Yeye Olusola Olufunke Benson Oladeinbo is the Lagos State Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party. She spoke with SUNDAY ROTILEFON on how she has been mobilising women to support the party’s governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and actively participate in the forthcoming election…
How are you mobilising women in Lagos State to ensure victory for PDP?
I always emphasize it to them that they can only get the dividend of democracy they are yearning for only by ensuring that they collect their Permanent Voters’ Card. By ensuring that we have the right candidates, credible candidates, people who are ready to work and ready to serve. We also ensure that women too are mobilized just like men to actively participate in the election by contesting and by being voted for. We ensure that they did not disfranchise themselves by not collecting their permanent voters’ card.
We made banners, posters and made a lot of emphasis at various forums that their there is need for them to excise their voting right to ensure that credible candidates are elected to various positions. We shall keep on sensitizing them till end of January when the collection of PVC will close.
What is your assessment of women’s participation in politics especially in Lagos?
There are lots of improvements compared to the previous elections. For example, in my party we have a female Senatorial Candidate, first of its kind in Lagos PDP, Chief (Mrs) Olabisi Salis. We have House of Representatives female candidates as well as House of Assembly candidates too and they are really working hard to ensure victory in their various constituencies. They are doing thorough campaigns.
Will you say that President Goodluck Jonathan has been fair to the women in bridging the gender inequality gap?
So many positions that were never occupied by women before are being given to them by President Goodluck Jonathan. For example, the Deputy Director of SURE-P in Lagos State is a woman, NDLEA Director-General is a woman, and we have a lot of them. We know that if he is re-elected, he will do better. But don’t forget that Lagos State did not have a female Minister? The Deputy Director of SURE-P is a Minister in a way. But I can assure you that very soon; we shall have a female Minister in Lagos State.
Some opposition party members are decamping to PDP, what is your view about this development?
I’m happy for those who know the truth and are joining the winning party. You cannot just be in a party just to clap and dance. We must win so that women can have good positions. There are over 600 positions to be filled in Lagos, both elected and appointed. I want us to win so that our women can benefit from these positions. We need to give them good positions to make them better and purposeful. I want to see my party winning in all positions. PDP Lagos State has a trusted and credible candidate in Jimi Agbaje. JK we trust, JK we know. Lagos State needs the services of Jimi Agbaje and that is why we must all come out en-mass to vote for him.
What have been your message to the women at any forum?
People in APC said there is need for change. They have been there for 16 years. They have been cheating us. They have been running their government on the pages of newspapers. Boudillion and Ijora roads are always flooded anytime there is small rain. The situation is the same everywhere in the state. How can you tell Lagosians that you used seven billion to repair a road from stadium to Costain? A road that has been in existence for long. What kind of repair is that? They cannot continue to cheat us. They are using Lagos money to fund elections in other states. When is a few days to the election they will distribute helmets and motorcycles, immediately after the election, they will start putting them into troubles, taking the motorcycles away from them by force and put them into undeserved prisons while some are deported to their states. Can the present governor prove that he is from Lagos? Lagosians don’t drive people away. Lagosians are highly accommodating. By driving people away simply means he is not a true Lagosian. How can you drive people away at an ungodly hour? Why driving them out of Lagos?.
What about the recent campaign of President Jonathan in Lagos. What is your comment about the crowd that you saw at Tafawa Balewa Square?
It shows that Lagos have had enough of APC. They have had enough of Baba so wipe, they have had enough of a dictator. PDP is a level playing party for any politician where you come to the field and test your strength. We come together to celebrate and work together for whoever wins at the primary unlike APC where only one man will decide who becomes the candidate..
What is your comment about parties picking females as governorship running mates?
Rome was not built in a day. Let us start from the deputy governor and one day female governor will emerge in Lagos State.
Do you have any intention to contest any election?
Yes, but not now. Remember that I contested for House of Representatives in 2007. I’m sure that I will contest again.
You are a number one female politician in Lagos PDP. How are you balancing your roles as a politician, businesswoman and housewife?
God created women to be able to perform many roles at a time. You delegate some assignments to people. The only one that you can not delegate is your bed. Every other thing can be delegated.
What is your message to the women now that the election is approaching?
They should come out to vote for the right person and right party. The right person is Jimi Kolawole Agbaje, Lagos State PDP governorship candidate. We need a change in Lagos. They have not done well in Lagos. How can one person be in charge of everything? His wife is a senator, his daughter is Iyaloja-General of Lagos State, and he too is in-charge of tax in the state. So many unacceptable things are being done by APC government in Lagos. It is time we changed them and saw the difference.