Hon. Baiye Adebowale Folarinwa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Councillorship aspirant for Ojokoro LCDA(Ward A), Lagos in this essay explains why he is in the race.
WHY I AM CONTESTING
It is widely acknowledged that “When WHY is known, HOW becomes easy”. Similarly, I am fond of the famous saying: “when purpose is not understood, abuse is inevitable.”
While growing up, I realised that I have the nerve of steel. This has propelled me to always stand up for the truth irrespective of who or what the opposition may be. My boldness and an unflinching passion for speaking up against wrong and unfair judgements against the weak, vulnerable and less privileged made me a voice and an influencer quite early in life.
A bit rascally and playful while in my teens but very friendly and accommodating without minding any difference in gender, age, religion, ethnicity or status, which to date is a strong attribute that helps me to mingle and settle easily anywhere I found myself. By the time I got into the higher institution, age and maturity in my boldness made me more fearless in speaking out and confronting authorities both constitutional and otherwise, once there is bias, prejudice, favouritism or oppression.
Those who were my coursemates and friends at the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and the University of Ado, Ekiti State would attest to some of my confrontations with the lecturers, students, police and the school management on when students right are being trampled, despite not being a member of the Student Union. For my efforts, I was often called Fela, Gani Fawehinmi, Deboskiii, the Rock and many more.
Getting out of school to settle down into the everyday lifestyle would have been the quest of any young man, but for me, building disciplined leaders from today’s undisciplined youths who will be fit to take up future leadership role was my calling. In the year 2000, I started a one-man quest visiting various secondary schools, religious establishments, communities and individual youths to admonish them against the various social vices such as drugs and substance abuse, cultism, examination malpractices, illicit sexual exposure and many more. For all intent and purpose, I am an addict, who is passionate about youth advocacy, leadership capacity training and development. Over the years, I have, to the glory of God, been able to help so many youths DISCOVER, REDISCOVER and UNDISCOVER themselves positively, and they are now living out their full potential.
In raising the youths, I have spoken out against the government’s failure to help the youth. I have spoken against the lackadaisical approach to the high influx of drugs freely penetrating deep into the souls and future of the youth. I have continually blamed the government for practically strangulating the potency of education and replacing it with beautified moral decadence in the guise of entertainment, gangsterism, drugs, internet corruption and other prevailing vices. I have not spared the government in my criticism of the treatment of youths in this country.
I have continually agitated for a better and enabling environment that will bring out the best in the average Nigerian youth. But then, with all my cries and agitation, my voice has not gone farther than the daily opportunity the life of an ordinary Nigerian can offer. So my worries become, how do I get a platform; amplified enough and with more reach to address the moral decadence and indiscipline among our nation’s future leaders? Then it dawned on me that rather than sit and play the blame game, I can deploy the tool of governance to amplify and remove the clog in the wheels of our nation’s future leaders’ progress. So many of my friends are happy I’m finally taking this lane, while some are afraid I’m about to join a system that will pollute and becloud my vision and passion for the betterment of the youths. To both sets of my friends, I charge you, don’t leave me in this alone. Always pray for me, do not be quiet when you notice I am diverting. If you really love me and love Nigeria, support and encourage me in this quest.
In my house and as an ordinary citizen, I can only do little. But in governance and with the tools of government, I can do more and be held accountable if and when I don’t do what is expected of me. A journey of a lifetime starts with a step, the step I have taken by deciding to contest is audacity of faith and hope that one day there will be many youths who would have benefitted and fulfil their potential from what I can do if given the mandate and instrument of governance to work with, to continue till our journey to Eldorado is no longer a fantasy, but a reality.