Abdullahi Dare Akogun.
Former American president Jimmy Carter after his loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980 Says, “I have a deep appreciation of the system, however, that lets people make a free choice about who will lead them”.
Fellow colleagues, we have come to the end of a long journey. The members of the Kwara Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. I had the honor of congratulating my friend Ahmed Lanre Abdulateef on being elected the next Chairman of the union that we both love, some few minutes after the result were announced.
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance.
That he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of hundreds of members who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of a council chairman in KWARA NUJ, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for the young people in the Pen pushing profession and for the special pride that must be theirs yesterday.
I remember late last year when myself Yinka Alaya and Ahmed Lateef sat down, at a corner in the council to express our dismay on the situation of things in the union, and the resolve to correct it.
The numerous meetings held at Radio Kwara and other places, to the day i drove Ahmed to obtain his form, which we have string disposition that the dream we hold dear is realizable.
I have always had the believe that the NUJ offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it, Ahmed Lateef believes that, too.
I urge all members of the union who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our new Chairman Ahmed Lateef our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, and leave our upcoming generation a stronger, better union than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow men of the pen pushing profession, and please believe me when I say no union has ever meant more to me than that.
It is natural to feel some disappointment, but we must move beyond it and work together to get our union working again. We fought, as hard as we could and though we fell short, the success of the process should be our victory.
I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. The road was a difficult one from the outset. But your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.
To my campaign team, from the campaign DG Olayinka Owolewa, Co DG Dada Bamise, chairman correspondent chapel Hakeem Garuba, state coordinator NAN office Mr Biodun Ẹsan, Elder Wole Adedeji, Deacon Demola Akinyemi, Hameed Shittu, Suleiman Aremu, Hajia Bilikis Oladimeji, Oluseyi DaSilva, my chapel Sobi FM who was with me all through, every other chapels we visited to campaign last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly since May 2021 when we flagged off our campaign in what at times seemed to be the most dynamic campaign in recent times in the annals of the KWARA COUNCIL OF THE NUJ.
A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.
I don’t know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I will leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I’m sure I made my share of them. But I won’t spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.
This campaign was and will remain the greatest honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the members of the union for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Ahmed Lateef should have the honor of leading us for the next three years.
On July 10 2021, I was a candidate for the highest office in the state council of the union I love so much, and this morning, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank you all for it.
I hold in my heart nothing but love for this union and for all its members, whether they supported me or other candidates, I wish God guidance to the man who was my former opponent, my friend who will now be my chairman.
Our constitution enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that. We cherish it.
I shall continue my personal commitment to the cause of members welfare, sense of belonging, peace and unity to the betterment and development of the Kwara Council of the NUJ.
I have great faith that fellow members of our noble union in Kwara will unite behind our new chairman and give him the necessary support to pilot the affairs of our union for the next three years.