Upon my retirement from the Nigeria Air Force on 28 November 2019, following several years of distinguished military service as an Instructor Pilot and General Service Star (GSS), I made the decision to venture into active politics by putting myself forward for consideration by the people regarding the seat of member of Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My biggest motivation to contest the election of the 25th February, 2023 was borne out of my patriotism to serve my beloved people of Plateau South Senatorial District and the Nigerian nation in another way.
In a historic election that was devoid of violence, extreme partisanship, and ethno-religious polarization, you accorded me the highest honour of my life when you overwhelmingly selected me as your Distinguished Senator.
In that election, your message as electorate was loud and clear as expressed in the winning margin of 57,100 votes. Such was the strong expression of your will at the polls that the blind could see it and the deaf could hear it. I make bold to say that even the numb could feel it! Your momentous decision to propel me to victory with your votes reverberated across the nation. I couldn’t be prouder!
However, by the decision of the Court of Appeal handed down on the 7th of November, 2023 which nullified the clearly unassailable mandate you entrusted in me, seems as though that hallowed courtroom, in isolation, is the only avenue that couldn’t get your loud and clear message of my anointing as your Senator when you congregated at your various polling units on the day of election.
Throughout the just concluded windy judicial process, it became very clear that on the issue of “nomination and sponsorship of candidates”, the Orwellian philosophy comes to mind for our great party, the PDP on the Plateau whereby, “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Whatever might have informed this selective approach by the Court has only foisted on us one standout consequence: The trivialization of the mandate you gave me.
Let me, however, be quick to add that, while we do not necessarily agree with this judicial outcome, it is profitable wisdom in our society’s collective interest that we all remain calm in the abiding faith that the future holds even greater promise for the Plateau South Senatorial District. Do not, as a forward looking people, lose your head!
When I put forward myself to serve you in an elective capacity, it was never my consideration that the winner of the Senatorial contest would be decided through a protracted legal process, just like the one we have had. For me, I hold the view that elections ought to be won and lost through the ballot box, and any judicial resolution should be in tandem with the people’s wishes. Regrettably though, this was not what played out in court.
Nevertheless, at this special moment, I find your love and support for me more reassuring like never before; and let me also take a moment to reassure you that I will not withdraw from the political landscape as it is erroneously assumed by the opponents of social change, we shall stand and fall together!
The fact is not lost on me that leadership is not necessarily all about a given position; but it is more about the people’s trust in one’s ability to carve a progressive path for the good of society. On this score, and for the legitimacy I enjoy from you as your leader, let me renew my promise to you that I will carry on providing succour to you, being my fellow constituents, within the ambit of my God given endowment.
I see my relationship with you as a never-ending love story and in the spirit of that mutual love between and among us, I undertake to remain in your service, to carry on representing our collective interest, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in defence of our freedom and democracy.
I am not abandoning the struggle! I am here to stay!
Thank you for your immense support! May God bless us all!
AVM Napoleon Binkap Bali GSS (Rtd)