Congratulations on your doggedness and your tenacity in building a party and a movement just in 9 months. It is quite unprecedented.
This movement was formed for the birth of a New Nigeria.
A lot of you contributed your time and treasure to see that Nigeria can be a better country that works for all. The events of the last few days were daunting and have sapped your energy and faith and belief in the country. A lot of you think that Nigeria cannot be salvaged. A lot of you are mentally drained. A lot of you have totally lost faith and many may be thinking of how to exit the country.
Leaving as in running away in my opinion, is defeatist.
Last Saturday, the presidential Election Day was the test of your resolve and you have shown the world that with resolve and tenacity, you will truly take back your country.
On Saturday, many of you voted for the first time, many of you stood in line with great faith that with the promise by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and with the introduction of Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), that the votes will count and your efforts will amount to something. You stood in the sun and in the rain. You exercised patience even in the face of great bodily and health harm. You were exasperated waiting for the electoral officers. But you stood firm. A lot of you frowned at the ballot snatchers and vote buyers and stood firmly against them. A lot of you sustained injuries and were intimidated while some lives were lost. A lot of you were abused and derided but you stayed focused. The seed of ethnic and religious division was sown but you remained united in the pursuit of the New Nigeria. You employed the real team-ship and formed a community of OBIdient family.
Your mission was to dismantle the structure of criminality, the structure of corruption, the structure of institutional malfeasance, the structure of looting and the structure of nepotism and tyranny among others. You wanted to enthrone good governance, people oriented governance, merit-based society, moral and humane society, and a productive society. You wanted a government that will lay a foundation of citizen participatory government and a government instituted by the people.
These formed the foundation of your trust and belief. You went out to do your civic duty in great numbers.
Later, right before your eyes, all the votes you fought for were trashed, snatched and destroyed. Before you the ones you recorded could not be uploaded and vanished in a twinkle of the eye, through manipulation. There were many obvious distortions and vote robberies. Right before you, the electoral law was violated. Before you, there was a brazen discard of electoral laws and the acceptance of the obvious manipulated results by the electoral umpire. Your emotions were high in disbelief in the country and the brazen and courageous violations of the law while some countrymen clapped and egged them on. You were convinced that the numbers they were throwing up were false but you were helpless.
Nobody has ever said that such a task to create a new Nigeria as you have taken up will be easy. Nobody should expect that it will be achieved in a twinkle of an eye. Nobody should tell you that dismantling decades-old fortified individual corruption, fortified institutional corruption, and the fortified corruption of institutions of democracy will be easy.
While the establishment is doing everything to resist your take over, they are afraid of you. They are afraid of your spirit, your strong will and your persistence. Do not waver. Do not succumb and do not be lured to the vestiges of their ruining lustre. They will make attempts to break your spirit and break the community. Do not relent.
Knowing of the illegality of the electoral process, in the wee hours of Wednesday, they announced the president-elect, despite there were so many reservations on the result and the process. They, like the thieves, operated while others were asleep.
In the minds of many Nigerians, this new government is an illegal and illegitimate government.
They announced the result with the belief that Nigerians will protest, and then they will plant seeds of chaos that will turn it into violence under which they will deploy the guns. They also believe that Nigerians will relax and accept the result after all, when they are given some time to vent their anger after which life continues. These are their normal calculations which you will play into their hands whichever reaction you choose.
Do not despair.
I urge you to wake from your disappointment and energise your spirit. It is a long road to emancipation. Do not get weakened and do not take the defeatist road. Do not slumber while the powers that be fortify more on how to resist you, keep you poor and destroy your resolve.
Take courage from your achievement that in less than a year, you won elections in many states. You retired many hegemonic politicians and sent a damning message that the power of the people is indeed great. That was historic.
Go out stronger and win more states in the coming states’ elections. When the top is stolen from you, do not neglect the down while you pursue a redress. Rise like ants and seize the local communities and the top will be in your hands. Do not waver.
In the words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you’ll find you get what you need.”