I have noticed, with consternation, the recurring misnomer and misdescription in political nomenclature particularly as they relate to the politics of the South West, and, by extension, the country as a whole. I refer to the emerging tendency of referring to me and some other members of our great party as the ‘Leader(s) of the South West’ or ‘ New Leader(s) of the APC in the South West’.
When that phrase was first brought to my attention, particularly during the weeks preceding the Ondo State Gubernatorial election, my immediate reaction was to ignore same as yet another distractive antics of the opposition. Somehow, the misnomer stuck and it came to appear rather more frequently in several other fora and publications, including respectable gathering and media.
Lies, and misconceptions, when told and asserted repeatedly with gusto, have the tendency to assume the toga of the truth. It is for these reasons that I have considered it of critical importance to set the records straight.
As the Governor of an APC controlled State, Ogun, I am a huge Stakeholder in my party. In all that I do, in the open and in privacy, the bigger interest of our party remain the guiding principle for my actions, decisions and alliances.
I grew up in the old Western Region where loyalty to corporate goal and party supremacy were the hallmark of a true party member, and, indeed, every citizen.
For the avoidance of doubt, I am not, by any stretch of imagination, the leader or new leader of the APC in the South West. I am a loyal party member, and, I shall stand by our party and of course, with President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. I am also obliged to respect all our leaders, in the State, South West and Nigeria.
This is the minimum that is required of every party member by custom, and by the Constitution of the party. I acknowledge that these are rather difficult times in the life of our party, and, in the nation. I am confident that we shall overcome and our party, the APC, and our dear country will come out even stronger, more viable and united.
True leadership cannot be by conjecture or wishful thinking. From the template that we inherited from our forebearers, it is usually earned. In political parlance, leadership also evolves. If we take this as our guide, even as Governor, I have leaders from my State and at the National level.
By the grace of God I currently serve my people as the Governor of Ogun State. My total preoccupation and commitment is to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Ogun State that the Almighty God used to give me the opportunity to serve them.
We will not take the support of our people for granted. We shall work even harder to justify their confidence and, by the grace of God, leave the State better than we met it, and in a blaze of glory. These, rather than some insensitive, phony and imaginary leadership contest, are my aspirations.