Happy New Year, I want to express my deep appreciation to you all my compatriots.
Year 2017 was filled with thrills and frills for me, seeing us coming together and staying together to accomplish the much that we have, despite all odds.
We started from a humble beginning with a lot of doubts and fears. However, your diligence, perseverance and patience have brought us thus far. Although we are not there yet, but we are taking assured steps believing that with more grit and God’s guidance, we shall collectively achieve our dreams.
The self-assured way we have made progress in the course of the year would not have been possible without your love, commitment and personal sacrifice, all of which have kept us going.
You who canvas the streets, meeting voters and spreading our message; you who leave the comfort of your lives in Lagos, Abuja, and elsewhere and travel to Ekiti to attend weekly strategy meetings; and you in the diaspora who give time, energy, and indispensable financial contributions all play a crucial role in this campaign. Our tireless organizers, our indefatigable ERO strategizers, and our stalwart social media warriors have transformed thought to action.
I must also acknowledge the tremendous support I have received from non-Ekitis, who have demonstrated their love for me and for our people by their commitment and contributions. Many unseen and unheard voices have inspired me.
We commenced this journey about two years ago in a circumstance of uncertainty. Should I? Would I? I chose to put my name forth as a candidate not because I thought winning would be easy, but because our Ekiti is worth the effort.
Vaclav Havel, one of my favorite writers once said, that we should “work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”
Here we are today with a firm determination to challenge the deceivers and oppressors of our people, and relieve Ekiti people, especially the downtrodden, of their burden.
In a few months, we will come to the decisive moment when we will face our party colleagues and ask for their approval to carry the APC banner to the general election. Until that time, let’s go out there to talk to our people, to convince them and to show love to them. Let them see that the best days of Ekiti can lie ahead of us.
We are confident that in that moment of critical decision-making, we would be the undisputed choice because we would have convinced them beyond an iota of doubt that WE are the one Ekiti has been waiting for.
As with all contests, this is not going to be as easy as a bite of banana but I believe that you are up to the task. Your enthusiasm and commitment have demonstrated clearly to me that we shall scale the hurdles and move on from there to breast home the tape and proclaim victory on the 14th of July, 2018.
The continued involvement of each of you is vital to the success of this campaign. Achieving this goal calls for more hard work and sacrifice. Each and every one of us must be resolute in our desire to bring about the change we espouse so that tomorrow will be a new day for our people.
Some Ekitis may be discouraged by the current condition of our beloved home, but now is not the time to be discouraged. Others may be cynical about the possibility of lasting improvement, but now is not the time to be cynical. Still, others may lament what has been lost, but now is not the time to look backward. We greet these compatriots with our message of hope, optimism, and change that can be brought about by purposeful and focused leadership. That is what we, you and I, are offering to Ekiti.
Many will reason with us. Some will doubt us. In the words of the former American President, Barack Obama, “where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
I therefore call on you not to be wary, not to be tired. “Good athletes” as Fidel Castro once said, “do not know what tiredness is. They do not know what discouragement is. Good athletes only know what victory is.”
This is a contest we can win. Our challenges are great, but our resolve is greater. This is our time, Ekiti’s time. If we persist, if we are resolute, if we are determined and refuse to be distracted by the well-worn pettiness that has derailed our dreams for Ekiti in the past, we can be the candle that will illuminate the whole of Nigeria.
Let’s go out there and engage our people. Through our words and actions, let them see a healthier and nobler alternative to what we currently have as the political leadership in Ekiti. We need to let them see the picture of the rebirth we have promised Ekiti people. They need to see that it is possible to have a more fulfilling life, and that what makes a difference is a purposeful and driven leadership, which you and I are offering.
Not only do we hold the dream of a better Ekiti in our hearts, but we are also ready to make it a reality. We are ready to show the people of Ekiti that they don’t have to settle for the status quo.
I am humbled by your tireless dedication. It inspires me daily. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with you in the months ahead.
Once again I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish all of you a Happy New Year
Your Lead Compatriot,
Senator Babafemi Ojudu