Vice President Yemi Osinbajo seized the opportunity of a book launch in Abuja on Thursday to give a character portrait of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The book reviews the administration’s achievements during the last two years.
Below are five highlights from his speech:
1. Buhari’s frugality
Mr. Osinbajo spoke about the President’s economical nature and how he possesses the habit of avoiding unnecessary expenditure.
He also made reference to how the president decided to take only half of his salary since the government provides accommodation, food and transportation for the President and the Vice President.
“He said he would take only half of his salary and so I had no choice but also to (offer) to take half of my own salary. Unfortunately, Mr. President turned down my request. He didn’t consider me a more worthy cause to give half of his salary (laughter)!”
2. Buhari’s honesty
While lauding the President’s honesty, Mr. Osinbajo said that it was the prudence and honesty of the President that ensured that despite the economic downturn, the Federal Government was able to support the states, spend N1.3 trillion on capital expenditure which is the largest in the history of the nation.
“In a country where politicians sometimes want to be as wealthy as Dangote (Africa’s richest man), it is refreshing to have a President who most people won’t even dare to discuss any private benefit on a project let alone a bribe or a kick-back”, he said.
3. Buhari’s humility
The Vice President also described Mr. Buhari’s unassuming personality and humility as his greatest strength which is why ”he is never flattered, or carried away by praise or adulation.”
“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 said.
4. Buhari’s sense of humour
Still praising the president’s personality, the Vice President said that Mr. Buhari is a man of few words and his sense of humour is also an understanding that leadership, is not about self-adulation and self-aggrandisement.
5. Buhari‘s greatest challenge
He cited the greatest challenge of the President as the ability to take tough decision, do the difficult things, and keep the people’s support.
He said, “the reality of honest and serious minded nation building is that in the short run, tough and unpopular decisions have to be made. I suppose you cannot be a Buhari and shy away from tough decisions, and the President has not been afraid to take the bold decisions even when they are criticised.”