By Rotimi Olawale

1. I welcome you all to 2015, a year all Nigerians have been anticipating because the year affords us all the opportunity to reset this nation, set it on the right course and secure its future through our votes in the general elections next month (February).

2. The potency of 2015 to secure a better future for Nigeria cannot be overemphasized, primarily because events of preceding years have weakened the reputation of Nigeria for all Nigerians and our sympathisers.

3. Spanning from 2011 till date, Nigeria's fortune has been threatened by selfish political interests of individuals and groups; insecurity in the northern states has reached fever-pitch, ranging from indiscriminate killings of innocent people to the sad memories the abduction of young and innocent school girls. Our economy has experienced serious imbalances and unemployment keeps rising at an alarming rate with attendant social ills.

4. The night fall builds into days, and the days build into years. As a nation we have endured the struggles of the years and we are hurtling through a crossroad, where we determine the future of this nation. The power vested in us by the authority of our votes is strong enough to liberate Nigeria from all forms of social ills and set the nation ahead among other nations of the world.

5. At this point, Nigeria must be made safe for democracy. This nation's peace must be firmly planted upon tested foundations of political ideology based on fairness, equity and justice for all. Our economy must work, our nation must be made secured, our armed forces must strengthened, unemployment has to be stemmed, we must experience infrastructural growth, corruption must vanish, we must overcome ethic and religious tensions, our youths must be empowered and we must invest in our future.

6. These things are possible in 2015 if all Nigerians embrace change and work committedly toward the manifestation of that change in the nation. As the elections are here, we must rise from door to door, street to street, county to county and states to state to fervently educate and mobilize Nigerians to participate in the forthcoming election and ensure they vote a new Nigeria and not based on individual benefits.

7. I urge us all to embrace peace in this forthcoming elections; we must hold it firm in our hearts that the weapon we posses to change Nigeria is not cutlass, guns, money, stones, or charms. Our sole weapon is our VOTES.

8. Therefore, once again, I encourage us all to boost our spirit and mobilize fellow Nigerians toward the forthcoming election. Nigeria for all is possible, if only we get involved, exercise our rights to vote and make our votes count.

9. I commend Nigerians for their steadfastness through the rough years behind; apparently our dark days are over and the dawn of a new day is here. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

10. Once again, welcome to 2015. Our change is here!

Hon. Rt. Razak Atunwa
Speaker, Kwara State Assembly