It is crucial to put up this piece owing to the concern of my friends, family, supporters and fellow comrades, and most importantly, the keen observers of the development in Oriade/Obokun politics.
A lot of people have been worried about the reactions of some persons to my political ambition, their open anger, bitterness, hatred and their direct and indirect attack on my person. This are indeed groups of bitter persons that do not support my candidacy and have taken sides elsewhere, a situation that I fully recognise and respect as their right or preference. Rather than be guided by fair play, they have resorted to name-calling, labelling and mud flinging, sometimes succeeding to provoke me into reacting for the simple reason that I am human, while they are professional politicians, skilled in dirty politics.
I must say, however, that I have no problem with their methods, not on a personal note. I recognise the hard fact that in Nigeria, engaging in the political process is opening oneself to ridicule and criticism. In fact, I insist on public scrutiny of each candidates in an election, my only reservation surfaces when a noble process is replaced by a vindictive process devoid of truth. I have always encouraged, and continue to encourage, anyone and everyone to conduct independent fact-checks on my person and antecedents. I have subjected and will continue to subject myself to the public quizzing or questioning of my aspiration, intent and character for this is, in fact in itself, a democratic right of the voting constituents.
In a constituency of over 50, 000 people, if a single individual must be picked for political office in which over 10, 000 persons are qualified to hold such positions, I believe subjecting us to any test and scrutiny regardless of the form IS NOT a bad idea. In fact regardless of the intent of the person. I, Pelumi Olajengbesi, remain open to criticism no matter how hostile.
Let’s look at things from another perspective. It would appear that our boldness and confidence has become the dread of some. There are more than a few persons who are apparently disturbed and worried about my ‘guts’ to not just indicate interest in the House of Representatives election but actually pursue it with diligence and purpose. I have been repeatedly slammed by this group of people who have formed the habit of referring to me as a small boy, and one lacking in the financial capacity to prosecute my electoral ambition against their little gods.
They see in my sincere ambition only effrontery, they see in my words and action undue cause to question my motives. Their reactions have been far from noble or equitable, their methods despicable and appalling. Some have even gone to the extent of posting in the public space that I will not ‘smell’ the primary elections because they founded the party, PDP and they have been nursing it for long. They have rubbished the ideals of due process and boldly written off the primaries as a ‘done deal’. Some have also accused my followers of campaign calumny.
I want to assume all to be correct and sympathise with the position they find themselves in today, but I do have the following to put on record;
1. I am a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and I believe the party is not in anybody’s pocket in Osun State or Nigeria and it is too big to be so. The party is founded by law and the law is also derived from the grundnorm of the land. I believe there can be politicking within the party with some people being more influential but that does not mean the part is in their pockets, and so also goes for any party in the world. Anything else simply demeans and belittles the principles of democracy.
2. I have a right to aspire because I believe I have a program to execute. I do not see my ambition as an effrontery against anybody and I can’t be contesting an election while at the same time promoting another candidate vying for same office. This, as suggested by some persons, is a contradiction in purpose and looks more like eye service than genuine service. I believe the only thing any other candidate will boast of ahead of me is their financial war-chest or money. I have paid my dues in serving this country selflessly as a social crusader, I have stood for the oppressed in the dangerous hours and I have received the laurels of the downtrodden. This is my bargain, this is my truth.
3. I believe those complaining about me, spreading tales of lies of my activities have no genuine reasons to do that. We have taken the decision to confront them and that seems unbelievable. They also do not like our approach, I hope they will forgive us. I make it bold to say that the succeeding days to come will be more tensed because we will have to offend the sensibilities of this same people because we are very much ready to contest the election at all levels with anybody who has interest in the same position. I hope our supporters will bear with the children of anger because we cannot beat a child and still ask the child not to cry. We hold the whip, the tears and pain is theirs.
4. I sincerely want to appeal to all of our supporters to please hence forth desist from publishing anything online that is derogatory against any candidate, particularly Hon. Wole Oke, our egbon and leader. Lets concentrate on what we intend to sell to the people as our campaign promises. Please let’s try to refrain from abusing anybody even when we are abused. I have also noticed that not all persons having issues with Hon. Wole Oke are my supporters and we cannot win this election online anyway, we must go to all the villages in Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency and meet with our people one on one, to convince them of our intention and ideals. We must also stay completely from violence even in the face of provocation, because we belong to the pen warrior families and history has shown that pen is mightier than sword.
5. Please I appeal to the general public to hold me responsible solely for statements made by me and with my name as the signature.
May God continually empower and guide our steps and bless our people in Ijesa North.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.
Aspirant for the House of Representatives Seat, Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency.