A United States-based university teacher, Ogaga Ifowodo, who requested public support to raise funding for his campaign as an aspirant to the House of Representatives, lost out in the contest, and says he is satisfied with the conduct of the election.
Mr. Ifowodo had contested to be elected the flagbearer of All Progressives Congress, APC, to represent Delta State at the House of Representatives.
He said although he lost, the poll was “free and fair.”
He therefore congratulated the winner of the election, Daniel Oyowe, whom he said defeated him by wide margin, to clinch the party’s ticket to contest the Isoko North/South federal constituency of Delta State in the February election.
“On Sunday, 7 December 2014, the All Progressives Congress, APC, held its House of Representatives primaries election in Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North Local Government Area, Delta State,” he said in a press statement on Monday.
“I lost to my opponent, Mr Daniel Oyowe, by a wide margin. It was a free and fair election. As soon as it was clear that Mr. Oyowe was coasting to a decisive victory, I congratulated him. I wish to also congratulate my party, APC, and the party officials sent to conduct the elections.”
Mr. Ifowodo, a former student union activist, who teaches poetry and literature at Texas State University, San-Marcos, USA, had in October signified his intention to run for the seat.
He had written 350 “fellows citizens, friends and comrades,” appealing to them to raise N57.4 million for him to fund the election.
It could not be confirmed if the targeted people responded.
The former aspirant recounted in the statement that in the letter, he had laid out the vision and passion, complete with a seven-point agenda, spanning meaningful constituency projects and advocacy, a genuine anti-corruption war, employment-enhancing legislation, law reform, human and environmental rights protection and absolute adhesion to the secularity of Nigeria for religious freedom and peaceful coexistence — that impelled him to enter into the perilous waters of Nigerian politics.
He added, “And in a pre-primaries statement, I affirmed this vision as the party of change, APC, continued its bold march towards salvaging our floundering nation by restoring to our badly misgoverned country sanity, accountability and development through good governance.
“The overwhelming majority of the people pine for change and only the APC represents that change after the PDP’s decade-and-a-half choke-hold on the nation’s jugular. I believe that APC is set to take over the governance of this country in a last-ditch attempt to avert the darkness and chaos that present a clear and present danger to our national existence.”
Mr. Ifowodo also congratulated all the APC candidates who emerged in the governorship and other House of Representatives primaries as well as the senatorial candidates.
He said as a rookie politician hampered by inadequate resources, he expressed deepest gratitude to those change-desiring citizens who responded warmly to his letter with their “widows’ mites” while wishing they could give more.
“To them I would like to say, your contribution to change by way of credible candidates who would restore some modicum of integrity to politics and politicking in our country was not in vain,” he said.
“I am not quitting the struggle for change, even if victory was not achieved at first try, and I hope you won’t either.
“We just need more people to be as committed, morally and materially, as you were to mine or similar other “hopeless” causes.”
Mr. Ifowodo urged all his supporters not to be discouraged or succumb to cynicism, stressing “In the final analysis, however, we must find an answer to the question why credible citizens who everyone agrees would be pillars of selfless service to the country, who would be nation-builders and not nation-wreckers, continue to fail to make it into the corridors of power.”
He listed those who could not make to include Obafemi Awolowo, Balarabe Musa, Tunji Brathwaite, Pat Utomi, Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana, Olisa Agbakoba and Sylvester Odion-Akhaine.
He said the struggle for Nigeria continues and that it would begin with the conclusion of the APC primaries holding in Lagos.