This is all-hands-on-deck time,” quipped Professor David W. Orr, a professor of Environmental Studies, in response to the subject of climate change. Today, I borrow his words to emphasize that this is all-hands-on-deck time for us in Oyo State. Why? In less than 48 hours, the people of our great state will go into another electoral process similar to what was experienced on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
This Saturday, March 9, I encourage everyone to work together in taking Oyo State to the Next Level of greatness, glory and satisfaction. Two Saturdays earlier, our people began this journey to the Next Level, standing solidly by our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), culminating in its expected and much-cherished victory in the presidential election and clinching a majority of the National Assembly seats in Oyo State. Though that sweet experience was hampered by a few unexpected jolts following the employment of underhand tactics such as violence, vote-buying and deception, the Oyo State electorate proved their commitment to the progressive family. I commend them, especially the people of my local government, Oorelope Local Government, who gave it all to the progressives, giving us victory in all 10 wards. But as the saying goes that yesterday’s gone, the March 9 governorship election provides Oyo State another opportunity to demonstrate that it is a progressive state. This time, our people must rise above primordial, baseless and needless sentiments and also refuse to give in to vote-buying; they must prove their allegiance to the light by voting for the governorship candidate of the APC, Chief Adebayo Adelabu (Penkelemesi).
In the past few days, we have seen different coalitions; different forces have gathered over the Oyo State governorship seat: the forces of light and the forces of darkness. Our people, I believe, would have known that the gathering of the opposition forces is darkness; it is a desperate effort to gain control of Oyo State with a view to capturing its purse and looting its resources. Who will trust a hungry man with the last morsel meant for his children? This gathering of forces against Adelabu, a man tested and trusted as a banker, administrator, philanthropist and insightful leader and indeed, the best man to move Oyo State to the Next Level, certainly, cannot be in the interest of Oyo State. No, kikojo won, ibere ote ni. Gbogbo aluwala ologbo, ogbon a ti k’eran je ni. But like you did last Saturday by permanently retiring their overall leader at the centre, giving your votes to our visionary leader and architect of a new Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the people of Oyo State must end the gathering of dark forces on Saturday by electing Adelabu. Beginning from his solid plan for free qualitative primary and secondary school education to his deep commitment to boosting the economy of Oyo State through agricultural revolution and ensuring abundant life for Oyo State people, Adelabu has put forward a sound manifesto that can make Oyo State truly great. With Adelabu, Oyo State surely will head for the stars in human development and infrastructure. But the forces of darkness are determined to thwart our rise to the Next Level. As a people, we must, with great passion and determination, tell them that “Oyo must rise!” Yes, Oyo must attain the glory we now see on the horizon as a result of the good works of the APC government. Yes, Oyo cannot be left behind in the hands of political jobbers and desperately hungry individuals seeking to keep it to the ground; rise we must! As you head to the polls on Saturday, keep in mind the song by our leader and vice-president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, “oke oke la nlo o, a o ni lo sile o, oke oke la nlo o. A o ni padanu o, oke oke la nlo o.” With that determination to take Oyo State to the Next Level, cast your vote for the man best suited to achieve the mandate, Adebayo Adelabu (Penkelemesi). A vote for the APC is a vote for Oyo’s continuous rise!
Olumide Ojerinde is the House of Representatives Member-Elect, Irepo/Olorunsogo/Oorelope Federal Constituency.