IT IS A NEW DAWN OF RENEWED HOPE FOR THE PEOPLE
By John Kayode
I must hasten to join all the good people of this country to congratulate the winner of the keenly contested 2023 presidential election, the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Vice President-Elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, on the well-deserved victory. I thank, profusely, my colleagues, especially the APC Northern Governors’ Forum, and the Southern Governors’ Forum, for making today’s victory a reality. Posterity will reserve a respectable place for them as ambassadors of peace, equity and justice.
I congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for keeping his promise to bequeath a legacy of credible elections to the country. The most cynical of critics will agree that there has been a tremendous progressive improvement on the electoral process since he assumed the leadership of this country. The conduct of elections has gone beyond mere avowals to ensure free and fair elections under this current administration.
I extend this courtesy to all Nigerians for making history and rendering nugatory the dark prophecies of workers of iniquity. They have exhibited uncommon resilience in the face of extreme provocation orchestrated by the enemies of this country to frustrate the whole process. Their determination has put them to shame. I must also thank, most profoundly, the good people of Ondo State for the remarkable impact which their participation has had on the whole process. I did not expect anything less from a people with an enviable pedigree, the veritable pride of a most sophisticated race. Above all, I thank God Almighty for permitting us all to see the light of this day.
Let me commend all those who participated in the general elections for their sense of patriotism at this crucial period in the history of democratic governance in the country. This year’s elections have again proved that Nigerians are ready to continue as a people, united by common destiny. It has begun a process of the eventual demystification of the deluded potentates. The people perceived treachery bordering on treason. They rejected perfidy and all traces of same. At the end of the contest, the people of Nigeria won. As there must be a winner in an exercise, such as this one, the declaration of the winner by INEC makes it incumbent on other contestants to close ranks and join the in-coming Government in the interest of the country.
The President-Elect himself has, magnanimously, extended an olive branch to all contestants. It is hoped that these patriots will avail the people of their services at different levels. This is the time that all hands must be on deck to surmount the challenges currently faced by the country. There should be no difficulty for them to join hands with the in-coming government if the focus is indeed service to the people.
I must not forget to thank INEC for the success achieved under most challenging circumstances. I commend the professionalism displayed by our security agencies across the country. I thank our children, members of the NYSC, who participated as ad hoc staff and electoral officers of during the exercise.
This victory offers yet another opportunity for the ruling party, APC, and the incoming government to continue with the developmental strides taken by the current Administration. Furthermore, it is a rare chance given by the people to the new leaders to tackle, headlong, the factors militating against socio-economic development in the country. The Nigerian State must be administered true to the acclaimed federal status. The Government and the people of Ondo State hope to engage the Federal Government, vigorously, on these issues. There will be no compromise on this stance.
The people of this country expect a paradigm shift. The results of these elections represent their eloquent rejection of the politics of prebendalism which has made become despondent. The pervasive anger in the land dictated the voting pattern, largely. We must be courageous enough to dismantle all structures which stifle development. The people have chosen competence and a verifiable record of quintessential performance over narrow-mindedness, propelled by ethno-religious considerations, and sinister predilections anchored on dubious claims to spiritual superiority and knowledge. They await, anxiously, the fulfilment of these promises. We cannot afford to disappoint ourselves as their minds are made up on getting quality service.
Once again, I congratulate the President-Elect, the Vice President-Elect and all those who won their elections into the National Assembly, on this great victory and wish them a successful tenure in office.
ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O. AKEREDOLU, SAN
GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE