Princess Folashade Olabanji-Oba is one of the grassroots politicians in Ikorodu kingdom, especially with the All Progressives Congress (APC). The United States returnee recently declared her intention to run for the chairmanship post in the division.
plusmilang.com caught up with her on the sideline of the event and asked her why she thinks she can become the first female local government chairman in Ikorodu as well as her future political ambitions.
Other than the manifestos which show what a politician wants to do for the electorates, what truly is the reason behind this political declaration?
To tell anyone who cares to listen that the Ikorodu of our dreams is achievable, that the Ikorodu of our dreams is a mission that must be possible. That we need to start living the realizations and manifestations of the Ikorodu of our dreams.
What exactly is this Ikorodu of your dreams?
That we cannot be living in Ikorodu and be afraid, we need to be proud of our homeland. That, that hashtag (Made In Ikorodu) must be synonymous with the Centre of Excellence that this state is known for… that is my passion.
This is not the first time we are hearing people talk about transforming the country and the state, how is yours any different from theirs?
Well, you know I can talk about the past ten years that I have been in Ikorodu and anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I live Ikorodu everyday. It is not something I can do by myself. But I know, if given the opportunity in the office, with help and support, this kingdom will experience an unusual transformation.
Most of your opponents, if not all, are men. What is giving you the assurance that you are likely to come out tops?
It is not my style to put anybody down, I will talk for Me. And charity, they say, starts from the home. My father of blessed memory wanted a boy, but he had me as his first daughter and before he died, he called me ten men in one (okunrin mewa). He’d call me ‘Akanke, okunrin mewa’ meaning that he raised me tough like a boy which was just stereotype. Everyday now we raise our children to be tough, stop limiting them because of their sexes.
I am a mother of eight, I work hard, and I tell my children that I want their wives to bless me and say ‘your mother did an awesome job’. I made their jobs easier for them, so being a woman does not make you any less of a person.
Being a woman is a bigger platform, you have a bigger heart, you are equipped to take the whole load and come out pretty.
So it is a special grace.
As a woman with ten men inside of her, apparently you’re…
(Cuts in) Ah! I’m still learning… I am still learning because everyday it is a whole new experience for me and those are the things I believe have equipped me to do this job. And I know that this time around, I am the best that they can have for the post.
Obviously, you must have a bigger ambition even though you’re starting with the chairmanship post. Do you think you have what it takes to become Nigeria’s first female president?
Amen! You know what? I have thought about it and I am not stopping. The sky is going to be the stepping stone for me.
So you think it can happen that you’ll become Nigeria’s first female president?
It can happen! Our president’s wife, who is one of my sweethearts, has said enough of the male domination. As a woman, come out and prove yourself because that is the only way for women. For you guys, it is normal. But for the woman, your track records, your antecedents are the things that will speak for you.
For someone like that, she inspires me and God, for me, says it is very doable and so we’ll get there. During a recent survey conducted by plusmilang.com TV, several other Nigerian women also echoed the politician’s sentiment, as they all agreed that a woman can one day lead Nigeria as the number one citizen.