#RunToWin Series — Young Nigerians Running for Political Leadership E3.
Meet Simeon Omowale Ojuolape, an activist, psychologist, and digital marketer.
On this episode of the #RunToWin series, we interviewed Comrade Simeon Omowale Ojuolape, an African Action Congress (AAC) political party member and a candidate running for a seat in the Lagos House of Assembly to represent the Mushin Constituency 2 in the coming general elections. He is a beneficiary of the Not too young to run law. At 25, he is the youngest candidate among those running for office in his constituency.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a digital marketer and a political activist. I studied psychology at the University of Ibadan. When I was much younger, I worked as a craftsman making award plaques, one of the products my constituency Mushin is renowned for.
What motivated you to enter politics
Growing up in Mushin and being aware of the problems, injustices, and exploitation that have gone on in the community for years, I felt a sense of obligation to run for political leadership to change things positively. I know where the shoe pinches people in my community.
Mushin is one of the top areas in Lagos that has suffered poor leadership as public properties have been taken over for personal gain by powerful groups who profiteer at the expense of the people. The leadership bar has been lowered, and the people have lost faith in the system.
I have been an activist for years, and from my advocacy for better leadership, public accountability, and progress, I ventured into politics to serve the people better.
What challenges have you faced so far since you started running for office?
Funding has been a major issue in my campaign as crowdfunding and donations have been the major source of funding for my campaign. This financial constraint has limited the reach of my campaign. My political party is largely made up of activists like myself who do not have deep pockets compared to the politicians in the ruling parties.
Another issue I have had is the impartiality and manipulation by the two most popular parties in the country. From receiving exclusive access to the registers and contacts of people in their constituency by INEC officials to ordering their thugs to tear down posters of candidates of other parties. These thugs do all their dirty work for them.
Public places such as the market are also no-go areas for politicians outside the ruling party to campaign, as they control such places.
What are your plans for the people of your constituency
I believe my manifesto is practical enough to create economic growth in Mushin. I plan to
drive the conversion of the Mushin market into a free trade zone which would attract international attention.
Mushin’s market is one of the reasons why the town is renowned. It is known as one of the largest leather goods markets in Nigeria. It also has a lot of printing press hubs.
Sadly the market is in bad shape, and it is being run and controlled by certain individuals in power.
Further details on his plans
In an interview with the Independent News Paper, Mr. Simeon said:
“My plan or agenda is based on three focal points. The first is security. I plan to come up with a bill to provide adequate security apparatus and enable proper police reforms, which will enhance the proper use of firearms in every situation. If elected, I will also sponsor a bill to provide a Metropolitan Police System for the city of Mushin through the leverage of some security DigiTech architectural platform. My second plan is in the area of education. In this regard, It is my plan to ensure a 21st-century educational standard where the aged or physically challenged persons will be part of. This class of people should not be hindered from education, with the utmost regard to the digitalized distance learning system. Another aspect of my agenda is in the area of economic development and Job creation. I will ensure that there is recognition for Human Capital Development. This scheme will include those currently seen as hoodlums and displaced persons. They will be the major beneficiaries of this developmental scheme. I will provide in my constituency the 21st Century skills training infrastructures; theoretical and practically intensive coaching on the acquisition of digital skills for students and willing constituents”.