Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has hailed the relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as ideal and exemplary.
Speaking on Tuesday during the public presentation of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje’s book, ‘Deputising and governance in Nigeria’ at the Nigeria Air Force Conference Centre in Abuja, Osinbajo explained why political officeholders and their deputies often develop a frosty relationship.
The Vice President stated that he has been more fortunate than previous VPs in his working relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Describing the relationship between him and his boss – President Muhammadu Buhari, as ideal and exemplary, the VP noted that he has been ‘more fortunate than others in my relationship with my principal, Mr. President,’” the statement by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande said.
“When he was leaving on medical leave, the second time, there were a few things that were outstanding to send to him, and he said, ‘I don’t want you to send me anything, it is your job now, just make sure you do a good job.’”
Noting that the analogy of the spare trye widely used to describe the role of the deputy to the President is faulty, Osinbajo explained that a better description would be that of the relationship between a captain of a flight and his deputy.
Referencing Governor Ganduje to further emphasize the important role of deputies, the VP noted that, “the deputy or vice must be up to the task every day. He must be the most hardworking in the government, bringing his own skills and talents in representing the principal as efficiently and effectively as possible every single day.”
He added, “Imagine a commercial flight with people, including yourself on a plane, there is the captain, and then there is his deputy. The captain flies the plane, but no human being can be completely focused for several hours. So, sometimes he gets up and goes to the bathroom, while the flight is on, his deputy had better be a good pilot otherwise lives are at risk.
“Can you imagine a situation where the captain leaves the cockpit briefly and you hear an announcement from the cockpit, “ladies and gentlemen, I am the deputy to the captain, the captain is in the restroom, and I am only a spare tyre and I am not sure what to do now?” If you are on that plane you will ask God for forgiveness, for expecting that a deputy or vice plays no role.”
The vice president commended the author, saying that a thought that runs through the book is that “despite the put-downs of the office, political office is about the lives of millions of people not just about the prestige of office”.
In his remarks, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan made a case for the strengthening of the office of the deputy governor.
“I also agree with the author that the legal provisions protecting the position of the deputy governor should be strengthened to make the office more functional and secure it from wanton impeachments,” he said.
“On the part of the deputy, loyalty, patience, cool-headedness, discipline, capacity, and sound judgment are essential qualities for minimizing disagreement, suspicion, and friction.”