Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Olaleye Oluwatobi. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering. At the moment I’m a public servant who works with the Consultant to the Governor of Ogun state on Signage and Advertising where I regulate all Signage in Ogun State and generate revenue for the Government through Signage and advertising in the State. Also, I run an initiative that focuses on providing access to quality education for kids in underserved rural areas. My strong passion for Child Education led me to create an initiative that could help. Currently, I’m a fellow of the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship 2022 Cohort.
How did you find out about the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship?
I found out about this Fellowship via the Opportunity Desk website.
Give a synopsis of your experience before you joined the Fellowship.
Before I joined the Emerging Political Leaders fellowship, I work with a Political Appointee under the administration of the present government, which has given me an upward experience of what politics is about in the area of Political Appointees and exposed me to broad daylight political practice in the state level which, and I’m still in the learning process.
Why did you apply for the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship?
I applied for the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship because I hope to gain more advanced leadership skills so as to improve my contribution to nation-building at home and abroad. Participating in a Programme that is focused on building leaders who have goals and vision to serve the people and sacrifice their time to make the world a better place in all forms, will be an opportunity for me to be sharpened professionally, mentally, and ideologically to be a world leader to contribute to nation building and improve sustainable development. On seeing the Programme Curriculum on its website, I was eager to make sure I attend all Virtual closed Sessions of the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship so as to benefit from the Programme fully and also have time to spend with fellow youths who are active policymakers from different walks of life, and who are also doing exploits in their communities to make the world a better place.
What interests you most about being a part of the Fellowship?
Being part of the fellowship has been a great opportunity for me because it created avenues for me to meet with various Political Leaders and well-experienced Facilitators. The Fellowship gives me room to interact with people who give technical and practical examples of how the Nigerian government was being run in their time, and what it actually entails to get to the ruling seat. The Fellowship gives me the privilege to be mentored by great Mentors. These impacts alone are enough to know where I really have to improve in my political journey.
Briefly share with us some of your best moments during the fellowship so far.
My best moments during the Fellowship are times when I and other fellows had to come together to get a task done as given to us by the Fellowship I.e.doing group assignments together gives me a sense of belonging. During group assigned tasks, it gives us the opportunity to really deep hands into individual ideas and to brainstorm on the best shot for the task which also serves as a fun learning moment during the Fellowship.
How has this Fellowship impacted you so far?
The Fellowship has taken me through the process of learning what politics means in the theoretical and practical sense. I have learnt from several Facilitators from the Fellowship that an effective leader is, and will aid me in aligning in the right part of contributing to nation-building. Currently, the Fellowship has given me a foresight of where my strengths and weaknesses lie politically, especially when we learnt about “LEADING WITH EMPATHY” by Maryam Aliko Mohammed.
What are some of the achievements you’ve had during the Fellowship?
I have applied most of the teachings I have learnt during the course. Currently, I am putting all I have learnt regarding “Running for Office” back home while giving a House of Representatives Aspirant an analysis and he agreed with the idea which made him the candidate of his party here. This Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to speak audibly about the process of running for office to teenage and young minds who have aspirations of running for office.
To what extent would you say the fellowship programme is changing your perception of political leadership in Nigeria?
I’ll say…Greatly! the Fellowship has given me a different perception of what it means to Win with Humility and also how to Lose with Grace.
What will you do differently if given a chance to serve your country?
I will take the interest of the masses to heart first before anything else. Afterwards, I’ll Tackle issues the masses are faced with.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, I see myself being an active policymaker.
Would you recommend this fellowship to others? Why?
Yes, I would.
The Fellowship is more like a school where you are taken through the grassroots of politics and what you need to know about being a leader in any area. EPLF is a school where the Facilitators and the student learns.
What will be your advice to young people aspiring to be in politics?
Having a clear vision of what they actually want to do in politics. Politics is not for the faint-hearted and it’s not for someone who thinks being in power is all about giving orders. Running for an office is more like you going to serve and treat the masses right.
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