My Political Diary – Day 45

It is Friday.
The world must be wondering what the contestants is these hotly contested elections in Ogun State must be doing on the eve of their greatest political challenge.

Time is running at 1000 kilometres per hour now.

I am looking around me and seeing the impossibility to put finishing touches to all my obligations for the elections.

The logistics inbolved are mind boggling. There are thousand of things in my head still to do, and a thousand butterflies in my stomach.

I am feeling just as I would do on the eve of a big football match with all the tension, pressure and emotions you can imagine.

I have not had as many wellwishers in my life since my football days, as I did these past few days

In the past 24 hours I have had messages from some of the dearest people to me, including surprise calls from renowned clergy – 4 bishops, several pastors and 3 Muslim Imams. They called to pray for me.
I am still trying to understand what attracted suçh sentiments, but I am very grateful to my creator.

I recall my coach’s instructions before the most difficult matches – relax, play to instruction, never lose concentration, enjoy the game. The key to winning, however, is to play and have fun!

So, at 4:30 pm, following a rather chaotic day of endless demands for money, I picked up my tennis bag and headed out to the Sports Club for a round of tennis.

Everyone at the club was stunned into momentary silence. At the height of such high wire tension where did I find the audacity to set everything aside and to go play tennis?

That is hard to understand, but that’s what is needed when the odds are so heavily stacked against you in a game. You remain cool, calm and collected in the tradition of sports at the highest level.

The whole experience this day has been hectic and sometimes overwhelming.

I had spent most of Thursday with my people in the Wasimi Orile environment, combing the remote neighbouring villages and hamlets deep in the woods, sharing some time with them and celebrating life away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

It was all a last-minute engagement with the people. It was as if I needed to be reminded of the level of disconnect between thè ordinary people and their government. I came face to face with the reality of just how little the people’s basic needs are, compared to the hugè and expensivè projects embarked upon that hardly positively touch their lives. Indeed, in order to be happy, what the people need are basic, simple and inexpensive things.

So, here I am writing into Saturday morning doing a physical as well as mental check of the things I still need to do even in this dying minute to D-Day. I assure myself that all is well.

I received a late call at 3 O’clock in the wee hours of yesterday. Another prayer group of Christians had called me up to join in prayers.

They prayed that angels should come down from their heavenly home and take charge at every one of the 5000 polling booths where some of the opposition say I shall fall under the weight of a mind-numbing financial bill of at least N2000 Naira per agent in order to be able to protect my votes.

I do not have 10 million Naira, of course. A handful of friends and a few family members came to my help and contributed just enough the keep me still in the race approaching the finish line, with a good chance at winning this rather bizarre impossible-to-script political ‘game’ in Ogun State.

Even through the phone the prayers rose towards the heaven carrying the painful messages of woes and of suffering amongst a people that are so abundantly blessed by the Lord of Host.

The lord shall raise an army yhat wiĺl with the poor and needy. These are the ones that will fight on the side of the weak, the widows, thè women and the downtrodden.

The time has come when good shall triumph over evil in a way that will become obvious to the world that the result coming out of Ogun State is the handiwork of the most powerful force in the Universe.

No one shall or can claim any part of the credit that will be due to the Creator of all things who sees all hearts and good or evil intentions. He will humble the arrogant and strengthen the weak.

I rounded up my visitations with one to the head of hunters and eguns in Ogun State. I was accompanied by two of my close friends, TK and Bola.

The visit turned out to be an incredible journey into the world of Yoruba History and Traditions.

An innocuous, unplanned social interaction turned out to become an incisive scholarly trip into the possibility of a cultural renaissance to drive the fastest development program in this part of the world.

TK and Bola recounted recent expeditions on Yoruba traditions in Benin Republic. There is a real rebirth of rich Yoruba Culture in festivals and cultural events that showcase the beauty and uniqueness of Yoruba masquerades, dances and drumming.

The Alapinni of Egbaland, we found out during conversation, was an actor in the Yoruba Travelling Theatre group in the mid-1970s and had worked with TK on some productions.

Our visit turned out to be a reunion of old artistes who now shared a common dream of a new Ogun State that will make people’s issues its priority, focus on taking care of the people’s welfare and well being, and use thèir unique gifts to fuel economic and socio-cultural development of the entire West African sub-region.

Things are coming together rather quickly in this political jigsaw puzzle.

As dawn breaks my hope soars with conviction that all is well.

Today has finally come.
I shall take it easy.
I shall take my feet off the accelerator pedal of life. I shall use the next 2 hours to put all these down as Day-45 of my political Diary.

Meanwhile, the final race is about to start.
I can’t wait for blast-off.
On your marks. Get set. Go.

Segun Odegbami

  • Go vote for ZLP, the last party on the ballot paper, situated right at the bottom outside right position!