Buhari shocks Osinbajo: ‘What if I drop dead?…’

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has provided some insight into his interactions with President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside extolling the president’s humility and sense of humour, Osinbajo  also disclosed that during his recent illness, Buhari asked him not to bother about  briefing him regularly as he once asked: “what if I drop dead? You will have to run it anyway!”

Osinbaj gave this insight during the presentation of a book:  “Making Steady, Sustainable Progress For Nigerian’s Peace And Prosperity – A Mid-Term Scorecard On The President Muhammadu Buhari Administration” at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja, on  Thursday November 16, 2017.The book was compiled by the Presidential Media Team led by Femi Adesina,Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande.

According to the vice President, “Mr President’s unassuming personality and humility, is in my view, probably his greatest strength. This is why he is never flattered, or carried away by praise or adulation. He has always said: “I don’t pretend to know all the answers. I am here to provide stability and leadership, to a generation, a group of people, determined to run this country honestly, to provide jobs and prosperity to the poor, and our huge youth population.”

“I remember when he was on medical vacation, and I was speaking to him on the phone fairly regularly and giving him a rundown of what was going on, especially when he was on the first medical vacation. He said to me, “don’t worry about telling me all that is happening, I rely on your judgment keep doing your best, what if I drop dead?! You would have to run it anyway.” I had to say to him, that his dropping dead was not part of the plan.

He al gave examples of Buhari’s sense of humur: “I think that his sense of humour, self-deprecating humour is one that very people know about. As it has been said, he is a man of very few words. I remember that very early in the administration, he directed my attention to a cartoon of him in one newspaper which showed him, sitting on a wheel chair in bandages, at the top of the cartoon, were the words: “you promised to hit the ground running” and then under it, it just stated: “you just hit the ground.”

“I had a good laugh, but I think it is also an understanding that leadership, is not about self-adulation and self-aggrandizement. It is first of all, an understanding and humility, knowing that you have been picked from millions of people to lead the people because you are trusted to do so, not because you are thought of as a man with all the answers but because you are trusted to be able to lead others to achieve the results.

“The other day, he was saying that if you paid attention to what is going on with farmers, and how well they are doing, he said one way of knowing is by recognising that they would do two things, especially farmers in the North. They would go to Hajj and marry more wives. Already, we can see the increase in the number of wives farmers are marrying.”