By Ella Makondo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is the object of diverse 2023 political permutations despite not having or projecting any aspirations towards the next presidential contest, his senior media aide, Laolu Akande has said.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President in the office of the vice-president said that on the contrary, that Osinbajo has remained focused on his job.
Akande spoke in an Instagram Live Chat with Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine.
Noting allegations of impropriety raised against the vice-president and his daughter, Akande said the claims were essentially made to damage the vice-president in order to make him irrelevant.
“It is ridiculous and incredible some of the types of stories that are out there. What I have found out is that being the vice-president and being a very active vice-president that understands how to connect with the people, that rising profile itself, in a political atmosphere that is extremely murky, I think those who have all kinds of unscrupulous ideas, people with despicable agenda have reasons to try to smear the person that is holding that office.
“Like I said, because of the position that he holds, next to the President and because of all the kinds of imaginations that people have to think about him, I think, up to a point, he has become a kind of a political target.”
Answering the question as to whether the allegations were directed at damaging whatever prospects Osinbajo may have in 2023, he said:
“Personally, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that there are people who have political objectives who might consider him a threat. But what I like to tell Nigerians is, I’m his spokesperson and all I know he wants to do is to do this job that he has been given very well and he doesn’t have any other plans right now about any such thing. I can tell you that clearly.
“He has said to me several times, see Laolu, this is not a monarchy, we are going to be here for four or at best eight years, let’s just focus and do the work so that when we are gone, people will say we did this and that. So, he is entirely consumed with the job. I’m his spokesperson and we have not talked about what he is going to do in 2023. What’s the point?”
Affirming that the allegations would not in any way distract Osinbajo from the course, he said:
“Part of the objectives of some of these attacks is to distract him. But he will not be distracted. The goal is to bring confusion but he is not distracted.
“The vice president is not talking to anybody about 2023. He is not thinking about it. He is focused on the job that the president has handed over to him and he just wants to support the president to deliver his goals.”