My Political Diary – Day 44

For some unknown reason I have not been reading newspapers for some weeks now. I did last Sunday.

Until I did it never occurred to me how ‘poorly’ I was doing in the public space with my campaigns that have not followed the regular patterns of politicking. I had been limited by my choice to do things differently, not to compromise my basic priniciples, not to accept demeàning values, and to sew my coat according to my cloth.

To show how impactful my work has (not) been, of the 4 newspapers’ projections of the chances of candidates in the Ogun State gubernatorial elections, of the serious candidates being considered based on public polls, my name did not even feature anywhere!

It should have been a numbing experience. Surpringly, it was not.

I have worked my arse off, travelled all over the State, met people in different communities, had close one-on-one conversations with community, cultural and even spiritual leaders in their domains, and sold my vision of a new Ogun to any willing ear.

Do the newspapers mean that with the sum total of all my work I have not made a dent on the political space?

Chai! I am in ‘trouble o’.
We are in trouble.
The Yoruba race is in trouble.
The tribe faces a serious existential threat. Already, completely fractionalised by politics of the worst kind going on in Ogun State presently, the tribe is almost unrecognizable from the Omoluabi of a few decades ago when its products and environment were a global model of industry, education, development, liberalism, cultural traditions and the highest values in morals, decency, civility and good conduct. Time was when a good nàme and good character were valued and were the simple requirements for cultural, spiritual and even social and political leadership.

Then the West came with its democracy, drove a wedge into our established and functional ways and sold us a system driven by materialism and narrow self interest, and in the process destroyed the foundation of who we are!

Let us examine the present political scenario dispassionately.

What we have all around us on the eve of elections in Ogun State are brazen impositions,  physical threats, destructive violence, obscene display of ungodly wealth and power, fights and killings, open bribery, falsification of qualification documents, display of ill-gotten wealth, and the open buying of votes and voters.

Thats on one hand – condemnable acts that would have been considered sacrilegious had the Yoruba continued along their original paths of moral rectitude.

On the other hand is an alternativè that very few consider a winning formulàr because it promotes a cleansing of the soul, getting rid of the temptation of materialism, and focusing on doing right for a future common good, thè pursuit of happiness for the entire people, the fair and judicious use of the common wealth for common good, and shared responsibility to win or lose together as a team.

Where we stand today in Ogun State there are two options and one of two choices.Those who have ears let them hear.

There is a small army of truth, integrity, decency, honesty and fortitude within the political space. They are not the empty vessels that are making all the present deafening noises. They are in their various homes going through life as victims of the present State of affairs.

They are not the hired ones at most political rallies, rather, they are the millions in mosques, churches and other worship houses nursing unger and pain, praying and fasting for divine intervention to rescue them from hunger, poverty, neglect, under-development, unemployment and mental enslavement that have all combined forces to destroy their being  and their blessed land.

They are the ones immobilized by the seeming impossibility of political ‘change’ because they continue to look only through the present political prism and see ‘no time, no posters, no billboards, no money, no political structure, and no godfather in the usual nature of things’ and they despair, giving up and joining in the ignoble and destructive bazaar of evil political practises.

Their painful experiences make them to forget that with faith the size of a mustard seed they can move mountains.

Despairing and waiting for God to come and do what they should do themselves, nothing happens in the clearest demonstration of their lack of faith!

With the Creator of all things, three days to an election is nothing. The Universe was created in one moment.

So, despite what the papers say,  I shall hold on to my faith and pray for patience, the strength to resist all temptation, the grace to get divine favour, guidance and the stamina to persevere and be faithful till the very end, the eventual outcome of the elections being totally irrelevant.

I visited a mosque last Friday at the invitation of the Deputy and the Chief Imam of the Ansarudeen Muslim movement in Abeokuta. My Deputy is the wife of the Chief Imam of the Ansarudeen congregation in Ijebu Ode.

It was an incredible experience, a christian being subject of an entire sermon at their Friday worship. They fervently prayed for me and I was richly blessed.

I also had an interesting conversation this morning with one of the young persons working to canvas votes for me on Saturday.

He complained that he and his group of my supporters have been the least funded, the ones without posters and billboards, the ones that can’t offer voters money to support me on election day, the ones that have suffered the most by not switching political camps for personal gains, the only ones that are likely to lose out in the final money game at the polling booths.

I tell them not to worry.
I tell them the story of my friend who told me I posed no electoral threat to their party because they would be waiting for me at thè polling booths on election day where I will be trampled with the size of bags bringing illgotten money.

I laugh.
They know nothing about the power of the people, and of the Creator of all things who has been looking for one ‘righteous’ politician in the land to rise up from the debris of corruption, challenge the system courageously. Should he find one such humble servant, an army will be raised even from the pebbles at the polling booths that will humiliate the wicked, exalt the just and rescue the people from hardship and the pangs of poverty. All of this hinged to the faith of One person!

I can testify, on the eve of the guber elections, to the awakening of more than ONE righteous person. There is now a whole army of ‘soldiers’ of truth and decency that have woken up from induced slumber and will be heading to the polling booths this Saturday to confront their greatest enemy – corrupt politicians!

I have met several of them in the course of this political journey. They are fasting and praying and getting ready to confront the ‘enemy’ and their blood money at the polling booths.

They have bought into wisdom’s eternal counsel: ‘what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?’.

As for me, I am happy to be the underdog in these elections. That way the ultimate victory will be sweeter.

I have chosen to team up with the few that choose to dare to be different and to do things differently so that the future will be different, better and brighter for everyone, particularly the next and future generations.

On Sunday morning Nigerians would wake up and individually ask themselves what they did the day before.
Did they mortgage their souls to the devil?
Or did they invest, albeit painfully, in the hope of a better future?

I have won hearts everywhere I have being to meet and to speak with the common people.

They listen to me, remember my antecedents, and see the sincerity of my purpose. They admit they are sold on my vision, although most times they still insist I ‘drop something’ in the usual practise of Nigerian politics. I understand the hardship in the land and occasionally oblige with my widow’s mite.

I realise that my campaign strategy of close one-on-one meetings with small groups in various communities in the State may be slow and tedious, but it is advantageous because the people get to have intimate and memorable encounters with their future governor. That   means a lot to them.

I think again and realise that I may have done much more and more effective campaigns than all other politicians and should deservedly have the upper hand in securing faithful voters, even in a new party ZLP, the last party on the ballot paper they know nothing about.

I have not covered every ground in the State because of time, but I realise that it is the empty barrels, not the ones filled with water, that make the most noise.

The other parties are obviously louder and  more visible but the people never get close to know their prospective governor before the elections. That is where I have my first edge.
Add to that the spiritual dimension of doing things in line with higher moral  and ethical values, decently, truthfully and fairly, and we have a situation where the Universe shall react in accordance to the eternal order of things and make the difference in these elections.

I pin my hopes on these and trudge on despite all the physical postulations in the media, to the contrary, that I stand no chance of winning these elections in the next few days.

So, I am excited.
Not many people give me a chance few days to the elections. So, expectations are not high – a perfect setting for shocks and surprises.

I cannot wait for Saturday to come.

Critically, the game is not over till the final whistle is blown.
I still need the essential fuel, in kind and in cash, to help me go the final distance and win this Marathon race for the poor, the elderly, the physically challenged, traders, artisans, the young, the women, retirees and workers.

By the way, yesterday, in solidarity with fellow comrades, I joined Ogun State workers at the NLC protest march on the streets of Abeokuta for their just causes. I thank God that they finally won the battle!

Probably for the last time here I humbly ask any interested public, my friends and family to support me. No amount is too small, as ‘little drops an ocean make’.

Segun Odegbami
Access Bank acct 0774800545.