By Akinrinlola Olumide
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, says Charles Dickens in his book, the Tale of Two Cities. That’s the way the Biblical King David might have looked back following his challenging periods before he came to power as Israel’s king. I think Banji Okunomo, the youngest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ondo State would say the same thing now as he struggles to win the ticket of the PDP ahead of the primary slated for July 22, 2020.
King David had some difficult times in his lifetime. He was the youngest in the family, and it seemed as though he got all the dirty work. His brothers did not look up to him but treated him with a measure of disrespect and disdain because the family saw him as nobody and a man without any value. He was not even present for selection as Israel’s king, yet God made him the King of Israel because the crown was on his head. And because God does not look at the things people look at, God looks at the heart, hence he became the King of Israel despite being the youngest among his brethren.
Now, as the battle for the gubernatorial ticket of the PDP becomes thickens, I can boldly say that Okunomo is another young David who would spring a surprise during the PDP primary to the dismay of many people who didn’t look up to him.
Just like King David, Okunomo has passed through many challenging periods in his lifetime most especially in the course of his ambition to become the governor of Ondo State.
Okunomo was the first to start his governorship campaign and was at the same time advancing the course of zoning for Ondo South. During this time, some of the chieftains of the party who now wanted to harvest the golden fruit produced by the tree of zoning planted by Okunomo were mocking and calling him all sorts of names then.
Some said he is a Facebook aspirant, some called him Ondo South governor, some said he is an Ilaje governor, but when the young man refused to be distracted and the agitation for zoning became loud, some of these leaders declared their ambitions for governor. They didn’t just join the race, they never stop in their cheap blackmail against the anointed one – Banji Okunomo. They claimed he is too young to rule Ondo State in his 40s.
They continued by saying Okunomo didn’t have the resources to run for the office of a governor. But when Okunomo became the first to pick the expression of interest and nomination forms of the party, they said he was gunning for deputy governorship candidate slot.
But when he became obvious he was so serious to become the state governor, they alleged he has been offered the sum of N400M as a pay off to step down for a particular aspirant.
When this blackmail failed, they later petitioned the PDP governorship screening committee led by Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara to discredit and disqualify him whereas the said petition was found to be baseless, empty and bereft of atom of substance and the petition ended up in the waste bin , when no truth and no merit were found in the petition.
Now, they have started alleging the same man they claimed does not have the resources to run for the office of a governor of trying to induce the delegates with money to win the ticket of the party by next week Wednesday.
The truth is that Okunomo was walking when others were crawling. He was running where others were walking. He was flying when others were driving. He was busy engaging the delegates when some were busy writing petition and sponsoring cheap blackmail on social media.
Okunomo has developed close and enduring friendships and alliances with the delegates when some people were doctoring delegates list to rig the election. Okunomo is now a serious threat to those who saw the ticket of the PDP as their rightful inheritance, leaving the factor of providence with the fact that God rules in the affairs of men and He enthrones Princes and Kings as it pleases Him.
You cannot become a King when the crown is not on your head. Those who didn’t get promotion from God have always lived to regret it till they died. The book of First Corinthians 1: 26 -29 says: ”But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence.”
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose, God raised you up, that He might show His power in thee, and glorify His name throughout all the earth. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”( Romans 9:15-17).
So as we count down to July 22, 2020, for the PDP Primary, I beseech all the delegates to beware of the Saul’s, and be on the lookout for the David – Banji Okunomo, the youngest and the most maligned PDP governorship aspirant in Ondo State, for the crown, has abandoned Akeredolu and has come upon his head, ahead of the governorship election on October 10, this year.
Akinrinlola Olumide, is the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South at the 9th Assembly.