In the last quarter of 2019, in November precisely, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will be celebrating the thirtieth year of his marriage to his sweetheart, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo. She may very well be the most loved Vice President’s wife in Nigeria’s history. Across the spectrum of wives whose husbands have held public office in countries all over the world, her carriage, intellect, beauty and comportment put her in the same class as Jackie Kennedy, Barbara Bush and Michelle Obama. She hails from the illustrious Obafemi Awolowo family; one of Nigeria’s most respected political dynastic bloodlines and is a granddaughter of that great iconic sage who is still revered across Yorubaland till this day.
As the Holy Bible points out, when a man finds a wife he finds a good thing that elicits divine favour. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo can definitely be identified as a man who has enjoyed the favour of God by finding and marrying a good wife. After so many years of their marriage, the wine of their love is still strong and he does not hesitate to let his wife and indeed the whole world know that she means so much to him. He showers her with encomiums at every opportunity and some of his words are powerfully poetic. Take for instance a romantic message he sent out to his wife on Twitter on the occasion of her birthday a few years ago in which he said of her: “…My support. My wings”! Truly she is by his side, is a strong support for him and her love gives him the wings to soar on in their family leadership and by extension, national leadership. Their love is an inspiration to many Nigerians and as quite a number of people said of them when a video emerged on social media of the two lovebirds singing along to a piano accompaniment, they are “couple goals”!
It is reported that her grandfather Chief Obafemi Awolowo was one of the first to see that she and her Yemi at the time were a great match for each other and recommended that they get married to each other, a whopping 15 years before they eventually were joined in matrimony as husband and wife. While some have conjectured that her good luck of being Awo’s granddaughter is one of the reasons that Nigeria’s current Vice President has found himself at the uppermost echelons of national leadership, it is undeniable that they are great for each other and that she’s not just a wife but also a great blessing to him and indeed Nigeria. Her modesty, decency, effortless glamour and likeability have given many Nigerians cause to smile even through the season of economic recession and uncertainty as her husband and the President worked assiduously to move Nigeria to the next level after 16 years of profligate governance by the Peoples Democratic Party.
The great synergy and friendship that Mrs Osinbajo has with First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari is also proof of her stellar character and virtue. When some photographs emerged recently of the VP’s wife helping the President’s wife tie her head scarf properly, some Nigerians speaking from a place of ignorance suggested that it was merely a PR stunt for likes on social media. That view can be forgiven due to long-held grudges, distrust and mutual suspicion among many of Nigeria’s ethnic groups. However keen watchers of politics and even investigative journalists with access to the corridors of power in Nigeria have said that the two distinguished ladies do share a special bond and are not only support systems for their husbands but also for themselves. It is not uncommon to see both of them attend state events and perform official duties side by side. This is a welcome development and a departure from times past when wives of past Presidents and Vice Presidents were at loggerheads and maintained a servant-master relationship. While it is unclear which of the two leading ladies embraced or initiated their current friendship, it is crystal clear that the two individuals are warm, friendly and lovable people and it is a benefit for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Mrs Osinbajo believes that leadership is not the exclusive preserve of men and has called for more Nigerian women to get involved in politics, saying, “Politics is central to education and the destiny of our children”. Going by the example of her life, if more Nigerian women heed her counsel and patterned themselves after her, our political spaces would be better and the nation would make more progress. Her grandfather may have never become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but as he smiles from the pantheon of great leaders who have passed on to the great beyond, he would probably be at least one of two men immensely delighted to see her help midwife Nigeria’s greatness. The other would be, without a doubt, her loving husband, the crown on her head and the love song of her heart, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
As one of the wise sayings in the Bible attest, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it”. May the love and marital bliss enjoyed by our beloved Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his heartthrob Oludolapo not be quenched or subsumed by water, or indeed any thing. The world needs love and theirs is inspiring for us all.