OPINION: One Up For Vigilance!

By Babafemi Ojudu

A couple of days ago I lent my voice to the outcry of members of our party in Ekiti State who were deprived of their right to the process leading to the oncoming election of party leaders at Ward Level.

They have heeded the directive of the National Secretariat of the party that every member of the party who is willing to lead at the Ward should pay to the party and obtain forms.

To make this process fair and transparent, two party officials were sent from Abuja to carry out the process with clear instructions by the National leadership that they sell forms to every member of our party willing to contest for party positions. The officials got to Ekiti and allowed themselves to be induced and so they dropped the forms with a caucus in the party and shamelessly scampered back to Abuja.

The people protested and reiterated the party’s position on the matter. Both President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of our party led by Governor Buni wanted a fair and just Congress and they have worked assiduously in order to deliver a rancour-free Convention.

We commend the people for their vigilance and steadfastness . We commend the party officials at our party headquarters for their insistence that the right thing must be done. We also want to commend the officials of the party in the State for listening to the outcry of the people and thereby retracing their steps on the matter. Doing otherwise would have further divided our party going forward.

We want to inform that the officials initially sent from Abuja are back on the ground to make forms available to all members of the party willing to contest come Saturday, not minding which caucus of the party they belong.

This is democracy at play. Elections, whether inter or intra party, is a celebration of democracy. It should not be seen as war. We want to therefore call on my friend and brother, the Ekiti State governor, and his aides to allow free and fair election on Saturday devoid of inducement, violence and intimidation.

We are compatriots of the party of CHANGE. Fairness, Equity and Justice should be our watchword. It is when this is done and the wishes of the people is upheld and respected that all members of our great party can stand up United to face the PDP next year to elect a new governor. Without unity, it will be difficult for us to rise up as one to defeat the PDP in 2022.

The party is still smarting from the scandal that followed the killing of a police woman and other innocent citizens in Omuo during the last Ekiti East bye-election. Three of our party members have been charged with murder for this.

We plead that those in control of instrument of violence in Ekiti allow for fair and violence free Congress on Saturday. They should not give a bad name to their boss. Dr Kayode Fayemi is a young man and a democrat who should provide leadership by example for our young people out there to emulate. He has so far been blessed with a lot of personal accomplishments among his peers. My wish for him is not to leave Ekiti with a legacy of blood shed, violence and criminality.

All our party members should come out on Saturday happy, joyous and jubilant. They should be in a carnival mode during and after the election.

This is what we owe ourselves. This is what we owe our party. If we all shelve our personal ambitions and allow party members to freely choose their leaders without violence and inducement, we will all see that our party will bounce back to its winning streak.

We are brothers and sisters, Ekiti is one. We cannot afford to maim one another. We need peace in our party and this Saturday Congress can set the tone of what is to come.

We desire development, we owe ourselves love and brotherhood. Responsibility is what we owe our party. Loyalty and good behavior is what we owe our Leader, President Muhammadu Buhari.

• Ojudu, a presidential aide, is a former Senator.

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