Vice, sorry, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is an interesting man.
I think he is a deep thinker. He has to be. He is not just a professor of law, he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He was for several years, a university teacher and naturally will understand that the warmest teachers teach better.
When students feel relaxed with a particular teacher, the tendency that they will understand him better is very high. We all went to school and we know this is true.
Being warm and good natured is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign a strength. A big one.
In the last couple of weeks, Prof. Osinbajo has visited some states which could be considered "political enemy zones".
He had gone to Anambra to see the INNOSON CAR FACTORY.
He was in Abia to see face to face with shoe and garment makers.
During the build up to the 2 Face protest, security men talked tough but Osinbajo spoke and all nerves were calmed. He said it clearly that the people have a right to peaceful protest.
In the last one week, he has been in Rivers twice. He went to Bayelsa and Delta. After stopping over at Rivers, on his way to Bayelsa, he came again for a full visit. He sat down with the Governor, leaders and people of Rivers to talk.
He went round flagging off projects executed by the state government.
That is what a true leader does. He has a pan Nigeria mandate. Believe me, these visits will surely help to calm frayed nerves. For the first time, I heard Governor Wike speak warmly about the federal government and the need for strategic collaboration.
A good leader warms up to his people, irrespective of political differences. There must come a time when politics must stop and leadership takes over.
Leadership is a burden. A huge one at that. A leader must be warm and kind and courteous. A leader must also be firm and principled. The ability to have these qualities mixed in one makes great leaders.
A leader should not be feared by the people he leads.
A leader should, by his body language, instill confidence and a sense of belonging in the people he leads.
It is usually hard for someone to seek rapprochement with the people that rejected him during elections and still view him with great suspicion. But that is the price of leadership. Leadership is tough. Leadership is not an all comers affair. Not everyone is born to be a leader. Leaders are patient and very understanding. At times, they play the fool for peace to reign.
Good leadership doesn't just consist in building roads and fighting corruption. Good leaders also build bridges of friendship and national cohesion. They also fight disunity by their utterances and body language.
Good leaders must have the capacity to multi task. As you build roads and infrastructure, please build bridges of national oneness. As you fight corruption, also fight disunity and mutual suspicion.
None is more important than the other. If you build all roads and a part of the country feel cheated and marginalized and abandoned, then there is a problem. There has to be a way of mixing these key things. And it is very possible to achieve that.
That is the stuff of great leaders.
Take a deserved bow, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN.