Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has opened up on how he received the news of his nomination as All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential running mate in December 2014.
He spoke on the issue for the first time on Wednesday while hosting members of the State House Press Corps to a breaking of fast (Iftar) at his Aguda Residence in the President Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo, who said the news came to him as a surprise at a time he was working on a case of a defection of a federal lawmaker at the Supreme Court, said the current Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and a former Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, took him to President Muhammadu Buhari who had already emerged as the presidential candidate at the time.
The professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria said after his case on the day he was informed by Aregbesola on phone and had returned to his accommodation and removed his wig, he felt that “this is probably the last time I will be wearing it.”
“I was working on the case at Peniel Apartments in Abuja on December 18, 2014, when at about 1 a.m. in the morning, I received a call from Rauf Aregbesola that they were coming to Lagos to pick me.
“I said I was in Abuja. He said ‘good because you have been nominated as the vice-presidential candidate’ and I said is that how you nominate people?” he said.
The vice president said he recounted the story to show that an individual’s life can change at any minute.
Osinbajo expressed confidence that he had an edge over other presidential aspirants on the platform of the APC in terms of preparedness for the job as he had always believed in and worked for a better Nigeria all his life.
According to him, “I have been given opportunities that many may not have had. I think those opportunities are meant to be for a particular purpose. And I think that time has come. This is the time when all of my experiences have now come to the fore. And I will use all of what I have to serve this country.
“This is really one of the reasons why I chose to run. There are those who may say ‘well, he’s just a politician speaking. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I believe that we have a real opportunity here to do something different for our country.
“I know everyone else who is running for office. Frankly, to tell you the honest truth, just in terms of preparation for the job, I don’t think I need to make a case. In terms of preparation for the job, no one else comes close to me.
“When I spoke about this once, one of the aspirants brought out their CV and I said, the truth is, everyone who wants to take over on May 29, at least everyone who is running today, would need plenty of time to even discover where their green pen is. Very few people have the kind of training and experience that is required for this kind of job.”
He said since his official declaration for President three Mondays ago, he had met with various groups including governors, delegates and party leaders.
He, however, said the Iftar with the journalists is the first one he is holding with a group who have no vote in next month’s APC primaries.
Osinbajo, in the midst of laughter from the audience, said: “I am probably meeting you for your financial contribution. I don’t know why you think it’s a joke.”