With few days to the special presidential convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a member the Osinbajo presidential campaign organisation has promised to accommodate and feed delegates supporting the ambition of the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Worse, the chieftain of the campaign organisation also threatened journalists with violence from security operatives if they did not leave the venue of the Vice President’s meeting with delegates in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Last week, another aspirant, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) angrily ordered journalists out of the venue of a meeting with PDP delegates, leading to disdainful remarks from some of those present.
In Minna, Journalists were ordered out of the conference hall where Professor Osinbajo was to meet APC delegates or security agents will be invited to throw them out.
The aide to the Vice President, before the arrival of his principal to the venue, told already seated journalists to immediately vacate the hall, adding that the meeting was strictly APC family affair between the aspirants and the delegates.
“I’m appealing to you all to kindly leave now before any one is manhandled by the security agencies, I am also a journalist, I would not like that to happen and that is why I am telling you to leave us now,” he said.
Turning to the delegates, he assured them that the campaign team of the Vice President had made enough arrangements for them to be comfortable and enjoy their stay at Abuja during the Presidential primary scheduled for the Eagles’ Square.
“We the partners and friends to Osinbajo have made adequate arrangements for your accommodation, feeding and the general welfare of all delegates, in fact the hotel reservation we made is to ensure that each delegate is entitled to a room to him or herself, we don’t want a man to share a room with a woman who is not his wife”.
“There will be a desk officer at all the hotels where you are accommodated who will attend to all your needs, in case you need anything. Buses will be provided to convey you to the venue”.
“We want you as delegates to carry out this assignment and also enjoy yourselves while in Abuja for the conference and in carrying out the assignment”.
“If he emerges President in February, 2023, Osinbajo will review the reward system of the party to ensure that all those that contributed to the success of the party will get political appointments.
“Every President has about 20,000 jobs he can offer, our thinking is that, since we have just a little over 7,000 plus delegates, they should be compensated accordingly for sacrifices and commitments towards the success of the party, he assured.
Each of the over 300 delegates were made to give their details which were written by some female officials in the team.
It could not be confirmed if the delegates bank account details were provided because newsmen were not allowed near the table where the exercise took place.
Later, the vice president and presidential aspirant came into the auditorium with his host and Governor of Niger state, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.
Addressing the delegates, the Vice President promised to bring an end to the spate of insecurity in the country.
In continuation of his consultations with stakeholders and delegates of APC, Osinbajo restated his dedication to diligently serve the country just as he received more commendations, including from the Niger State Governor and the Emir of Minna.
The Vice President was warmly received on arrival in Minna, the Niger State capital, by an enthusiastic crowd lining the streets, as the VP’s convoy drove into the city to the palace of the Emir of Minna, Alh. Umar Faruq Bahago.
The Emir, in the company of other traditional chiefs, welcomed the VP warmly and prayed for the success of his aspiration and campaign to be president.
“I admire your loyalty (to President Muhammadu Buhari) and I pray for your good success,” the Emir said to Prof. Osinbajo.
Prof. Osinbajo, who formally informed the Emir of his aspiration and sought royal blessings, restated that his decision to put himself forward was to serve the country wholly with his knowledge and experience.
Thanking the Emir for the very warm welcome, the VP said, “Your Highness, you know I have served as Vice President for seven years. I’ve been exposed to many aspects of governance under President Muhammadu Buhari…. learning how to balance the various complications and demands of our society.
“One thing that I am certain about is that God has given me all those experiences for a certain purpose, and I think that that purpose is now, when the President will leave at the end of May, 2023, and we will have a new President.”
With the ongoing revamping and reengineering of the nation’s security architecture by the Buhari administration, the Vice President noted that the country will be better prepared to tackle and resolve the current security challenges and be better prepared going forward.
Later on, the VP, who had been warmly received by the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, proceeded to the venue of the meeting with the State’s APC delegates, accompanied by the Governor.
“Your Excellency, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, our presidential aspirant, Insha Allah,” Governor Bello, said as he introduced the VP to the State’s delegates.
“Your Excellency, for Nigeria to become a more progressive and well-developed country, we must pay attention to the quality of leadership, starting from the ward level.
“And I can assure you all our ward executives and delegates in Niger State are responsible people because they were carefully selected. They are men and women of high integrity… I believe the delegates are eager to hear from you. Not many of them have had the privilege of seeing the Vice President live.”
At the meeting, Prof. Osinbajo interacted widely with the delegates in a robust Question-and-Answer session, where he spoke about and responded to several national issues; including addressing economic and security challenges, youth empowerment, technology, education and health, expanding the Social Investment Programmes, more inclusivity for women in government, among others.
The VP also spoke about the North East Children’s Trust (NECT), which he championed and helped establish in Borno State, to provide quality education and cater for the welfare of vulnerable children in the North-East affected by the insurgency.
“For me, one of the most important things as a politician, and leader, is the desire to serve our people,” Prof. Osinbajo emphasized.
Many of the delegates expressed appreciation to the Vice President for his commitment and significant role in President Buhari’s administration, for showing “sound leadership” as deputy to President Buhari and when he was acting president.
The Vice President was accompanied on the trip by former Governor of Kano State and current member of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Kabiru Gaya.
The VP returned to Abuja, but continues his nationwide consultations with the APC stakeholders in Rivers and Katsina States on Thursday.