The Osinbajo That I Know, By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq
This is not a campaign effort, but rather a personal testimony of my own personal experience, of what I know, about Professor (Pastor) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hereinafter referred to as Pastor Prof.
Very amiable person, unusually humble, intelligent and God-fearing, a people’s man. I’d observed him more closely, after his appointment as the Attorney-General of Lagos State, given the bold policy reforms that he was pioneering, within the Lagos Judiciary, focusing more on accountability, transparency and good governance. I also knew him as head of a transparency initiative, committed to abolishing all forms of corrupt practices and abuses, in the public service.
During his tenure as Attorney-General of Lagos State, he facilitated electronic recording in the courts, spearheaded the radical amendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which has since been copied in most other states and indeed by the federal government, through an expanded ACJA. He created new judicial divisions for the courts and revolutionised the welfare packages of judges, magistrates and judicial staff. I can go on and on, but that is not all about the Osinbajo that I know.
He is a thorough bred intellectual, with profound knowledge of the Nigerian Law of Evidence, running a very successful legal practice, in Lagos. In no time, he was promoted a professor of law and was also elevated to the Inner Bar, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The real Osinbajo that I know is Pastor Prof, a thorough bred Christian of the old breed, committed to the work of social engineering and human transformation, through faith based projects. At the time, he was an Area Pastor of Jesus House, Ikoyi, which had become more like a haven for the transformation of the down trodden of the land. His wife, the ever youthful Mummy Dolapo, was always busy running an orphanage in the building next to the church, where teenage girls who have been abandoned and abused, were daily being impacted, transformed and rehabilitated. Jesus House had also become a place of transformation for prominent citizens in government, at the time. It was like a small family church. Believe me, Pastor Prof is a grassroots man, always so easily blending with the crowd.
Pastor Prof took the job of the Servant of the Lord, opted to be just the protocol officer of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of RCCG, and was always on ground as one of the comperes at major programmes in RCCG camp. He was so transparent and clean that at the time of his glorious exit from the service of Lagos State, the Governor had to convene a special executive council meeting, to deliberate on the kind of gift suitable for a man without any record of blemish. It was then decided that a plot of land be procured for him in a private estate in the Lekki area.
Pastor Prof is a consummate prayer warrior, always fasting and on his knees, most times. All the times that I met him in his modest apartment in the Redemption Camp at the time, he was always upstairs, praying, and I had to keep going and coming, for hours, in order to be able to catch up with him, on most occasions. Then I used to wonder in my mind, what else is this man praying for? But now I know much better.
Pastor Prof is a gentlemen to the core, so very natural and simple, with no taste for allurement and the mundane. Very sincere and open-minded. In his very modern chambers in Victoria Island, I had cause to work with him on some cases, and he is so very tolerant, even to a fault. On a particular day when he was to have his lunch, he called me inside his office, to join him. And I looked at the food, boiled potatoes and smoked fish! I was just thinking aloud in my mind, wondering if Prof knew that I could just empty the whole bunch in my system all at once! It was then I got to know that Prof thrives on fasting and prayers. Just that.
And eventually Pastor Prof was appointed a provincial pastor of RCCG, in high brow Banana Island, but Prof just remained Prof, nothing moving him, nothing changing him. Prior to that time, I had occasion to invite him as guest speaker, in the church where I pastored in Alagomeji area and later on in Lekki Phase 1. He was always dutiful, very humble and always so cheerful and full of jokes. And once he gets to like you, you just become more like his family. So on a particular day on one of those visits, I invited him on a tour of my area. Prof just jumped in and we drove off! I was shocked. Just like that? When he narrated to us in the church the amazing story of how Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN became Governor, we were thoroughly amazed. Prof is so very clinical in his presentations, both in court and on the pulpit.
He is fulfilled in virtually all areas of his endeavour. The dream of every academician is to become a professor, the highest position in any ministry is the Commissioner, the highest rank in the RCCG is that of a pastor and the highest office in Nigeria is that of the President, for which he served most creditably well, in acting capacity, on a few occasions. And of course the best an individual can be is to have a real relationship with Christ. And this is the Prof that I know; a child of God with incredible love and devotion to the kingdom assignment. Surprisingly, Prof does not believe in kingdom business as excise for non-performance, always stressing the need to balance the equities, in the interest of all.
Eventually Prof was nominated and elected Vice-President and I didn’t get to see much of him again save from a distance. It then happened that legal officers of RCCG were having a conference at the Redemption Camp and Prof was our guest speaker. I was trying to avoid him in a way, not sure of the protocol and security around him. Prof just strolled in and stayed in our midst, bantering away and throwing his usual jokes. And it was time for photographs after the seminar. As I was approaching, Prof just exclaimed and threw me a hi five, making himself available for a selfie! I was just wondering in my mind that this Prof just won’t change! So down to earth and humble!
However, since his sojourn in office, there’s been all manner of talks here and there, mostly political jabs and I will just be wondering in my mind if it’s the same Pastor Prof that people write and talk about. Most often times I’ll just call my wife and urge prayers for Prof, knowing how uneasy it can be, for the head that wears the crown.
Do I talk about his incredible energy and power for performance? May be another day, just may be.