Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is famous for his academic excellence and loyalty. Described as a man of special grace, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has continued to light up the Buhari’s administration with his intelligence. However, what many people don’t know is that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is surrounded by some of the country’s best brains. They are known as presidential aides serving in the Office of the Vice President (OVP). In this report, we present the top 3 inner circle among the top brass running things behind the scenes in the Office of the Vice President.
Adeola Ipaye needs no introduction within the Nigerian corridors of power. He mingles in high-profile circles. For the uninitiated, Mr. Adeola Ipaye is the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (works from the Office of the Vice President). He’s one of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s key inner circle members. DCOS as fondly called by colleagues in the Office of the Vice President is not new to the corridors of power. Mr. Ipaye once served as Attorney-General of Lagos State. Described as an exceedingly brilliant man, the DCOS studied at the University of Lagos where he graduated with B.A. (Hons) Degree (History) in 1984; LL.B. Hons (1988) and LL.M. (1991). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He’s also a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mr. Ipaye has the ears of the Vice President, no doubt. He is one of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s most trusted aides. Behind the scenes, he is the one running the Office of the Vice President. No one gets in the Vice President’s Office without going past Mr. Ipaye. Calm and unruffled, the DCOS is known for his workaholic nature and legendary people management skills.
Abayomi Adeshida, a photojournalist with Vanguard, was at the receiving end of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s security aides’ overzealousness (Department of State Services, DSS operatives), a few years ago. Narrating his ordeal to newsmen, Adeshida said “I was shocked when these DSS operatives started beating me for no reason. They tore off my Presidential Villa accreditation tag on the shirt and dragged me on the floor while hitting and kicking me”. He continued “I believe they would have done much worse if not for the intervention of the Vice-President’s aide-de-camp (ADC), who I noticed was making hand movements for them to leave me alone”. Mr. Adeshida’s savior was none other than Mr. Ayoola Oladunni, the official aide-de-camp (ADC) to Nigeria’s Vice-President. Known for his overflowing milk of human kindness, Ayoola Oladunni is one few shinning lights in the Nigeria Police Force. ADC of the Federal Republic as fondly called in the OVP is one of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s indispensable men. He’s one man who can basically read Vice-President Osinbajo’s mind. ADC Ayoola’s job is a tough one – he puts his life on the line for his principal. He was one of the lucky survivors of the Vice-President’s helicopter crash in 2019.
Who doesn’t know Mr. Laolu Akande? He’s constantly in the news either trying to defend policies of the government or debunking allegations against his principal. Laolu Akande, a fine journalist in his own right is one of Vice-President Osinbajo’s right-hand men. Known for his oratory skills and good looks, Mr. Laolu graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1990 with an honours degree in History and a Masters degree in Communication & Language Arts in 1992. Mr. Laolu’s job isn’t for the faint-hearted. He’s always open to attacks in the course of doing his job. Being the Vice President’s spokesman means he has to mirror the style and manner of speech of his principal. He has done well on this beat in the last five years or so of being in the saddle. Mr. Laolu, a former editor of the Tribune on Saturday also worked as a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Newsday. He also served at the United Nations as a Press Officer and later as an Advocacy and Communication consultant. He was also the Bureau Chief of The Guardian in North America and the Executive Director of the Christian Association of Nigerians-Americans (CANAN).