The vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the February 14, 2015 election, Prof. Yemi Osibajo has revealed that he accepted the offer to become Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate only after receiving the permission of his spiritual father, Enoch Adeboye, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
There have been talks that Osibajo’s aspirations presents a dicey clash of interest for Adeboye, who is known to have prayed for PDP’s Goodluck Jonathan many times, most notably in the build-up to the 2011 election.
Osibajo, who is a pastor at the church, said he consulted Adeboye before launching out into politics but expressed surprise at his emergence as as Buhari’s running mate, especially as there were many qualified candidates.
Asked during an interview on Channels TV, if he got Adeboye’s consent on his bid, the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in lagos said “Of course. I certainly will not do anything without seeking the consent of Pastor E. A. Adeboye. I discussed with him in full.”
On what he was bringing into politics, he listed his motivation, experience and role as a pastor, which he said would help him in touching the lives of Nigerians.
“My emergence was a bit of surprise to me because some qualified people were on the list. I never thought it would possible. My message in the church is that it must be without walls.
“As a pastor, my role is to touch lives. I believe politics offers me a greater opportunity to touch many lives.”
Speaking about the capacity of Buhari, a former military ruler, to operate in a democratic setting, Osibajo admitted that Buhari had changed in the course of years.
“He is a very credible individual. He does what he says. He has come to embrace all the tenets of democracy. I think he is someone who is committed to democracy,” he said.
Dismissing the notion that his principal was a religious fundamentalist, he argued that those who blame Buhari for the 2011 electoral violence were being unfair to him.
“It is unfair to look at him as a fundamentalist. His first daughter is married to a Christian and he refused to enlist Nigeria in the Organisation for Islamic Countries when he had all the powers to do so. It is convenient for those who malign him to call him a fundamentalist.
“It is unfair to hold Buhari responsible for the 2011 electoral violence. I think people who accuse him of that have purposes they want to serve. It is very unfair to say he instigated the violence.”
Osibajo maintained his party’s position of forming a parallel government if the February elections were rigged, arguing that the party’s stand was not an invitation to anarchy.
“The call for a parallel government, if the general election is rigged, is not inciting. It does not call for violence,” he said.
On the economy, he insisted on the need for prudent and transparent management of resources to keep it stable, adding that power must be decentralised for improved electricity, while assuring that the APC government would put an end to Boko Haram by fighting poverty in the country while equipping and motivating the army.