BENIN CITY – The anxiety over who emerges as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may have been laid to rest, as the party’s flag bearer, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday picked former Attorney General of Lagos State, Professor Yemi Osibajo as his vice presidential running mate.
Buhari picked Osibajo ahead of other names, including governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Adams Oshimhole of Edo State, as well as former Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi.
It was not clear as at press time if Osibajo had been ratified by the party leaders, especially those from the South West who are meeting to take a final decision on the issue.
Chieftains of the party from the Southwest geopolitical zone, had been meeting since Sunday night to deliberate on the choice of Buhari’s running mate.
The meeting was attended by the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the National Convention Committee of the party, Kayode Fayemi, governors Babatunde Fashola [Lagos], Ibikunle Amosun [Ogun], Rauf Aregbesola [Osun] and Abiola Ajimobi [Oyo].
Others present at the meeting include Segun Oni [Deputy National Chairman, South], Pius Akinyelure [Vice Chairman, South West], Tajudeen Olawutan Bello [National Financial Secretary], Lai Mohammed [National Publicity Secretary], and Muiz Banire [National Legal Adviser].
Sources at the APC leaders’ meeting had on Saturday night hinted that the vice president’s slot has been zoned to southwest because the defunct All Congress of Nigeria, ACN is rooted in the zone.
The source explained that Buhari has taken the slot for CPC, which is thought to be a junior partner, the least the ACN bloc as a senior partner in the merger could get is the number two position.
Professor Yemi Osibajo is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Senior Partner in the Law firm of Simmons Cooper Partners. Yemi Osibajo is a professor of law and was the head of department of Public Law at the University of Lagos (1997-1999).
His tertiary education was at the University of Lagos and the London School of Economics and Political Science obtaining the LLB and LLM degrees respectively.
Previously served as the Special Adviser to the Attorney General of Nigeria (1988-1992), he later became the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State in 1999 reappointed for a second term in 2003. During the period of his public service, he commenced the Lagos State justice reform project. A prominent feature of that project was the establishment of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights (DCR) which provides free legal services and legal representation to indigent citizens of the state. This initiative gave a voice to many who would otherwise not have a way to access their rights.
Osibajo is a Senior Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCGM)