MY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE
I just turned 43, a few minutes ago, exactly 47days after I picked up the PDP gubernatorial ticket. In these intervening 47 days, I have learnt as much about life as I have my entire stay on earth. Perhaps I have learnt as much as the young Lincoln did, after his father, Abraham Lincoln penned that cerebral letter to his teacher.
Within the past few weeks, just like that letter suggested, I have seen that all men are not true and that all men are not just, but I have also realized that for every scoundrel, there is a hero, that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Since December 9, I have enjoyed the goodwill of dedicated leaders. Yesterday, in Tarka and Buruku, I stood and watched as the Governor presented me to the Jemgba people who trooped out to receive me. The Governor was represented by his deputy, Chief Steven Lawani, a man who contested the same election as I did, a man who could have been the one, being presented to those very same people.
He stood on that podium, not as the present, but as the presenter. Since my election, he has been an important part of my support base, travelling the length and breadth of the state for my cause, pooling resources, both human and material for my success. I felt privileged, to have both Governors of Benue with me as my supporters.
Behind me that same yesterday were several of my co contestants, men who wanted to serve Benue as much as I did, men who joined up with me immediately I emerged from the primaries to try to move Benue forward.
To these men, I owe a debt of gratitude. They could have chosen to go elsewhere, but they stayed and have decided to work, not just for me, but for the greater good of Benue. These are the dedicated leaders I have discovered in the past 47 days and it is because of men like them that I feel richly blessed on this day of my birth.
There is no better birthday present any of them could have given me than the support they have shown me. They are the true dedicated leaders Lincoln spoke about in that letter.
In that letter too, he also wrote:
‘Teach him to listen to all men but also, teach him to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through. Teach him always to have sublime faith in his creator and faith in himself too, because only then, will he always have faith in mankind.’
This admonition has also always resonated loudly with me. I have become a better listener since last year and I have learnt to sieve truth in all that inundates me now. I wake up everyday to meet the problems of multitudes at my door step and the cries of many others in the wilderness. But this is what drives me- to not only sieve the truth in what I hear, but to also try to mitigate the lie.
On this my 43rd birthday, I have also made a resolve to move closer to my creator and develop a more robust relationship with him. Should I win on February 28 as the generality of the voting population wants, then my administration will be built on the fear of God and respect for the almighty. I may not turn my campaign podium into a campaign pulpit where I recite the Bible by rote, but God in heaven watches all leaders most carefully to see the disparity in what we preach and what we do.
Judgement alone is reserved by him. So, my stronger relationship with God now has given me more belief in mankind and compassion for humanity in general. I am touched by testimonies I get every day from people I helped in the past.
I didn’t know I was going to aspire to be Governor some day, but these random acts of kindness have energized numerous people to carry on with my campaign as if it was their personal projects. This is my joy, this is my fulfillment- that people from all walks of life, in the villages and on the streets have lined up behind me. This has strengthened my belief in mankind immeasurably.
As I write, I have only one birthday request – discuss my vision with the person next to you. Convince one person a day, that is all I ask, that is the birthday present you can give me.
My birthday celebration only starts today but extends all through next month till February 28th. On that day, my birthday celebration will be consummated with your vote for me. Once you thumb print the PDP on that day as you would have, all other elections, you would have given me the perfect birthday of a lifetime.
On Sunday evening of March 1, I will fete you as INEC would have counted your vote and announced me as the winner. I may not have silver and gold to give you, but that vote of yours will remind me of the covenant I have entered into with you on this day of my birth- a pledge to develop your community, put food on your table, a roof over your head, a shirt on your back and money in your pocket.
Even if I cannot build you a World Trade Centre in Makurdi by 2019 or a nuclear power plant in Tyowanye by 2013, the least you deserve is freedom from want to live a peaceful and secure life in the land of your forefathers.
On February 28th, you have a date with destiny, and that is the day when all Benue residents from every walk of life will unite in a common resolve for good governance and a Greater Benue.
My supporters and I shall meet aggression with patient argument – assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victory to come. In all that lies ahead of us, may God grant us wisdom and strength to do what is right so I can meet your expectations as I have boldly proclaimed on this day of my birth, 2015.
This is all I ask.
Happy Birthday from EazyGist crew
MY BIRTHDAY MESSAGE