Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked Nigerian leaders to aim for winning the hearts of Nigerians with their good names and not vast personal estates.
He said yesterday at the opening of Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF) Summit at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja: “Our history reminds us of the visionary leaders in Nigeria, who fired our imagination through their vision, diligence and selfless service, who did not live or fight to enrich themselves, they did not leave vast personal estates behind, but their names and legacies live in the hearts of the people.”
This is all well and good. But Osinbajo owes his position as VP to his godfather Bola Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State and All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain. The VP served as a commissioner in Tinubu’s administration and was handpicked by Tinubu for the Number Two position in the country.
Nuhu Ribadu, the former boss of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency described Tinubu’s corruption to be of “international dimension”. Tinubu’s fraudulently acquired vast estate includes:
1. Oriental Hotel, 3, Lekki Road, Victoria Island
2. Falomo Shopping Complex
3. First Nation Airline
4. Lekki Concession Company
5. Apapa Amusement Park
6. Maiyegun Land Project
8. De Renaissance Hotel, 172 Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja Lagos
9.Tejuoso Market (Joint ownership)
10. Ikeja Shopping Mall
11. TV Continental
12. Converted Lagos Polytechnic land for TVC
13. NNPC Office building in Lagos
14. Radio Continental
15. School of Nursing building in Lagos
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Other parts of his estate include:
• Number 4, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi. A 5-bedroom detached house that was formerly the Lagos State Governor’s guest house.
• Tinubu’s house at 26 Bourdillon Road was bought and renovated with public funds.
• Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro Abuja, a 250-hectare land at the Ajah junction on Lekki Road was developed as the Royal Garden Housing Estate and now owned by Tinubu.
• A golf course and housing estate at Lakowe near Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area.
• 157 hectares with 2.5km of Atlantic beachfront in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government with a golf course and luxury villa.
• The 14-hectare Parkview Ikoyi Estate, formerly government land.
There is no evidence that Osinbajo condemned this thieving and acquisitive behaviour by his mentor.
Osinbajo is also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). It’s leader and “General Overseer” is Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Adeboye claimed that “I have houses in at least 188 countries in the world, so I am richer than Bill Gates”. Those “houses” are his churches and in the words of commentator Femi Aribisala, the “jewel in the crown” of the RCCG is “City of David” in Victoria Island, Lagos. The “City of David” is currently building a 14 storey “Trinity Towers”, described by Aribisala as: ‘an appeal to crass commercialism; a blatant celebration of wealth. In this poverty-stricken Nigeria, the foundation of the building alone is expected to cost over 2 billion naira [$10m]. Side-by-side with a 5,000 seat auditorium for church services are high-brow restaurants, cafeterias, indoor swimming pools, cinema halls, gymnasiums, retail shops, games arcades, lawn tennis courts, relaxation spots, and a helipad as the crowning glory. Of what relevance is all this “supermarket” in a church?’
There is no evidence, at least from his public utterances, that Osinbajo frowns at this acquisition of vast estates by his “General Overseer”.
So the questions for the Vice President are: who do you think you are kidding preaching that leaders shouldn’t be acquiring vast estates, when you associate yourself politically and spiritually with mentors doing exactly what you are purportedly against? Do you think the “General Overseer” in the sky can’t see your hypocrisy?