Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, says Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo lost at his polling unit at Victoria Garden City, Lagos, because he was the victim of an elite conspiracy.
Apart from winning at Osinbajo’s polling unit, the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won Eti Osa Local Government Area where VGC is.
Ojudu said this in a piece titled, ‘The Battle Osinbajo Couldn’t Win.’
He wrote, “In a period of two months he (Osinbajo) must have visited VGC more than 15 times. A town hall meeting here, parlour meeting there and street walk there. He met with professionals and engaged resident associations just as he dialogued with people of faith.
“At the end of the day they still did not let him deliver his unit. I have received many calls and text messages asking what happened? It is not far-fetched. It was a combination of ethnicity, elite mentality and living in the midst of people who the policies of the administration do not favour.
“As we held those meetings, I saw it coming and told colleagues that coming to VGC and appealing to the voters there might be a waste of time. I could see it in their utterances, in their body language.”
The presidential aide said many of the residents of VGC who voted against Osinbajo had complained during some of the town hall meetings that the VP failed to help them tackle flooding in the estate or build a stadium for them.
The ex-lawmaker said some of the persons who complained comprised importers who had lost money due to the curbing of importation by the Buhari government.
He said many even went as far as insulting the VP but Osinbajo remained undeterred and continued to campaign.
Ojudu added, “There were cases of some fellows who had nothing to say than ‘Osinbajo, you have come now and you didn’t bring kola (money). How do you want us to vote for you again’.
“And this is a supposed elite location. I was shocked to hear this. Some said they expected him to have donated a mini-stadium to VGC. Some wanted him to have solved the problem of flooding in the area. A fellow said he and Buhari should be blamed for the loss of would have been his first child who died when his pregnant wife walked into electrified floodwater in his house.
“One expressed his disgust at his men parking in front of his gate. Another accused him of lying that the 2nd Niger Bridge project had taken off. Every effort to convince him was ignored and he kept interjecting until Osinbajo moved on to other topics.”
Ojudu said the VP, who comes from Ogun State but has lived most of his life in Lagos, could have decided to change his polling unit but he decided to remain at VGC out of conviction.
The ex-lawmaker wrote, “Yes, Osinbajo lost the vote in his VGC neighbourhood. VGC is not his constituency, certainly not. He could easily have gone to vote in Ikenne, his ancestral home where he is deeply loved.
“He could have voted in the Shomolu area of Lagos where he was born and raised, and where his aged mother lives and is adored.
“He could still have chosen to cast his vote on the premises of University of Lagos where he taught for many years and his unit could have given him a landslide victory but Osinbajo is one who never runs away from a problem. He will get his teeth into it until he is able to bite through.”
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