Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has shown a gulf of class between him and other Vice Presidential candidates when he blew his compatriots away with his insight on constitutional, economic, security and social development issues.
Osinbajo who is seeking reelection in office alongside incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, riveted his class as the best Vice President in Nigeria’s history.
Osinbajo a proficient orator and inarguably Nigeria’s favourite Vice President proved that he was no fluke as he displayed his dexterity, aura and finesse at the Vice Presidential debate which held at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The debate organized by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) had four other Vice Presidential candidates in attendance, Peter Obi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ganiyu Galadima of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN); Khadija Abdullahi-Iya of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Umma Getso of Young Progressive Party (YPP).
Stating categorically how the ruling government will take Nigerians to the next level when re-elected, Osinbajo noted that the government will continue to build on infrastructure and human capital development.
“What we intend to do is to build on what we are doing and that is why we are talking of the Next Level. We have moved 24 places up on the Ease of Doing Business,” the Vice President said at the debate.
“We need to improve power transmission, we need to improve our rail and road infrastructure to boost our economy, the Vice President explained.
He also stated that, “foreign Investment will come when we create an environment for local industries. We are also looking at the taxation regime and will continue to ensure that small and medium businesses continue to thrive.”
He however drew the biggest cheer of the debate when he replied Peter Obi, the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP insinuated that the ruling All Progressives Congress had left its shop and was chasing thieves.
In response, Prof Osinbajo said, “If you allow criminals to steal all the inventories in the shop, there will be no shop. That’s the problem and the World Bank said that corruption is the major impediment to Nigeria’s development.
Speaking on power, Osinbajo said, “I think the common denominator between the two countries you mentioned is the strong infrastructure,” the VP said referring to the mention of China and South Africa, adding that,
While under President Buhari, power generation capacity has climbed up to a high of 7,000 MW, the Vice President pointed out that “Our nation in the past 16 years has suffered a major infrastructure deficit. So, we don’t have rails, roads. When we came into power in 2015, power was 4,000MW in 16 years,”
“So, you need strong infrastructure. No one can argue about it. The second thing is you cannot have a strong economy if you allow the type of grand corruption that has taken place in Nigeria in the last 16 years.”
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP was observed by many, especially on social media, to have been economical with some of the data he churned out. He had claimed that Nigeria had over 2 million cars, however checks from data released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that in the third quarter of 2017 alone, there were over 11.5 Million cars in the country.
Social media users took on this issue and have made posts calling out the Vice Presidential Candidate.
After the two hour, 30 minutes debate, the Vice Presidential candidates were awarded certificates of participation after which they took a group photograph.