Our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, will be crossing another milestone next Saturday as we conduct primaries for the aspirants for the Senatorial and House of Assembly seats.
The aspirants have been campaigning for several weeks now. They have been reaching out to the electorate in matured, civil and peaceful manner.
Typical of our party, there has been no violence. There has been no animosity. There has been no hostile actions anywhere.
While the competition has been keen and full of enthusiasms, the aspirants have so far conducted themselves with absolute civility and tolerance.
We must sustain this path of peace. We continue along this civilised democratic engagement.
The delegates, who will vote at the primaries, have been elected in a fair, democratic and open election. Nothing was hidden. It was an open, just and fair Delegates election.
Unlike the other party where candidates are imposed in closed door dictatorial action, where one man decides the fate of their party, there is no such thing in our party. Here, we let the will of the people to prevail. We allow the people to make their choice in fair, open process.
This is the essence of democracy. The will of the people must and should be respected at all times. This is what strengthens popular government. This is the life-blood of democracy. Every voice must be heard. Every contribution must be given a fair hearing. But the will of the majority must always prevail at the end.
I am using this process to advise our aspirants to continue to conduct themselves with decorum, with utmost civility and with respect for each other. We will not accept any resort to brigandage, thuggery or any form of violence.
Only one person can prevail in any election. This is the First Principle. A winner will emerge. And those who fail to emerge must accept that the people have made their choice.
And those who emerge victorious must equally learn to be humble and civil enough to accommodate others who participated in the race.
We have a very good opportunity to clinch victory in the two elections if we work together, if we support our candidates with all the necessary vigour, with genuine guidance and with discerning leadership required from all of us.
Let us go forth with determination, with sincerity of purpose and candidness. We must never fail nor falter. We must work hard with seriousness of vision.
Nothing must be taken for granted. Leaders here present must accommodate everyone. We cannot discriminate or put barrier of favouritism among our followers. Let us embrace everyone. Let us all come together as one indivisible family. These are the ingredients of winners.
We will wage a general campaign bereft of hate, bereft of malice or anger. We will tackle the opposition on their glaring failings. We will hold them responsible for abandoning the people. We will hold them responsible for our flooded roads, for the massive gridlocks on our highways, for lack of security and for the terrors and banditry their followers spread across Lagos. APC has failed woefully in all parameters. This is the time they should be gradually easied out of our lives.
O TO GẸ in Lagos.
Let us go forth now and cultivate the path of victory in the general election. We have no other choice. Triumph is beckoning at us. Let us go out and claim it. May God be with you all.
*Chief Olabode George
Atona Odua of Yorubaland.