Ordinarily, nobody would deny the fact that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, did not perform well during the Vice Presidential debate organized for five political parties.
As a matter of fact, Professor Osibanjo did the much he could, but his performance could not to be compared to that of Mr. Peter Obi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate, who shone like a million stars.
The major problem Professor Osibanjo had during that debate was that he was marketing a very bad product, his own political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
As a lawyer, a teacher, and a pastor, three professions that trade on words, Professor Osibanjo was in a vantage position to have excelled above all the other co-debaters. But he did not, because the APC which he was marketing has performed abysmally poor in the past three and half years it has been in office.
For most Nigerians, the past three and half years of the APC administration have not been a jolly ride: economic stagnation, or as Peter Obi would put it, lock up one’s shop to pursue a thief, rather than allow already created government agencies to do the job; loss of jobs, about ten million, instead of creating new ones; nonpayment of workers’ salaries; insecurity of lives and property, or Fulani Herdsmen attract and Boko Haram menace; excessive devaluation of the Naira and high cost of goods and services; shielding of corrupt public officials, or rather, hypocrisy in fighting corruption; denial of human rights and refusal to obey court orders, etc.
How would the erudite Professor Osibanjo defend or explain these inadequacies to millions of Nigerians watching the debate? That was his problem.
The APC had raised hopes and expectations of millions of Nigerians when it was shopping for votes in 2015. With its gospel of “change”, the party raised its bar too high by promising to make Nigeria another heaven on earth. In a frenzy, millions of people fell to it and the party was elected to steer the ship of state.
But rather than face the country’s problems headlong, or strive to change the already bad situation which it had promised to do, the APC began an awkward dance of blame game. It composed a sing song of complaints “that the 16 years of PDP had done this, that the 16 years of PDP had done that”, etc. They forgot that that was why they were elected – to right the so-called wrongs done by the PDP.
Thus, for three and half years in office, the APC has not found its bearing, no direction to take. The party has been moving without a compass or economic blueprint. It thus does not know what to do, how to solve the country’s socioeconomic and political problems.
That was why Professor Osibanjo would be thrown off balance each time Peter Obi raised a point during the debate. Therefore, nobody should blame our Vice President because the product he had set out to market was not too good, very difficult to sell.