After years as a student union activist, Comrade Ayodele Adewale contested twice and became the Local Government Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State. His godfather is former governor of Lagos state, Ahmed Bola Tinubu. In this interview, he chats about civic participation.
Topic of the Day: Civic Participation
“Civic participation is about people taking ownership of their basic livelihood…It is about people working harmoniously for a common good.”
“If you look at the history of many African nations…you will find out that our founding fathers were student leaders. And because of the ideas and ideals that we have to see an egalitarian society regardless of the strata that we have found ourselves…that drive is still in you that you need to play a role in governance. For me, I was fortunate so I decided to run…”
“It is not the amount of time that you live that matter but the value that you have put into life. Even while we were in school, we weren’t scared of the bullets from the military, the only time you know that you’ve been hit is when the bullet hits you and you are down but not dead, or you have blisters, or wounds. Some of our friends have been killed while we were carrying out protests, we will pick them up and continue to run. We never left any out our comrades behind.”
On Political Godfatherism
“Godfatherism is likened to a mentor but in the Nigerian clime, that name has been bastardised. I take you to the Catholic belief, you cannot christen a child because the Bishop or the father will ask you: who us the godfather of this child? It means who is going to mentor this child? It is a system of a mentor and a mentee. You cannot go against a mentor because there is always room for discussion. Issues are discussed. The reason why they discuss is that they want you to learn. We do not have a classroom where you learn leadership. We learn through discussion and through practical attributes and systems in governance. There is a difference between political studies in school and political reality.” “If a cheetah doe