My Political Aspiration Is To Make Impact In People's Lives - Mallam - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, June 3, 2021

My Political Aspiration Is To Make Impact In People's Lives - Mallam


Mallam Abdulgafar Adeleye is the Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo. Mallam is an OAP and former Caretaker Chairman, Student's Union Government (SUG) of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. He is also the Publicity Secretary, APC Youth League, Ogun state. A devoted Muslim and mediaprenuer. In this interview with the duo of ADESEWA ADEKUNLE and BISOLA ADEBORI, Mallam bares his on inclusion of youths in governance and his political aspiration. Excerpt:

What was your growing up like?

I am a person with a very humble beginning, someone born alone into a polygamous family. I am the only child of my Mom in that family. I grew up in the midst of my siblings, grew up together and had the same upbringing from our Dad and my stepmothers. I thank God for the kind of father I have, he's a man that loves sound education. I was born in Abeokuta at the Oba Ademola hospital and I was brought up at by my grandmother who is late now. She didn't make me feel the motherly aspect of the care as I grew up with her and later returned to join my family at Ifo. 

Could you let us into your educational sojourn?

I had the opportunity of attending a private primary school and a private secondary school. In my secondary school then, I was exposed to Islamic clergy activities. My Dad, being a lover of education, made it compulsory for all of us to go to Arabic school. When I got to JSS2, I became the Imam of my school and I did that until I got to SS1 when I was made the Amir (the overall head). I also had a touch of public school anyway.

I also enrolled in a public secondary school, Ifo High School, for WAEC. I have been an Islamic clergy, someone that has been preaching to people. Getting to Ifo High School, I was made the Amir of the MSSN, leading Assemblies in the Islamic way and not forgetting the fact that I still had traits of all this debate as well as quiz competitions. So, I also represented Ifo High School at various competitions. I used to be a very good debater. I was in science class and later found myself in commercial class. To God be the glory today, I have ND and HND in Mass communication, I had PDE (Professional Diploma in Education) at the Federal College of Education, Osiele and presently I'm about completing my B.Sc. also in Mass communication from Crescent University.

Let's go into your marital life. How did you meet your wife?

I met my wife while I was in the Arabic school. I was wearing the Arabic school uniform (blue) and she was at Osiele studying for her NCE. I had known her before then, but I wasn't interested in her. I forgot to tell you that I also learnt barbing, I'm a professional barber. I have my certificate at home, I had a very big barbing salon with which I sponsored myself to school to MAPOLY. I used to barb myself. I was going to shop and I saw her coming, I had known her before, we used to stay in almost the same vicinity but her street was like the 4th street from mine. So, I saw her coming and something attracted me to her but I can't recall, I approached her and told her my intention. She told me Yes on August 5th, 2005 and we started. A lot of things happened though, at a point some people went into her brain to let her know that Alfa that is jobless and things like that and she said she was not interested anymore, but at the end of the day she came back and told me some people were misleading her. In 2013, after 8 years of courtship, she introduced me to her parents officially, her parents had been seeing some things because they too were Muslims and they always meet us at events. My wife introduced me in 2013 and then we began, we did the Walimotul Nikkah (wedding) in 2017. The gap was because I wasn't rich, there was nobody, no supporter and there's no job. I was just returning from NYSC in Enugu state, So, I delayed my marriage because I was not rich. 

As a former Students Union leader, now you're a Special Assistant to the Speaker, how did you venture into politics?

As a former student Union leader, you cannot detach yourself from politics, it's not easy. I tried it but I couldn't. Government of the day will need you especially when you are in a state-owned institution. If the Governor is going somewhere and they need students, you are to lead your students to that event and getting there, you have to talk as the leader. Will you talk apolitically or politically? You have to talk politically; you have to praise the Governor for what he has not even done so that he'll do it. That's where politics started from.

What is your political aspiration?

I am someone that loves progressive representation; I love it when I'm making impact on people's lives. I have a pet project since 2010 that I have been embarking upon. We did the 10th edition during the Ramadan period. Every year, I bring together youths from my environment to have an Iftar with me every year. We dish out prizes, even at that event, someone won scholarship from JSS1 to SS3. In the ten years of that event, someone won the scholarship to attend a private secondary School from JSS1 to SS3, the person has finished now in the university, so those are the kind of impact I like making in people's lives. 

You're known as a devoted Muslim. How do you socialize?

I don't socialize. I don't like it even during my SUG days, my colleagues in the union are always fighting me that I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't womanize. What kind of a person am I? Though, ladies will come for my help, but I may not even look up at the lady that I'm speaking with throughout. I may meet you and I might not even recognize you. So that's the kind of life I was living then. Not until recently, I met one of my senior comrades, who was a former Students Union President in MAPOLY, now a Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Sports. He knows how to socialize very well, so they are the ones encouraging me. Ordinarily, I don't go to events, I don't go to parties, my life is just triangular, from school back home, from home to Alfa things, that's how I've been living my life. But meeting with those people, I now realized that life itself should not be too much of wahala, doing wahala every day, putting all the burden of this world on yourself. I now begin to look at life the other way round. It's good when you begin to attend events, you'll see the other side of life. I don't watch Nollywood, I don't watch films, I don't do anything and I think it's also giving me problem in my home too because I am the kokoko (hard) type but I need to just relax those things, I need to calm down especially now that we are in the political setting.

Politically, who is your icon?

My political leader, my father and my role model is Rt. Hon. Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo. He was a former floor member before he became Deputy Speaker and now Speaker, while I was saddled with the responsibility of the Student Union. He had been supporting me with materials and moral support, he'll call me to attention, he'll even give me money to sponsor events but he always told me not to mention his name. He's someone that will not even receive award if you are bringing award. We have been together like that, I have been with him since 1998 before he went into politics as his child not knowing that politics will even come. He used to be an activist, a rugged one at that because I have been under his mentorship. I keyed into his ideologies, I love his way of life. I like everything about him. So, there's no way I won't join politics. If you love a politician and you want to assist that politician, the best thing for you is to join politics so as to make impact in his ambition. 

Lastly, as s young politician, do you think the youths are prepared to take up leadership mantle in this country?

That's a question you are not supposed to ask me because you are asking about the youths taking up the leadership mantle of the nation. What else do you want us to do? If you are promising us youths are the leaders of tomorrow and the tomorrow will never come. So, it's better for people that are in politics to allow youths. Yes! We have fresh ideas, we are the youths of the 21st century. That's why when you go to many of these parastatals or ministries or local government council's that are headed by youths, you'll see impacts.

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