After years of misgovernance and suppression of their state’s immense potentials, the people of Ondo have a chance to break these shackles and to move themselves toward the progress, justice and prosperity, which is their due.
May Ondo not miss this opportunity to place itself on the correct path. For this to happen, governance of the state must must move from the mean and awful hand that now holds it and come into the hands of those who want to govern the state in a good way and who want to serve the people, not those who would rather have the people serve them. For this great change to take place, governance must move from where it now is held captive and into the hands of the APC.
However, we cannot accomplish this great deed through petty bickering or by allowing our opponents to sow discord among us. Our mission is too important and too humane to allow ourselves to be divided or sidetracked. We must remember what is truly at stake. Ondo will either renew the way of progress or it will continue to be oppressed. The APC is the way of progress. Thus, let us make this progress hand in hand, united in our belief that we can make Ondo better.
The APC must win the coming election and restore democracy and the virtues of public service to the seat of governance in the state. This is what the people desire and deserve. They have waited patiently. Now is the time to answer their call. This is our duty as a party and as people who care about our fellow men.
The APC must go into the governorship as united in focus and purpose. All else is secondary to this objective. The journey to reestablishing governance for the people and for posterity begins with the primaries this Saturday.
The process leading up to the primaries has been robust and energetic. We have the good fortune of having numerous renown and able party members seeking the nomination. This has lead to keen competition. During such tight competition, tensions always mount and often-harsh things are said to each other. But this back and forth, this committed dialogue, is an integral part of the democratic process. And it is this process that we have enshrined and shall cherish in this party.
Party members have the right to speak their mind. They can levy criticism where they believe it is warranted, yet also give commendation where it is due. They can comment on the quality of the process, as well as endorse or oppose any candidate as they see fit. This process may not be neat and tidy because it was not choreographed or scripted in advance. What is important is that it is fair to all who come into it. All those who have entered the contested primaries have a chance to win.
In the end, as with any political contest, only one person will be chosen. Yet, that process would have been fair and open, all party members would have won. Democracy would have won, and most importantly the people of Ondo will stand to win in the general election.
These primaries will be enriched by the participation of all. At the end of a fair and transparent process, our champion in the state will be selected from among this excellent field. I take great solace in the fact that no matter which of the contestants win the primary I know that any one of them is a better and more qualified candidate than any put forward by the party that would soon to be ousted because of its poor stewardship of Ondo.
No matter who that person shall be, it will be incumbent on us as a party and as individuals who want better for the people of Ondo to put aside our minor differences in order to rally around the candidate. Brothers and friends squabble and argue. That is human nature, but in the face of opposition that is determined to do injustice, brothers and friends reunite for a common cause. This, the APC in Ondo must do.
You all know what is at stake. You all know what your conscience is telling you. There can be no excuses or failure this time.
In Ondo we must close ranks to achieve victory. The future of the state and of the party in the state should never be held ransom to insignificant personal animosities and perceived slights. We all must focus on what is more precious than our personal ambitions and more durable than our individual wishes. We must dedicate ourselves to uplifting this state and the lives of the people of this state and nation. All is minor and a distraction in comparison to this sound goal.
Victory is within your grasp. Don’t let it fall away because you were deceived into reaching for something less valuable and more base.
The key to the victory resides in how well you conduct yourselves after the primary. Joined in unified and fraternal purpose, there is no gathering or alignment of forces in the state that can best you. You must choose the history you seek. This cannot and will not be done in Abuja or anywhere else for that matter.
Your walk toward destiny takes a momentous step with a successful primary. After that, all of the party, including its leaders will join the campaign trail in full support and commitment to the candidate you select that we may achieve victory over a spent and undesirable PDP.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).