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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Close Associates and Students Speak About President Buhari And Yemi Osinbajo

Finally Nigeria has a new President, and everyone is watching with eyes wide open to see what this new season births for our country. These words from his Inaugural speech, particularly stood out to me, "Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody."

Meanwhile close associates, colleagues, students and church members of the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo are speaking out about them. I am truly inspired by some of these revealing words and this gives me more reason to remain hopeful. Nothing is more inspiring than when a man's character and integrity remain constant overtime. Read excerpts from some of these interviews from The Punch below:

Juventus Ojukwu, a close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari
Do you think the Buhari you know hasn’t changed as a person?
He has remained constant in his principles and integrity. Biologically, he has changed as is expected of all humans. There is a way age catches up with all of us one way or the other. We tend to lose our youthful agility. But as a person, he has not changed in terms of the high principles he holds dear. His attitude towards life has remained the same over the years. 

He has always been forthright and honest in all the positions he’s held in this country. I saw that in him while he was in the military. I saw that in him when he was in charge of the petroleum ministry. He has been able to maintain his overall personality without a chink in his armour. Buhari is a good man; a man of integrity. One cannot say the same of any Nigerian leader. He has always stood for the same principles over the years. It’s rare to find a man who has kept a straight path all his life. This is not praise-singing; it is what I have personally observed about him as a person.

What else do you think is there to know about Buhari that the Nigerian public should know?
I will only want to re-emphasise the fact that in the just concluded democratic dispensation, where leadership had become synonymous with corruption, we have elected someone who is capable and resolute to fight against corruption. He does not only have the political will; he is an individual I will describe as being incorruptible. Buhari is a person who abhors corruption more in deed than in words. He is someone Nigerians can confidently entrust leadership to. He is going to practise democracy without hypocrisy.

Sen. Abba Ali is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s schoolmates and childhood friends

What is your fondest memory of him, so far?
My fondest memory of Buhari is his strictness: Whatever he tells you, he means it from his mouth to his heart. Whatever comes out of his mouth is what is there in his heart. He will never tell you lies. Whatever you ask him to do, if can do it, he will tell you can; and if cannot, he will tell you.

Lawyer and human rights activist, Wahab Shittu, is a former student of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

How do you remember your days with him as your supervisor?
I have fun memories because he is painstaking and has a knack for details. He made me work very hard. He would always insist that I cross-check details; he didn’t give me any breathing space at all. He made sure that my area of research was well covered and that I worked extra-hard for that project. He was always telling me, “This is a project that you want to showcase to your children, so you must do it very well.” 

As my supervisor in the faculty, I had the benefit of tapping from his wealth of knowledge. He engaged me and allowed me to work. He believed that nothing comes easy without hard work. If I were to describe the experience, I would say he has contributed greatly to making me what I am today and I am very grateful to him.

What is the most impactful thing he has done or said to you that has shaped you as a person?
I think all members of my class will attest to the fact that by virtue of Osinbajo’s influence, we are all well-grounded in the Law of Evidence and, as you know, the Law of Evidence is the heart of the trial process. That was his area of specialisation. 

When I remember Osinbajo, I will remember him for four virtues and in this order: humility, knowledge, character and integrity. I cannot readily recall any of his weaknesses, except to say I find him sometimes too calm. I wonder how he is able to maintain a reputation of humility, in spite of his accomplishments.

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