As We Decide by Femi Oguntayo

It has really been a while on this column – Philosophia Lines, and I want to let you know I am back and better. As you all know that this column is a medium where we tell ourselves the truth and nothing but the truth, we are back on track from a national assignment which made the column to appear zigzag.
There is a saying that, when two brothers enter a room and come out smiling, they have not told each other the truth, but when you see them come out with a scowl on their faces, you will know that they have discussed nothing but the bitter truth. I trust you will enjoy reading this column every edition as we shall be talking about the state of our State (Ekiti) and what we need to know even as we decide on who rules this state of ours – Ekiti State.
As the Ekiti Governorship Election draws nearer, we need to ask ourselves, what and what do we want? Are we just going to vote based on the fact that this person is from my party or this person is from my senatorial district or this person is from my constituency or because this person is from my town, or are we going to vote for the party that pays the most – talking about monetization of elections; are we going to vote for the highest bidder? These are questions we need to ask ourselves.
Ekiti was known to be united in doing things in the past – talking about how we came together to fight the Oyo imperial masters then, we were able to conquer. Why? It was simply because we were united! Now, reverse is the case! What makes United States of America the most powerful nations of the world today is Unity. In America, even before they elect a new leader, they will come together, pray to God and ask for wisdom for whoever becomes their leader to perform well.
This I see as being luminous and intelligent because they know that an injury to one is an injury to all, which means that, if the leader is not wise it will affect the whole country, even the bible says, “Wisdom is the principal thing”.
Hence, a very big question then struck my mind: how many States in Nigeria can do this? We are not even talking of Nigeria as a country now, how many States in Nigeria can come together and pray for whoever becomes the leader to be guided and be endowed with wisdom so as to perform well for the betterment of their States? Instead, we even stand as an opposition to the leader and make sure he does not succeed, because of our selfish interests. There is a saying that, “we are only as strong as we are united and as weak as we are divided”. Thus, for us in Ekiti, to achieve a tangible thing as a State, the first thing we need to have irrespective of our political interest is ‘Unity’!

Another thing that we need to understand as a state that wants development is that, we should not sell our votes. Though they say, ‘Money answers all things’, how much money are we talking about here? N1000, N2000, even N3000? Is that enough for us to sell our right, thereby situating ourselves into another 4 years of anguish and lack? How has the money enriched us so far? Let us think about this Ekiti! Even as we collect this money every time, we are getting poorer and poorer by the day.
It is high time we decided to face our problem squarely and elect a leader that will take us to our promise land. A leader with vision, a leader with quality development blueprint, a leader that is honest, a leader that is not deceitful, a leader that is intelligent both morally and economically, a leader that has integrity! Not a leader that will line us up on the road and give us N500 and 1 ‘Kongo’ of rice, hiding under the fact that he is the friend of the masses.
We should, however, note that, it is not sharing of N500 and 1 ‘Kongo’ of rice that made Lagos state of today, it is not N500 and I ‘Kongo’ of rice that made great counties of today. I will say, a leader that believes in sharing of N500 and I ‘Kongo’ of rice is a leader without vision and that is not what we need for our dear State to move forward.
We need to elect a leader that will portray us good among the States of Nigeria, not a leader that will portray us as a hungry set of people. A leader that will make us proud, that Ekiti State will be a point of reference among the states in this country in terms of development and dignity. There is no doubt we have lost that self-esteem for which we were known. Hence, the need to restore this pristine dignity by choosing the right leader as we decide come July this year. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.

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