Dear Kogites (And Many Nigerians),
First I must thank you all profusely for the incredible support and encouragement through what has been a harrowing process in an effort to serve, and a fight for the soul of a society, and lives of a people. The circle of friendship and support here, and beyond not only amazed me, but teaches me new lessons in friendship and relationships.
In the very many professional or political initiatives I have been engaged in, I have never experienced the energy, optimism and relentlessness that this shot, albeit second run to serve in Kogi has exhibited.
Sadly, despite the hope and enthusiasm associated with my candidature, the final run up to the elections was fraught with obstacles that significantly decelerated our momentum. That I was disqualified without any basis was shocking. In my entire life, including living on two different continents, and the incredible amount of record created in these circumstances, there has never been a single error, much less deliberate false articulation of my age. Our APC Nomination Form is a relatively simple form which demands little details (In itself, an approach that limits the much needed scrutiny required for leadership selection). As such, I cannot possibly conceive how to fail in filling the form correctly. Finally, the question of how long I have been a member of the party is matter of public record and confirmation.
The process could have been done differently, certainly in a manner that promotes confidence and fairness. An Appeal Committee sat a whole day, and of 12 appeals, the Committee affirmed the decision of the Screening Committee in 11 cases, declaring the 11 aspirants’ ineligible, but clearing only one aspirants, and declaring him eligible. That one aspirant was Babatunde Irukera. In an interesting twist, this only “cleared” candidate did not make the candidate list somehow, but curiously, some who were uncleared, and remained so by the Appeals Committee did. An intense roller coaster ride throughout the day on Wednesday August 28th resulted in a later hour clearance at approximately 8:00 PM (12 hours from the time noted for the primaries to start).
Although humbled by the wide acceptance and embrace by the people of Kogi, the prudent thing to do at the time of the clearance was to discontinue participation in the electoral process considering the loss of momentum and the fact, elections were barely 12 hours, and I was in another city, where we fought our way back to establish what is right. However, in an unprecedented manner, passion over prudence made it imperative to still participate in the elections. Passion derived from the expectations created by entering the race. Passion from the inspiration and urging on from Kogites and those who seek a better deal for Kogi. Passion from the palpable hope for a different direction and narrative for Kogi. Passion that trumped prudence.
The election exercise and experience itself, is another story. I will not bore you with that here and now.
This today is to thank you all for participating in an incredible campaign, and anticipating with us that a new dawn could emerge in Kogi. I thank you all so much for the energy, your anxiety and your engagement for a better Kogi. We must never relent because I am more than ever before convinced that our prosperity is linked to our posterity. History will record our efforts to lift others out of poverty and expanding shared prosperity. Our Confluence of Possibilities will yet emerge.
We are truly Better Than This!
Watch out for Kogi, Watch Kogi!