Born on March 8, 1957 in Lagos, today marks the 60th birthday anniversary of Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Acting President.
Mr. Osinbajo is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, where he was appointed Professor of Law in 1994 at age 37, and an alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As expected, Nigerians in positions of public responsibility have been extending goodwill messages to Mr. Osinbajo, extoling his virtues and praying he pilot the affairs of the country well as he acts on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari who has been on an extended sick leave in the United Kingdom for 48 days.
Leading the felicitators, Senate President Bukola Saraki congratulated him on his birthday and wished the celebrant good health, wisdom and enduring grace to serve the nation and humanity.
“On behalf of all members of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic, I wish our Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a happy birthday as he turns 60 today.
“We pray to Almighty God to continue to give you good health, great wisdom and enduring grace to serve the nation, in particular, and humanity, in general, for many more years,’’ said Mr. Saraki, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
Mr. Osinbajo is married to Dolapo, a granddaughter of the iconic first Premier of the Western region, now south-west and some parts of south-south Nigeria, late Obafemi Awolowo. The union is blessed with three children.
Before his inauguration as the Vice-President in May 2015, he was the Pastor in charge of the Lagos Province 48, Olive Tree provincial headquarter parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, while at the same time, serving as the senior partner, Simmons Cooper Partners, a law firm.
While extoling Mr. Osinbajo, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in his congratulatory message, said the pastor cum public administrator had left no one in doubt as to his capacity to handle matters of national interest, development and progress, since his emergence as the vice president and chairman of the country’s economic council.
“You have brought your vast knowledge, experience and worthy ideals to bear in the discharge of the functions of your high political office as Vice President and number two citizen of the country.
“It is therefore no surprise that you have been able to continue leading the country on the path of economic recovery and growth through constructive engagement and partnership with relevant stakeholders even in the temporary absence of Mr. President.
“While wishing Your Excellency a happy birthday celebration, I pray God Almighty to continue to keep you in good health and bless you with many more years of robust service to Nigeria,” said the Speaker.
Similarly, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, praised Mr. Osinbajo for his leadership qualities, achievements and peace as well as bridge building efforts.
He described him as an erudite scholar with humble dispositions, and commended his handling of the nation’s affairs as acting president.
He said: “I congratulate Professor Osinbajo on this landmark birthday and commend him for the leadership qualities exhibited as Nigeria’s Vice President and so far, as Acting President.
“I, therefore, commend the acting president for his peace shuttles across the country and unrelenting efforts at resuscitating the troubled economy and rebuilding the badly fractured bridges that connect us as a people.’’
Mr. Ekweremadu wished the acting president a happy birthday and the grace to continue on the path of success.
Mr. Osinbajo, whom UNILAG appointed Law lecturer in 1981 when he was 24 years old, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He was first handed opportunity to serve in government in 1988, when he was appointed by the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ajibola, to serve as his (Mr. Ajibola’s) adviser on legal service and litigation.
Between 1999 and 2007, Mr. Osinbajo served Lagos State under then Governor Bola Tinubu as the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, and earned the reputation of a reformist.
The All Progressives Congress, on whose behalf he joined Mr. Buhari to contest for Nigeria’s presidency in 2015, noted that “Prof. Osinbajo has demonstrated a high level of loyalty and commitment to the ‘change agenda’ of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Party. No doubt, his wisdom, vigour and innovativeness have been essential to the numerous achievements recorded by this administration.
“At 60, Professor Osinbajo has recorded several landmark achievements as a man of God and a man of the law. These accomplishments have no doubt shown through as he holds forte for our dear president. He has visited crisis-prone areas, stabilised the economy and promoted good governance. We commend and congratulate President Buhari for the vision and wisdom of choosing Professor Osinbajo as his running mate; only the deep calls to the deep.
“We pray that God continue to bless him with good health, wisdom and many more years in the service of God and country.”
Several governors have also hailed Mr. Osinbajo at 60.
“Your selfless service to humanity and the nation at large as well as the many achievements you have recorded in both personal and public life, are some of the reasons we cannot but celebrate you on this occasion of your birthday,” said Ibikunle Amosun, the Ogun State Governor.
Describing him as one prominent promoter of selfless leadership, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said Mr. Osinbajo’s trajectory of service to the people had seen him take up worthy causes for no personal gains as long as they serve humanity well.
“In public and personal lives, Prof Osinbajo has demonstrated that the most worthy service is that carried out for the good of fellow human beings even for no personal gains and comfort,” said Aregbesola, also a member of the Lagos cabinet, as the commissioner for works, under Mr. Tinubu.
Recalling his roles in the pioneering efforts of Lagos State in law reforms, the Osun governor said the face of judiciary did not remain the same after eight years of Osinbajo’s intensive reforms as the Chief Law Officer.
“Today, it is gratifying to note that his pioneering efforts in that sector has influenced in no small dimension, similar reforms in other parts of the country. This is one crucial aspect of our national life as a people where the acting President has had tremendous impact.”
A member of the House of Representatives, Ahmad Kaita, said “it is gratifying that our own GMB (General Muhammadu Buhari) and of course APC chose a worthy running mate for the task of restoring the glory of this country. The combination is perfect, and Prof. Osinbajo has been doing a great work, implementing the change agenda, since the President commenced leave.”
“I wish to rejoice with Professor Osinbajo and wish him more success in his service to God and the country.”
Previously, Mr. Osinbajo was a staff member, United Nations Operations in Somalia, Justice Division, UNOSOM II; Member, United Nations Secretary General’s Committee of Experts on Conduct and Discipline of UN, Peacekeeping Personnel around the globe; an independent director of CitiBank, Nigeria; and an ethics adviser to the board of the Africa Development Bank.
He founded Orderly Society Trust, involved in literacy programme for children in public primary schools; and co-founded Justice Research Institute (Gte), a justice sector think tank as well as the Convention On Business Integrity.