The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has come under heavy criticism for failing to appear on YNaija TV‘s widely publicized flagship show #RubbinMinds where he was scheduled Sunday to be interviewed on burning issues in the polity especially as the 2019 elections approaches.
With a good number of young people in the country eager to listen to the Vice President tuned into Channels TV (where the programme airs weekly) as we gathered from their reactions on Twitter, the host of the show Ebuka Obi-Uchendu announced via his Twitter handle that the Vice President won’t be showing up at the programme as earlier advertised, due to some matters arising.
Sincere apologies to our viewers. We will keep everyone posted on any future updates.
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) January 27, 2019
The announcement subsequently drew the disappointment of the youth who took to their various social media platforms to register their displeasure over the development.
At this point, ever move is strategic. What will they gain from interacting with Ebuka who'll ask serious questions? Lol.
They'll rather wave brooms on a podium while illiterate Nigerian youth flock out to die in stampedes.#RubbinMinds
— S. M. Lawal (@TheMolash) January 27, 2019
They said PYO wasn't going to show up and mans did exactly what was expected.
Prof. Yemi "Amaka" Osibanjo #RubbinMinds
— Ólúwáchuckz (@Ceee_heych) January 27, 2019
So I got home quite early just so I could hear what @ProfOsinbajo will spew on #RubbinMinds only for him to not show up.
Obviously there's so much the man doesn't want to say.
But then, silence is the worst form of aquiesence.
— Sembenge Ekanem, Esq (@ekanemsn_esq) January 27, 2019
They missed the presidential debate, the best avenue for them to prove their worth to us. Now @ProfOsinbajo is absent at #RubbinMinds ? What exactly are they driving at? This is not a dictatorship! We should have the right to our leaders… Thanks to @chydee for coming out.
— kayode ?? (@i_ambenkay) January 27, 2019
Following the development, a number of Nigerians on Twitter accused the Vice President of shunning the interview especially in the midst of a planned protest by some youth ahead of his arrival for the show, because he could not defend President Muhammadu Buhari‘s alleged unconstitutional suspension of the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen on Friday who is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations of failure to declare his assets.
The scheduled interview is coming barely one week after Osinbajo (who himself is a Professor of Law and two-time Commissioner for Justice in Lagos) had at a legal conference recently, expressed sadness over the fact that the head of the judicial arm of government would be undergoing trial, claiming that the President was not aware of the petition against the suspended CJN and suggesting that the institutions concerned with the prosecution and arraignment of the Honourable Chief Justice were not directed by the Presidency to take up his case, despite the unprecedented speed with which the case was prosecuted.
The lily livered vice president refused to appear on #RubbinMinds but patriotic Nigerians were there to deliver our message against the tyrant in power.
Join us tomorrow in Abuja as we walk the talk in a march against dictatorship. pic.twitter.com/yw1zqPI3B2
— Alhaji Table Breaker (@yemi_adebowale) January 27, 2019
I was going to trade @CNNSotu for #RubbinMinds today. But Professor Yemi Osinbajo didn't show up. He knows that what President Buhari did was reckless & there was no way he would sit before Ebuka and justify such recklessness.
— Chidi H. Lemchi (@HLemchi) January 27, 2019
That's who you guys want to vote for another four years! SMH
— The South Forgets (@Itsekiriman) January 27, 2019
Osinbajo fearing that a lot of questions on #rubbinminds will be centered on Onnoghen decided not to appear on the programme again.
Osinbajo doesn't know how to lie his way out of the Onnoghen issue because he knows what Buhari did is indefensible
— Uche (@ubig1) January 27, 2019
There are also indications that the Vice President was in Lagos at the time of the interview for a continuation of his party’s door-to-door Presidential campaign.
Osibanjo is in Lagos & his presence is causing so much traffic along college road Ogba. It comes so natural for Nigerian politicians to cause hardship
— Man_Like_Obi (@Obiblaq) January 27, 2019
— Tunde GCFR ?? #BBNAIJA (@Koboko_GCFR) January 27, 2019
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, however said that the exigencies of campaign timing made it impossible for Osinbajo to appear on the show as scheduled, adding that the Presidency was working with the producers of the programme to reschedule his participation.
Sincere apologies that VP Osinbajo cant make 'Rubbing Minds' this afternoon on Channels TV. Being a live programme, the exigencies of campaign timing make it impossible for VP to appear on show as scheduled today. We're working with producers to reschedule his participation ASAP
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) January 27, 2019
Rubbin’ Minds is Nigeria’s leading youth-focused TV show, aired on Channels TV every Sunday at 3pm and hosted by renowned media personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.