them is delivering on votes to Professor Osinbajo’s party. This is a fundamental in democracy. 

Do we expect the Vice President to act as if he is not a member of the APC, or as if he does not want his region to contribute massively to the votes that would retain his party in power in 2023? 

In the same vain, Dr. Chris Ngige encouraging the South-East to throw in their votes as part of their own contribution to show that they are equally ready participants to contest for the position of President in 2023. 

Vice President Osinbajo would leave a grand legacy after his tenure in office. His landmark feats would stretch from his legal practice to his days as Attorney General of Lagos State to his role as Vice President – his legacies will certainly outlive him. The reforms he has made as Attorney General, the reforms he is  making as Vice President, his leadership style as chair of the National Economic Council, his astuteness, his brilliance and his management of the Social Investment Programmes that has invested and impacted the lives of over 15 million Nigerians will speak for him. Professor Osinbajo and his boss and partner, President Buhari have brought something different to the table of government: and that is government must not neglect the poor. An ideology they have held to heart in deploying resources of State for the Nigerian people. If Abraham Ogbodo’s obsession with the Vice President clogs his eyes to seeing this, millions of Nigerians can see it.

Sunday James Akinloye is a Democratic Rights Activist, Political Commentator and the President of the Initiative to Save Democracy Group (ISD)

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