KHAIRAT Animashaun-Ajiboye, a gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday said she started nurturing the ambition to become the governor of Lagos State 10 years ago but was constantly shut down by political bigwigs in the party.
She disclosed this during an exclusive interview with The ICIR in Abuja ahead of the 2023 general election.
The interview was part of a series of publicity created to support women’s voices and low-voice politicians across all political parties in the country.
“What I realized is that this opportunity to step out to say that I want to run for governor, I tried to do it 10 years ago and I spoke to leaders and leaders would shush me down. I realized that if you do not come out and do what you want to do, some leaders will not take you seriously,” Animashaun-Ajiboye alledged.
The female governorship aspirant who affirmed she was not intimidated by the malefactor said part of her decision was to encourage young persons, especially girls, and give them hope through her political ambition.
According to her, “whatever you think you need to do, do it right as long as you’re doing the right thing, come out and say it out loud. When you say it out loud, the elders, chieftains would believe that you actually mean it…”
But speaking on her plans, she promised to develop the education, health, environment, and boost the economy of Lagos.
With special attention to the education sector, if voted into office, she identified the need to strengthen the public education system and make it more competitive than the private.
She observed public primary schools in the state were already enjoying some level of free education but the gesture, she stated, would be extended to secondary schools in the state.
“How many public servants, how many of our leaders, how many of us have our kids in a public school in Lagos state? She queried.
Click to read 2023 political aspirants’ agendas here.
“If we are very confident that the public school is so good, why not take our kids there. So, we have to start changing some paradigms, we have to start shifting some paradigms. With good intentions and sincerity, I know that there are lots of factors that are attached to that but let’s have the will that has to do with political leadership.”
On the environment, Animashaun-Ajiboye proposed the strengthening of the environment protection officers as a way of promoting proper hygiene.
The Lagos state through partnership and support from the Federal Government, she said, would create an independent power project to provide sufficient energy for residents and businesses to thrive in the state.
Though she recognised the competition that would emerge during the election period, the aspirant vowed to seek the needed support from women groups, fellow party members, and other stakeholders to achieve her vision.
“I am a youth, I am 50 years and I have been around, also been part and parcel of the common man’s life as well as the other life if you will. I can strike a balance anytime but more importantly, is that we can be flexible to make people’s lives better, we can be faster in transformation.
“That transformation has been a little bit slow in Lagos, we want to be able to transform it in a faster way so that people can actually benefit from democracy, government of the people for the people and by the people.”
In her remarks over Bola Tinubu’s interest in the presidential election, Animashaun-Ajiboye said the APC national leader has the natural right to contest as the next president of the country in the forthcoming general election.
she said it was not out of place for the politician to express his interest in leading the country come 2023, so long the interest of everyone irrespective of religious and ethnic background would be well prioritised.
This opinion came despite contrary arguments from some quarters who identified Tinubu as a kingmaker, who should rather continue to mentor and give more attention to his health. Still, there were others who shared similar opinions as to the governorship aspirant.
Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos state had repeatedly reaffirmed his decision to partake in the presidential election.
During his meeting with the Lekan Balogun, the Olubadan-designate in February, Tinubu insisted nothing could intimidate him and no form of blackmail could discourage him from his political ambition.