NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM UMAR NASKO
Happy New Year!
We thank the Almighty God for sparing all of us who are alive to see the beginning of another year.
I also want to specially thank my family, Jamila, the love of my life, and our beautiful children for providing the pillar against on which I have leaned on countless times to weather most of my life’s toughest storms so far.
I cannot thank all of you my friends and extended family here and beyond, who though your love and support has proven again what we know and hold true in the heart of most Nigerians that in the face of excellence and selfless leadership, the walls of ethnicity, religion, and even politics, has no choice, but to fall!
I say thank you. And welcome to 2019!
Like I will always say, there is something about a new year that evokes a refreshment for weakening strengths, a revival of flagging faiths, and a renewal for struggling lives!
At the beginning of each New Year, I exhort people to see and live in the present. To appreciate the gift of starting afresh, and imagine the future that could be possible where determination, mixed with hard work and faith is put to test.
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Years will come and go. But some years by divine and, or human design, become definitive even before they start.
This 2019 is one of such years!
While all of us may have several personal goals that we have set to achieve, most of which will make personal impacts in our respective lives, we cannot but deny that by reason of our national Elections this year, we are already faced with choices that will eventually impact each and every one of us both personally and collectively.
The choices we will make this year will impact generations yet unborn, and who knows, could echo throughout history for several years to come.
But for all the tension and anxiety in the environment, I refuse to be afraid or pessimistic. And I exhort everyone reading this, not to.
If the rest of you will permit, I will draw some analogy from my personal experience and my home state, Niger, in these past years. Especially the last few months.
When I contested the last elections in 2015, and lost, I was deliberate and determined, even against the majority of the advice I received, to totally move on to other things, to never compete for media or public limelight, and to never indulge in any activity that could be seemed to undermine the office or personality of the eventual winner of the polls. As a matter of fact, to the best of my knowledge, I was the first candidate to congratulate a winning opponent in that elections.
The reasons were simple: If I truly wanted the best for my people, of what use will it be to distract or undermine the leadership they had chosen, from giving them the best that he could possibly do?
The second reason was; what moral standing would I stand on to undermine an office that I had aspired for, and may one day occupy, if Allah wills, and the people decide?
That was why instead of focusing my foundation activities on the state, and start comparisons that I believed would distract the leadership, we decided to reach out to every part of the country, for which I am glad we made significant impact.
Many of my advisers then believed that it was suicidal, especially given that for the next 3 years, almost everyone believed that I was as good as dead politically, but in my heart, I knew that my decision was right, and my paramount interest was that things should be better for Nigerlites irrespective of whether the leadership then was me or not.
The past 3 months have vindicated us. From our unlikeliest victory at the primaries, to the overwhelming support from all Nigerlites since we launched our campaign, I can humbly say that I am an example of what could be possible when we put others first.
This is the mindset and spirit that I am challenging all of us in this first day of this year to adopt. To look out for the greater good, to be selfless, bold, courageous and firm, especially when we know that our decisions are right, and our motives are pure.
It is the same challenge I give to you before you place your hand on the inkpad and press your thumb on the ballot in this year’s elections!
The choice before you in the elections is actually simple: Propaganda over reality. To vote for what you are being told, or to vote because of what you are seeing and experiencing. I cannot elaborate further. But just as we are living with the choices we made before, we will live with the choice we will make in the future.
On a personal note, for those of you who may look at the goals you set for yourself last year, and seeing how unimpressively you may have performed, and you waver in setting new goals for yourself this year because you doubt if you won’t fall short again, I dare you to believe in you and try again.
There is a reason that we are all alive. And it is not over for any of us until we are dead. And we are not dead yet.
Finally, I exhort all of us to eschew violence, to embrace peace, to tolerate one another even when we disagree, because like I always say, we are humans first before anything else.
This has always been what my campaign and my politics has always been based on: to deliver service, development, and progress to Nigerlites and to all that I may come in contact with.
I beseech you to always remember me in your prayers that God will give us victory, and the strength to do all we said we will do. And most importantly, the conscience to remain true to our words, and to never be changed by power when we get it.
In closing, to every one of you who nurses a goal in his mind to achieve this year, I leave you with the inspirational words of Berton Braley:
“If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it,
Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,
If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!”
Welcome to your best year ever!
God bless you all!
Happy New Year!!
UMAR M NASKO
PDP GUBER CANDIDATE NIGER STATE