Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is in London, but you wouldn’t know it if you lived in the UK and relied on the British media for your news.
Why is Osinbajo not being pushed in front of the foreign media? For such a short man, if his profile was any lower, he could go below the surface.
President Muhammadu Buhari grants interviews to the foreign media whenever he is abroad. He has spoken to CNN, Al Jazeera and so on, and bombed each time. Buhari is the image that foreigners see of Nigeria and it is certainly not an articulate, thoughtful and eloquent one.
Yet, the Veep, who is articulate, a preacher, a professor and a barrister, who is eminently qualified to speak for the government, who is able to talk without Nigerians cowering in shame, and to present a coherent and robust defence of a floundering administration, is skulking in the periphery and sneaks into the UK unheralded as if he is an illegal immigrant.
Who are his press handlers? Femi Adesina and Shehu Garba seem to be working for the president. The Veep’s media advisers should have arranged for him to do the rounds on the mainstream political talk shows. This would have been a better representation of Nigeria than the president could muster.
It appears that there is a deliberate attempt to restrict the Veep to ensure he does not “outshine” his boss. There doesn’t seem to be any other logical explanation why an intelligent and well-educated vice president is not seen or heard on the international media, and Nigerians have to put up with a president that can barely speak for himself let alone the rest of us.