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    Monday, October 7, 2013

    I Love To Empower My People -Ado-Odo Ota LG Vice Chair, Afusat Omonike Olufunmi

    Her stay in politics has been eventful and Afusat Omonike Olufunmi has been waxing stronger over the years. When she became the Vice Chairperson of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government in Ogun State, Omonike knew it was time she continued to do her best for the people. The woman of substance has been helping her people through empowerment programmes and as a mother; she has been catering for the teeming youths, women and the aged in her area and there has been no looking back for her.
    In an interview she granted Yetunde Willoughby, Omonike advised women politicians to be submissive and take care of their homes despite all that they do at work.
    Please can you tell us briefly about yourself
    I am from Ado-Odo Ota Local Government area of Ogun State. I was born in Imeko via Aiyetoro, Ogun State. My names are Alhaja Afusat Omonike Olufumi and I was born in early 70s. I attended Methodist Primary School II in Ado-Odo Ota. I had my secondary school education in Ado/Odo High School – Ilese Ijebu, Ogun State.
    After this, I had some training in a tertiary school on Business Administration, and I later went into business. I got married to an international businessman and hotelier and we have a beautiful daughter, who is a graduate of Crawford University, Losada-Egbesa Ogun State. She studied Business Administration and she is presently serving in Abia State. My father, Alhaji Salaudeen Akanbi Olufunmi was a teacher and politician in Imeko-Ayetoro and my mother is Olufunmi Afusat Abije, my grandmother was a great politician till death.

    So, how did you join politics eventually
    When I had a little dispute with my husband then, a political leader, Mr. Jamiu Bello advised me to do something that will keep me busy to occupy my time, he now introduced me into politics and he also advised me to be very active, that was how I started. After some months, I was nominated as a ward chairman of DPN Ado Odo Ota for two years. I later left DPN to join AD. Then I was again nominated as the Secretary of the Woman Forum for another two years after this I became the woman leader of ACN and I am the Senatorial Woman Leader until I was elected and voted in as the Vice Chairperson of Ado Odo Ota Local Government. I have a very understanding and accommodating Chairman, Comrade Rotimi Rahman- the Chairman of Ogun State (ALGON) and I am loyal to him, he nominated me as the Supervisor for Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation. I really appreciate him, he’s also a man of his words, he wants all of us to be active and honest to the Local Government and the community.
    So, what are you plans for the people as the Vice Chairman of the local government
    I love to empower people by helping to feed the hungry and helping the helpless. I have a foundation called; Omonike Foundation for Empowerment- which I registered people with a community bank to lend people money in groups to start small businesses. We have been able to borrow people money. Groups such as Igbeyin Adun Group, Oluwalope Group, Aleluju Group, Oluwaseyi/Ifelodun Group and many others have benefited from it, and I am ready to do more.

    What do you want to do to help the young people that have become hoodlums in your locality
    This is why we have an empowerment programme for youths, women and aged. So, if we can get such people or youth, we will make sure they receive spiritual cleansing first, then we will give them some training motivationally to know where they fit in to start a new life so that they can be useful to themselves and the community. And we also have programnmes for the physically and mentally challenged people here in ward II. I personally help people on a monthly basis as my own support apart from the other empowerment support programmes we do as a group and at the local government level.
    When was your saddest moment
    That was when I lost my dad.

    What of happiest moment
    That was during my daughter’s convocation at school.

    What does your social life look like
    I don’t have one, but I love spending time with the less privileged like my birthday was celebrated at the Ijamodo Children Home with my children on July 24th.

    Any advice for women
    My advice is that the Nigerian and African women as a whole should come into politics and socialize with people and be active, disciplined and also be responsible. We shouldn’t allow the men to always bully us; we should let them know we can do it better because we are mothers and we have better feelings than men because of our children. We shouldn’t  allow this to affect our family, while women politician should obey and respect their husbands at home, it should not get into their heads that they are leaders at work, women in politics should be submissive at home so that they can be successful.        

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