…Says, My Husband Has Been Supportive of My Political Journey
Hon. (Chief) Mrs. Bolanle Lateefat Ajayi representing Egbado (Yewa) South Constituency at the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA)
Hon. (Chief) Mrs. Bolanle Lateefat Ajayi, representing Yewa South StateSConstituency at the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA) is a renowned teacher and a philantropist.
She was trained at Egbado Teachers College, Ilaro-Yewa and NTI/DLS, Kaduna, Ilaro Campus, Ogun State.
Hon. Ajayi has previously served as a Class Teacher, Assistant Head Teacher and Head Teacher. She is happily married and blessed with children.
The lawmaker who is seeking a re-election (second term) under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in this interview with our Editor-in-Chief (AbuSatar Hamed) at StarTrend Int’l magazine and Adeola Adeyemi (Associate Editor), shares her experience so far at the House plus why she’s seeking another opportunity to represent her people at the OGHA. Enjoy.
Can we meet you Ma?
Thank you sir. I’m Hon. Ajayi Bolanle Lateefat, Honorable Member, representing Yewa South State Constituency at the Ogun State House of Assembly.
It has been over three years that you’ve been at OGHA, how has the journey been so far?
Glory to God for giving me the opportunity to serve my Constituency at OGHA. Honestly, it’s indeed a privilege and prize for dedication and commitment to the development and uplift of my Community.
We’ve been working with His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR, and it has been a very wonderful experience.
As a representative of my own constituency, I’ve been doing my best with my colleagues. I’ve tried my best in passing some laws that are aimed at benefitting my people.
As a Legislator, we’ve been doing our job as expected of us – making laws for the development and progress of our communities.
How is your relationship with other legislators at the House of Assembly?
My relationship with colleagues at the Assembly is very cordial. They love me. Go to the House, ask anybody. They call me Iya Ilaro, Iyawo Ijebu. They take good care of me. I enjoy and have free mind. I want to thank the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Taiwo Oluomo. He has been good to everybody. Even the first time we got into the House, he took us as his own. We are one. We are one family, not minding the party.
Have you been able to deliver the dividends of democracy to your constituency?
To God be the glory. We all know that as a legislator, our primary duty is to pass laws, but we cannot say we will not give back to our communities from the little we receive as Constituency allowance.
Be that as it may, I was able, through the meagre constituency allowance that we receive, to put in place some projects in my constituency.
It’s on record that in my first year in the House, I was able to empowere over 600 people across the 10 wards in my constituency. The empowerment was a cash empowerment designed to reduce, if not alleviate the suffering of my people.
Also, to illuminate some areas in my constituency, I was able to install solar light system.
Some areas that benefited from the first phase of the project are Sayedero Market, Ilaro-Yewa, Sabo Market, Owode-Yewa, Owo, in Ifekowajo area of Yewa South LG, Yewa Meta in Ilaro, Oke-Okuta area of Ilaro-Yewa, to mention, but a few.
Another election is around the corner, what are your plans to win your second term?
Before going into elections, kindly permit me to commend His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State for being a wonderful and performing Governor.
It’s on record that since the Advent of this democracy, Yewa people have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy. But thanks to our amiable Governor Dapo Abiodun who has done very well for us.
For instance, Governor Abiodun has removed the “curse” on Ilaro-Owode road that had been neglected for many years. You will see his performance there. Also the Ilaro-Yewa township road, this is not in Yewa South alone, but other local government in Ogun West. I’m not forgetting the renovation and construction of new blocks of classrooms (with yellow roof) in our constituency.
Candidly, Governor Abiodun had touched every constituency in Ogun State with various projects. So, I want to use this medium to thank our indefatigable Governor for his relentless efforts towards the development of Ogun State and the people. And of course, he has promised to do more for us in his second term ( by the grace of God).
About our plans for the coming elections. To God be the glory, we have been preparing for this for the past six months. Now we are getting closer. I believe the election will come and go, and it is going to be peaceful. As for me, I am well prepared and I will say APC is well prepared. We have been campaigning to seek for votes from our people.
What is your words to the electorate as regards the coming elections?
I will only like to appeal to the electorate to be more peaceful, before, during and after the election.
To our youths, they should not allow themselves to be used as devil’s tools. Also, I want to advise all parents to caution their children. Every body should cast their vote without engaging in thuggery.
No politician will use his or her own child as thug, so I don’t expect any parent to allow his or her child to be used as thug. Everyone should conduct themselves peacefully so we can have a very peaceful election.
If you eventually you win, what should your constituency expect from you during your second term?
You can ask or investigate, if you go to the House of Assembly, Reps or Senate for the first time, you learn a lot for the first and second year. Not being allowed to go for a second term seems a waste of first term.
So, I promise my people that they will continually enjoy the dividends of democracy more than the first term. By the grace of God, my second term will definitely be better than the first term.
After your second term, do we expect more of you in politics?
Well, after this second term by the special grace of God, which I know I will win the election.
After the second term, I am not going to quit politics. I will be in politics for better things to come.
Can you tell us your experience so far in politics?
Hmmmm, there are lots of ups and down in politics, but to God be the glory that I’m here today. I got into politics in 1993 and I contested for Councilorship in 1996, but was asked to step down for another member. Also in 1998 I contested for the State House of Assembly, but the Elders asked me to step down again.
Going forward, I was appointed the Supervisory Councilor for Health in Yewa South Local Government, serving under Baba Osoba former Governor of Ogun State and Alhaji Sunmola Adewale as Chairman of Yewa South Local Government, then.
During my time as Councilor for Health, I did very well, as I was under the Executive then. I continued with my party. I have been a progressive for life. In 2011, I also contested, for the Chairman, Yewa South Local Government, but I wasn’t given the ticket. I contested again in 2016. It was in 2019 that I decided to run for House of Assembly.
During that period, we had some issues between our former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Prince Dapo Abiodun. The party was divided into two, and I ran under APM and won. Immediately I got to the House, I realized things were not working as expected and I had to defect back to APC. Leaving APC at first was as a result of reasons beyond my control.
People asked me, can you win this election? I told them not to look at the party, but the candidate. I thanked God I won the election with a very wide margin, 6,000 plus votes.
What message do you have for your constituency?
It’s no longer news that I have been in the political terrain for sometime, and I am not new to politics, because I have contested several times. Not that I lost in the process, but I had always been advised by Elders of our party to step down for others, which I always obliged.
So I want to advise my followers and those coming behind us to be patient and follow the Elders. For me, I have done my own best and will continue to represent my people whether I am still in office or not.
What is your advice to your people as the election closes in?
My advice to my people is that they should vote the party on ground, I mean APC. For Yewa people, and Ogun West people, I am not saying a Yewa person will not become Governor, but this is not the time for us. The cloud is not clear. We have some Governors that have done it for 8years and that of Prince Dapo Abiodun will be no exception. He is going to win the second term. After that, Yewa person shall come on board.
I want to advise my people, to let us follow the right path. Yewa people alone cannot make governor. We have people from Ijebu, Abeokuta and some other areas. Looking at the State now, it is like Ogun State has become a one party state. APC is going to win. There is no doubt about it.
Since you started representing your people, how has the home front been?
I have not lacked anything in my matrimonial home. I make sure I call my children, we chat, do video calls. I have not been lacking in any responsibility to my husband and children. We have been living together as brother and sister. I do go to the kitchen to prepare sumptuous meal for him. The honorable membership of OGHA does not prevent me from doing my responsibility as a loving wife and responsive mother in my matrimonial home.
How supportive is your husband to your journey in politics?
My husband has been a very supportive pillar in my journey, not only in politics, but in my life. My husband always tell me, “Mummy, please don’t stress yourself. I will eat whatever is in the house.., but I’ll tell him, let me go to the kitchen, it’s my responsibility as a dutiful and loving wife.
What is your take on the underage pregnancy now prevalent in our communities?
I can tell you, we also have some of them from wealthy families, but they just decided to go for it. They call it “Runs”. My advice for them is that, they should come back to their senses. Live on what they have and do not go after men. We have those boys that entice them with money and material things, but these girls should stop running around the communities begging for goodies at their tender age.
It’s annoying seeing these ladies running after these young boys driving in big vehicles, they think that is life. I think that is what pushed some of our girls into getting unwanted pregnancy. I advise they face their studies and for those learning, they should face their training.
Thank you Hon. Ajayi for giving us an audience. We wish you success in your endeavour.
You’re always welcome sir. I want to sincerely thank you too, for taking time out of your tight schedule to come to me for the interview. I’m highly grateful and I say a big thank you. God bless you and your team.
Note: Pictured below are some of the projects facilitated by Hon. (Chief) Bolanle Lateefat Ajayi to her constituency. Enjoy!