Politics For Me is Not A Social Media Experience – Adewale

Adewale Temitope Adedeji


Adewale Temitope Adedeji popularly reffered to as ATA is one of the pioneers of the not too young to run campaign which is at present gaining traction. He has also worked with different former governors in various capacities and learnt a lot under the tutelage of the leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Adewale who is yielding to the clarion call of his people to represent them in Ifako Ijaiye constituency 01 come 2019 says he is banking on the goodwill of the people, his commitment to service, coupled with his accumulated wealth of political, executive and legislative experience over the years…

Do you feel that the time has come for the youths to take their proper place in Nigeria, taking into consideration the effect of the campaign,” not young to run” ?
I was part and one of the pioneers of this campaign. It started in 2009. Some Nigerians of like minds and l came together to create a youth group called the Young Achievers Campaign Organisation of Nigeria ( YACOON) we went across the length and breath of the 57 local governments in Lagos state. l was also a pioneer member and volunteer of All Progressive Youth Forum ( APYF) under the Leadership of Barriste Ismail Ahmed the present Senior Special Assistant to Mr. President.Our idea was to ensure that Nigeria youths get involve in politics, which was a difficult task then because most of our elders were at the helm of affairs, and they were actively involved , which makes it difficult for us. More so most of our national youth leaders were well above 45. We then said let’s come together, unite and fight this battle together, because about 60% of the Nigerian population are youths. We are the ones who will vote for the respective political positions, we make the decisions of who is going to be the President, Governor or who represent us, yet, we are the ones that are venerable and used as a tool of electoral violence.We are the ones used in carrying ballot boxes and conduct electoral malpractices, we are ones who got shot and killed. so we then thought it wise to come together to sensitize and educate our youths on the need to be more concerned about politics and their future and to stop being used as a tool.
Do you think the youths have the experience to take over leadership?
One of the fundamental problems of the youths is experience. It is a process, they must first get involved, and then build on it. Not until they get actively involved, hardly could you find what the youths cant do. Most of the youths have done fantastically well in entrepreneurship and other various aspects of life, be it business, entertainment, judiciary, media, blogging and all. we also have youths that have function well in government offices, for instance l was Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the former governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola on works and infrastructure, I also served in capacity as Special Assistant on Budget Deliverables Monitoring (Office of Deputy Chief of Staff), likewise as Land Officer. I’ve worked with with the former Governor of Abia state as a youth. I served in Northern part of Nigeria, Maiduguri, and worked in the governor’s office in capacity as SA on, youths and Corp members, I’ve been a civil and Public servant and as well a business entrepreneur.I am currently one of aides of the elder state man and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as SA on Youths, Politics and policy.
Now that you’ve Identified experience as a fundamental problem. What can the youths do, to occupy come 2019?
I thank God for the effectiveness of the campaign, more youths are getting aware, involve and are more aware than ever before of their important roles and responsibilities. but there’s still a lot more to do. We only came up with reduced age limits but what we did not is also to peg it in such a way that if you are 30, you should be able to contest for the presidency but not beyond 70.But again, looking at the true situation of things in Nigeria, at 30, how many people have gotten a proper job in their life time. A 30 year old man will be contesting with a 65-70 years old man that has built empires and built political structures with network of political magicians. If you can’t peg that at certain age you cannot run, then there is still a lot of work to be done on the bill.
Have you ever been in the main stream of politics?
There is nothing like main stream politics. It is either you are in politics or not. It is either you are actively involved in politics or not. There are tiers and levels in government and politics, you have the grassroots, apex and decision makers. the GAC and so on. It all depends on the level you find yourself. But i have played politics actively from the Local government to States and as well to the National Level comfortably.

Have you contested an election before?

Yes, that was in 2016 it was a bye election. The person who was on the seat at the National house of Assembly was my father. He died of Cardiac arrest. I decided to contest, due to the vast experience l’ve garnered over the years. l thought it will make it easier for me to take the seat in the first place.
What happened?
lt was decided that for the interest of the party, l should step down and l did that voluntarily, before the primaries as I believe the party decision is supreme..

Can you give us an insight into what transpired while your campaign lasted?.

It was quite interesting, capital intensive, brain storming sessions day and night. Having to dialogue, meetings upon meetings.. We continued to lobby until the last day. . I’ve always wanted to serve my people in 2007 and 2011 from the state House of Assembly. But the time was not right then. At last the people are saying, this is the time now.and that the moment has come.
Don’t you feel that the current representative, representing this constituency should continue, Don’t you think he was done well?
In as much as l respect the Hon house of Assembly, my friend, and someone l always refer to as my elder brother, Hon Dayo Saka , in my opinion he has done tremendously having served for 3 Terms in the State House of Assembly. However, l think he has made his own decision. He feels he has served enough and needs new challenges, he feels the need to step up his position and serve out Local Government in higher chambers. Be that as it may, l think the people of the Ifako Ijaiye feel it is time for us to inject new blood, into the system, so we can also contribute our own quota as youths
Finance has become one of major tool in Nigerian politics, that young men like you without the financial muscle are not allowed to sail through. Do you have the finance to push your way through?
They say all politics is local. I understand that and l believe in it. And l remember our dear President , Muhammadu Buhari, before he became President of Nigeria, said he did not have money to buy the Nomination and Expression of Interest form, but he became the President because people believed in him and still voted for him and you recall by virtue of his caliber and who he is, that if he said he doesn’t have money, that Is it. Yet some people came together and funded his election . Once you are identified as a potential and you have what it takes, people will come to your aid and support you. I play local and grassroots politics, l have seven wards in my local government. I know everybody in all the wards in my party by name and I also know their wants and needs and so far I thank God I’ve been able to meet up with some of their needs.
People are of the opinion that politics is dirty. are you ready to play it dirty as well?
Politics is dirty because of the heart breaks and the antiques that comes with it. Let me state here that politics does not entail you being diabolic.When you are guided by principles and the constitution. It becomes a dirty job because you must always stand on the truth .
You said earlier that you are one of the aides to Asiwaju, Having worked with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, how will you describe him?
He is a unique man, first among Equals, One of a kind to be reckon with. He is a man who doesn’t need to know your background, know where you come from, as long as he identifies the talent in.you, he will take you on and he will never let you go until he develops your potential to the fullest.. He is never ever too lazy to brush you up and make you what you want to be and what he feels you need to be. He can make you a no talent somebody to be the most expensive and talented person . He takes his time to build, free hearted amazing man. Political genius, one of the best strategist l’ve ever seen or met in my life. He is one of the kind. He is a great leader and father to many who know him and those he has extended his goodwill to.This is what l like in my leader and my mentor. Asiwaju,once he identifies you as a potential talent he will build on it. If I continue to talk about my boss I guess the whole interview will be about him, though he is sometimes misunderstood by the people but in all he is widely accepted and loved by all. he is a miracle worker.

What will you consider as one of his week point?

Every human is prone to mistakes as we are not all perfect. I may not be in the best position to know his weaknesses but with my years of working and associating with Asiwaju, his passion for Success in all he does has been paramount.. When he zoned in on something, he gets it, he doesn’t care how and if it will affect him or his health or his person. If he is with you, he will go all the way with and for you. His greatest weak point is that he has a golden heart and once he is loyal to you he never turns his back on you no matter what you do to him.
Without Asijawu at the centre of Nigerian politics, most especially Lagos, how do you think the system will look like?
Just one word. Chaos. The party will verge into chaos.

Lagos state has a good succession plan. Will you say it is because of it’s peculiarity as a state or it is because of Asiwaju?
Lagos state is a Mini -country because of the size of its population, which can also lead to a lot of damages to the state itself if not well managed. However the former Governor of the state, the likes of Mobolaji Johnson, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, had done fantastic work. The magic was that a young blood was injected into the system, in 1999, in the person of Asiwaju, he was given the chance . As a young man, he came with his own vision and ideas and he was given the total support. Though he had his own challenges as a result of his vision. The President then could not control him and his vision. Due to this, he fought battles all the way until he won, after winning, he built a cabinet that sustained him, in the process he sat back to choose a successor in person of His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who now came to fully actualize his dreams and vision through the blue print that was given to him where he performed excellently. We have seen the tremendous work that his Successor, His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is doing now in turning Lagos to its full state of a mega city.
How well are you into the people and how well are the people in you because this are the two determining factor?
I am one of the people, l do every thing with them. I belong to them and they belong to me. I represent the two political groups, the grassroots at the same time the elite.. I did my primary and secondary school education here in Ifako Ijaiye. Before l went to the university of Lagos, where l obtained my first degree in estate management, l did my Msc Facility management in same school and ive also obtained knowledge in short course in Harvard, on governance in 21st century,. My people are supporting me all the way. As u can see for yourself.

Are these members of the party, or your faithfuls. referring to people around?
They are my great party members and faithful as well as my followers. If you wait a little while before we commence our weekly meetings, you will be amazed at the large turn out. If fact, we are looking for a bigger place to accommodate every one during our meetings.. My politics is not a social media experiment, l’m a grassroots politician all the way., my politics goes as far as into the wards level, using the Ajumose.

What is Ajumose, what does it stand for?

Ajumose is one of the strongest and Largest Social club in lfako ljaiye. it is a group of people who come together to talk of development and progress of our communities and the Local Government as a whole. We have regular meetings where we talk about developmental growth of the community and the constituency itself. Where people have problems, we try as much as we can to help them solve it. Where we can’t, we look for referrals. We go through either the state or people that we know. To help them get what they want. When they have issues they come to us.It is more about bringing a group of people together to achieve a common goal, for the success of the party.l inherited it from my father. Ajumose has been in existence for a very Long time. My father used it to support the party all the way from the days of .Alliance for Democracy, (AD,) Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN) and the All progressive Congress ( APC.) It is a group that l promise myself l will never neglect or let it die.

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