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Nigeria’s problem will be solved day a woman becomes president —Annah Afolabi, late S. M. Afolabi’s widow

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presidentDr Annah Afolabi a doctorate degree holder in Community Development from University of Ibadan and widow of former Minister of Internal Affairs, late  Chief S.M Afolabi was recently elected as the Vice Lay President of Ibadan North Diocese of African Church and the Vice Lay President of Ibadan Province.

In this interview by TAYO GESINDE, she speaks about how she is coping with the loss of her husband and why she is dedicating her life to the service of God.

What was growing up like for you?

I was not born into a rich family and at the same time my parents were not too poor because they were able to give me education; at least to secondary school level thereby giving me a solid background to forge ahead. Nigeria was better in our days so with the peanut that they had, they were able to take good care of us and made sure we attended good public schools where we were well trained and educated. There was moral and discipline in school and at home. The society was not so complicated then as it is now. There was peace, stability and security in the country.


What were the challenges you faced as an entrepreneur?

The major challenge I faced as an entrepreneur was man power. The young people of today are not ready to work. They want to become instant millionaires. When you employ them, you will discover that they are not committed or serious. All they are after is to emulate your lifestyle; they don’t want to know the hurdles you crossed before getting to where you are today.


You used to be very active on the social scene but you suddenly disappeared few years ago. What happened?

Nothing really happened. The truth is when you are younger; you have more strength and energy to do so many things. You also have time to explore a lot of things but as you grow older, you will learn a lot of things which will make you decide to concentrate on some other things and to either focus more on your business or commit yourself to God. I am more occupied now than I used to be before.


 You were recently elected as the first female Lay Vice President of Ibadan Province of African Church. How do you feel about this feat?

I feel elated and I thank God for it.  It showed me that when you are dedicated, God will reward you for it. All my life, even when I was on the social scene, I was serving God and was a dedicated Christian. People might not know that, especially when they see you as someone who is flashy and loves attending parties. As a minister’s wife, I used to go out for evangelism at Maitama, Abuja around 6 0’clock, ringing my bell and preaching. My mind and heart has always been for God. I want to believe that God just wanted to compensate me because I was elected in absentia.  I was in America when I was nominated. Funny enough, people who really wanted the post were not chosen. When I got back home, I was also elected the first female Vice Lay President of Ibadan Province.

What does your role entail as a Lay Vice President?

The clergies oversee the spiritual affairs of the church while the laity, comprising the president and the vice, assists them in the administrative affairs. The Clergy and Laity work hand-in-hand for the development and progress of the church.


Since your late husband was a prominent politician one would have expected you to be actively involved in politics. Why is this not so?

I like politics. I have been involved in politics since 1990. I campaigned in Mapo alongside Dr Doyin Okupe and some other notable politicians.  I played active role in politics when my husband was alive. I was part of the Obasanjo campaign train at Jos convention. However, I don’t like the way politics is being played these days. I am not happy with the kind of violence and distrust that is in politics now. Then, there was trust among politicians such that you and another politician can sit together and you can leave your food or drink and come back to eat or drink it but you can’t try that now. Moreover, I am happy with what I am doing now. It is more peaceful.


How were you able to cope with the demise of your husband?

Actually, it was when my husband died that I became a socialite. When he was alive, my husband was my friend, brother and confidant. When he died, the vacuum he left behind was too much, the loneliness was too much and in order to get fill the vacuum, I started attending social engagements but after some time, I was able to settle down.


How do you think can one bring up godly children in these days of moral decadence?

There are so many challenges in the society now. During our own days, our mothers were there to take care of us from birth till we were 10 years and able to do some things on our own but today, everything has changed. Women are more educated and in order to make ends meet, they have to work so they have to take their children to crèche and in most cases the teachers there are not well paid so they are not motivated to go the extra mile to take care of their wards.


Do you also support the call for more women to seek elective offices in the 2019 general elections?

In my own opinion, I believe the day a woman becomes the president of Nigeria; the country’s problem will be solved. Women are very hardworking and good managers of resources. So I want women to come out en masse to vie for elective offices from councillorship to the presidency. I want to also see a situation whereby women will troop out to support their fellow women. Why we have not been getting result before now is because we have not been supporting one another. I know that very soon, women will rule this nation and we will rule it successfully by the special grace of God.

The post Nigeria’s problem will be solved day a woman becomes president —Annah Afolabi, late S. M. Afolabi’s widow appeared first on Tribune.

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