INTERVIEW: No Women Should Be Given A Position Because She Is A Woman. There Must Be Merit, Performance And Passion ----Says Folashade Oba.

Hon. Prince Folashade Oba.
Vice Chairman.
Ikorodu Local Government Area.
Hon. Princess Folashade Oba is one of the most brilliant new generation female politicians in Lagos State, well raised, well mannered, elaborately educated, humane, very articulate and beautiful too.


A woman with passion for service to humanity through all platforms available to her and this is what she is doing as Vice Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State. She is a property and media consultant, Public Affairs Analyst, Pastoral Care Giver and a UN/FWP Peace Ambassador.

Imagine haven contested for bigger positions in the past, lost at one point or the other and because of loyalty to party system, agreed to accept a position she obviously is better than just to get an opportunity to prove her worth through service delivery and this is exactly the character everyone seeking to occupy positions of authority, especially political should emulate.

In this interview with us during the gathering of some influential women in Lagos who are pushing for inclusiveness, Princess as she is popularly called poured out her heart on various issues bothering on politics, family, women involvement in politics and several other issues.

Excerpts.
Hon. Prince Folashade Oba.
Vice Chairman.
Ikorodu Local Government Area.
 Q:
The event today is tagged, “WOMEN FOR WOMEN”, which is looking like women are saying that they are not given the opportunities they deserve to do what they want and the question to ask would be, WHO IS HINDERING WOMEN FROM ACHIEVING THEIR POTENTIALS?

ANSWER:
Laughs! I don’t wanna say any individual or whatever is holding women down. The only limitation a woman has is just herself, though, over the years, we have been disenfranchised for so long and so, the numbers do not tally, what we are saying is coming together, having a voice, helping one another, and occupying our rightful place.

When you build a woman, you build a nation, the future of this great country is better when women are better informed. So, this is all about extending a hand of friendship, I know the men used to tease us that we are each other’s problems in the past, that we don’t like one another, well, the narratives are changing, right now, we are holding up and holding forth for one another, and we’re saying, wherever you are as a woman, help another woman.

Our country can only be better for it, so, why not.

Q:
Is anybody hindering women at all?

ANSWER:
Well, you know the stereotypes, the beliefs, the cultural baggages and all that, it’s all been there, so, it’s something we cannot say is not existent, it’s something we all need to work on passionately.

Q:
Does asking for more mean that women have done well with some previous assignments and responsibilities they’ve been given in the past?

ANSWER:
Women are natural nurturers, we’re multi-tasking, we’re built to do so many more things and still have a smile and still ready to go anytime. When you see so many things women juggle, you will know we’re really built to take on so much more. What we’re saying is, the numbers are so little, we’re not encouraged, so many limiting factors out there, educationally, back in the days, women were not encouraged to study so much, most religion is limiting too, cultural baggages means that we were relegated to the kitchen, so now, we’ve got to change that mindset, change the narratives, let the women know that they can do much more, let the men trust us with much more knowing that at the end of the day, most of the time, they get all the credits because it creates a much better enabling grounds for the world.

Q:
Who really are your enemies as women in Nigeria?

ANSWER:
Well, for me, I am a “CAN” person. I like to see myself, I won’t say I don’t have enemies, but I am a focused person, I don’t let that deter me, even when people show they don’t like me that much, I take my time and with time, they will know that I can only be an asset and a blessing to them and that’s my attitude

Q:
When women gather like this, what exactly will come of this kind of gathering?

ANSWER:
A better society for all. It can only be better. When you look at the caliber of women gathered here today, it’s women with a heart, passion, care, to say, we wanna take this bold step, we’re daring to be different, we’re daring to be outstanding, you cannot do ordinary things and be outstanding, but first, with a heart of service, we all have weaknesses and strengths, but we wanna build on our strength and we wanna say that Nigeria is truly a great country because we are here.
Hon. Prince Folashade Oba.
Vice Chairman.
Ikorodu Local Government Area.

Q:
As a woman occupying a political office as Vice Chairman of a Local Government, would you say women are trusting enough to be allowed the privilege even when some of the women who had enjoyed these privileges in the past had at one time or the other, disappointed and failed us?

ANSWER:
The population of Nigeria is about 180Million or close to 200Million and I’m sure if you wanna call those women by their numbers, you can count them from your head, so, that shouldn’t discourage us to say that we have women who are well endowed, we have women with integrity, women this country can count on and the sooner we help them occupy their place, invest in a woman, the better it is for us.

You know, like my boss would say, “ON BENDED KNEES”, a woman, even when you think you’re doing something that’s impossible, you shouldn’t come across as being egoistic, as imposing yourself, leadership is all about serve, so, its servant-leadership and as a woman, even when you don’t have your way the way you want it, you shouldn’t give up, you should keep keeping on, until one day, you will have your day.

Q:
The home front is one of the limiting factors to most women. How have you been able to manage your home as not only a politician, but as a political office holder?

ANSWER:
Honestly, I encourage myself daily and one thing that helps me is the spiritual side of me. I couldn’t have been here without the spiritual side of me and I wanna say that I am also blessed with my family. I wish I have more time to spend with them and like I always tell my children, my husband (sure he will read this), I let them know that what I’m doing is because them, because life is about leaving it better than you met it and so, it’s also a challenge to them and they better be better for there is so much work to do, but the labourers are few.

When you complain, it shouldn’t end at complaining, see everything with a heart of gratitude, asking how we can get to the next level and making yourself available for the navigation to the next level, because, everything we do today is history tomorrow, so, the legacy for me is that when names are counted, I wanna make sure my name is down in Gold, not just because I’m a woman, I say this everywhere, but because I am one of the remembered as an institution that would need to be understudied.

Power they say is not served A LA CART, so, because you’re a woman does not mean that you automatically get any position; it should be based on merit, performance, passion, and what you are bringing to the table. Can you really dare to make a difference as a woman?

Q:
I knew you had this desire to be the Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government Area. What happened along the line?

ANSWER:
Laughs. I have contested so many times Precious, yes I have. I’ve contested Chairmanship, I’ve contested for House of Assembly, so, I wanna say that I appreciate my party. When you talk about Alliance for Democracy, AD, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the All Progressives Congress now, I just believed in the policies of the party and most times as a politician, you must see the bigger picture, it’s not just my personal ambition, it’s beyond my personal ambition when you are in a political system and so, whenever you’re being called to serve, you must do it diligently and because of the setup as at that time, when I was told to be the Vice Chairman, I accepted.

Q:
Was the position of Vice Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government given to you because you are woman or for gender equalization?

ANSWER:
Oh No No, not at all Precious. I contested Chairmanship in 2011, so, I’ve waited for so many years, I never quit the party for one day, never changed boat for one day, my loyalty remained at a 100% at every point in time to the party and that’s it.

Q:
The Vice Chairmanship position seem to be your stepping ground politically now in Lagos State. What next after now?

ANSWER:
Well, when you have a heart of service, all you wanna do is wake each day and make sure you’re giving your very best. It’s not just when you are in a position that you serve, in whatever you do, just be your very best. Promotion I say come from the Lord, the promotion would be nice, obviously we all pray for greater us, I personal rededicate everyday to simply being the best of me, today, better than yesterday and tomorrow, better than today and in everything else, my God must have all the glory.

Q:
Did you ever feel disenfranchised, having come that long, in the same party, over the years, contested for Chairman, Member, House of Assembly etc. and you’re given just a Vice Chairman?

ANSWER:
Well, it’s not over. I’m still very much a work in progress, I have learnt to trust more and obviously, you cannot be a good leader if you are not a good follower. I trust my leaders, I wanna say thank you to them, but I just know that every day, they are proud of me.


THE END.