A coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups on Sunday cautioned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Nigeria’s electorate against the presidential ambition of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo is currently contesting the 2023 presidential ticket of the APC and to subsequently become the next President of Nigeria.
But the Arewa group, at a press briefing in Abuja alleged that Osinbajo was contesting for President to continue enjoying immunity against prosecution, after 2023.
Comrade Musa Attah, the Convener of the Coalition, who briefed Journalists, alluded to the fact that the Vice President mismanaged the funds under his control and office, for various social intervention programs of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration.
The text of the media briefing reads: “The leadership of the Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups welcomes you all to this significant press conference which has become a child of necessity, given the recent clamour for the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to vie for the highest political office in the country.
“As a group representing a vast interest of critical stakeholders in northern Nigeria, and some other parts of the country, we are constrained to lend our voice to an ambition we consider misplaced and against the interest of the generality of Nigerians, in our quest for sustainable growth and development.
“The presidential aspiration of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo does not suit the purpose, given his track record in the mismanagement of the various Social Intervention Programmes of the Federal Government hitherto domiciled in his office, until recently, before the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“It is instructive to ask questions about how Vice President Yemi Osinbajo managed the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP), intended to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.
“For the records, the suite of programmes under the NSIP focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women, under the supervision of the Office of the Vice President.
“The N-Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme and the Tradermoni Empowerment Scheme, were all intended to bring succour to the vulnerable groups in the country.
“Therefore, it is curious how such laudable initiatives were mismanaged by the Office of the Vice President, which warranted the President to create a new ministry and transferred the responsibility of managing these programmes to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“What Nigerians might be aware of is that, under the supervision of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Social Intervention Programmes became an avenue for corrupt enrichment by the Vice President and his cronies. They diverted funds meant for the vulnerable groups to private pockets.
“The heist committed by the Vice President and his cronies in implementing the programmes is quite despicable and a shame, given the multitude of evidence pointing to gross mismanagement and abuse of office.
“Therefore, it is unimaginable for the Vice President to indicate interest to rule this country. The implication of Yemi Osinbajo’s presidency in Nigeria is that the country’s resources would be diverted to private pockets most brazenly, as we saw in the NSIP.
“We must recall that in November of 2018, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness indicted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in its report, accusing him of illegally approving the N5.8 billion North East Intervention Fund, which was mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) under his watch.
“The issue of Tradermoni is another example of how Vice President Yemi Osinbajo mismanaged the initiative and deprived millions of market women of the opportunity to advance their various businesses.
“It, therefore, amounts to an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians for Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to want to lead Nigeria. He lacks morals and uprightness, as evident in his corrupt tendencies and lack of sincerity of heart and purpose.
“At this point, we are tempted to state in unequivocal terms that the attempt by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to seek the highest political office in the county is an attempt to shield himself from the probe after the expiration of his immunity.
“The Coalition of Arewa Civil Society Groups wishes to call on all Nigerians to resist vehemently the attempt by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to hide under cover of immunity to escape the long hands of the law.
“The Vice President is unfit to aspire to lead our great country. All well-meaning Nigerians must resist his recent scheming if we are indeed desirous of the country of our dreams. We are also aware that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has engaged the services of fictitious groups to drum support for his presidential ambition.
“We are also aware that part of the larger plot is for these groups to purchase the nominations forms for him to deceive Nigerians in a most despicable manner further. All Nigerians must resist the antics of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and instead demand an unreserved apology from him for his misdeeds and insensitivities to the plight of the vulnerable groups in the country.
“The generality of Nigerians must resist Yemi Osinbajo’s candidature as he is morally unfit to lead this country, and more worrisome is the fact that he is hiding under the title of a pastor to perpetrate evil against the people.
“We wish to reiterate that a vote for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is against progress. This much the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) must be aware of the generality of Nigerians”.