By Bunmi Awoyemi
I have always argued against bringing in religious considerations into the decision of who will run for President and who will be running mate to that person in the APC. If the APC is going to opt for a Muslim/Chistian ticket for strategic reasons and Fashola is going to be sacrificed because of that, my analysis of a winning ticket is beginning to tilt in the direction of renowned law Professor, top Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor and former Lagos State Attorney General for eight years , Pastor(Professor) Yemi Oshibajo.
This wise choice guarantees the votes of those Christians in the North Central, South South, South West and South East who believe in the APC’s programs but may not be comfortable with a muslim/muslim Presidential ticket. With Pastor(Professor) Oshibajo on the ticket, the perceived baggage that Buhari carries will be more than compensated for. With this ticket, General Overseers of major Nigerian Churches will be eager to bless the ticket because one of their sons in Ministry will be on the ticket. They will gladly lay hands on Buhari/Oshibajo praying for God to give them courage, wisdom and the fear of God’s awesomeness to govern fairly, justly, efficiently and skillfully. After all the bible says “once have you spoken and twice have I heard that power belongs to God.” They will need the God that power belongs to to lead them in the right direction. The Bible says that footsteps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.
The PDP has made religion and tribe the center-piece of its bigoted Presidential campaign by highlighting and focusing squarely on the perception that Buhari is a religious zealot. With Pastor Oshibajo on the ticket that religious card will become obsolete. GEJ will be left with the tribal card which would have to be countered with massive TV, Radio, Newspaper and internet adverts. With the Buhari/Oshibajo ticket the APC will get a comfortable margin of victory on the first ballot but aggressive campaigning is a sine qua non to that outcome.
The biography of Pastor(Professor) Yemi Oshibajo is worth perusing:
Yemi Osinbajo is the senior partner at SimmonsCooper Partners. Yemi is a professor of law and a former attorney-general of Lagos state and commissioner for justice. He is also a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Yemi was educated at the University of Lagos, Nigeria (LLB, 1978) and the London School of Economics (LLM, 1980). He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1979. He has authored several books on civil procedure in Nigerian superior courts, rules of evidence and justice reform.
Yemi has 31 years of litigation experience including significant trial and appellate work. Yemi supervises the commercial litigation group at SimmonsCooper Partners (SCP), a leading commercial litigation and corporate commercial firm in Nigeria. With a multi-jurisdictional competence spanning Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom, SCP fuses sound legal counsel with superior advocacy, and personal and responsive service. SCP provides a very comprehensive and integrated range of litigation, transactional, advisory and several support services to a vast array of clients.
Yemi has conducted very important constitutional and precedential cases before the Nigerian Supreme Court. Some of these include fiscal disputes between the federating units and the federal government; disputes regarding the ownership and control of oil and gas resources; town and physical planning disputes between the federating units and the federal government; an international territorial jurisdictional dispute in the West African sub-regional court; shareholder disputes involving a multinational, private investors and state-owned investment corporations and energy disputes arising from multinational participation in power projects in Nigeria. In other cases, Yemi has advised and represented clients in a broad range of commercial and corporate issues including securities litigation, investments and divestments, joint ventures, oil block acquisitions, product liability, fiduciary duties of directors, intellectual property, and corporate valuations. He is also involved in statutory and regulatory appraisal representation before the legislature and federal and state agencies.
While in public office as attorney general, Yemi is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reform in Lagos state, addressing critical areas as judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline. In addition, he addressed access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender and the Citizens Mediation Centre. In honour of his contributions to legal reform and the development of law in Nigeria, a compendium of essays on Nigerian constitutional law was compiled. The authors of these essays were senior lawyers and law professors with a foreword provided by a past chief justice of Nigeria.
Yemi is a member of the International Bar Association and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and has served in the Nigerian Body of Benchers and the Council for Legal Education of Nigeria. He is currently an independent director of CitiBank Nigeria and an ethics adviser to the board of the Africa Development Bank. He has also served in various capacities within the United Nations Organisation. Yemi speaks frequently at several commercial litigation events locally and internationally. He is actively involved in the pursuit of legal education reform in Nigeria.
This biography is an extract from Who’s Who Legal: Nigeria
The author of this article, Bunmi Awoyemi, Ph.D is a public affairs analyst, international lawyer, author and entrepreneur.