Young, vibrant, resourceful, intelligent and bold – these adjectives best describe the person of Sultan Junaid. A former Speaker of the Lagos State University (LASU) Parliamentary Council, Sultan would best be remembered for being the young boy who looked erstwhile Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Jokotola Pelumi, in the face and told him that, “I’m the Speaker here, I speak for the massive population of LASU students”.
The young boy has grown into a matured politician and today he is seeking to represent Amuwo Odofin State Constituency 1 in the state Assembly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In this interview with thegazellenews.com‘s IDRIS OSENI, Sultan speaks on his ambition and political antecedents.
Tell us briefly about your background.
I attended Loral Nursery and Primary School, Festac Town and left for a boarding school, Mate Nursery and Primary School, Ketu, Lagos where i obtained my First School Leaving Certificate.
I later proceeded to Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state and Lagos State University, Ojo, where i bagged my Senior School Certificate and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Microbiology, respectively.
You seem to be a newbreed politician, do you really have any political experience?
You and I can acknowledge to the popular saying that ‘Rome was not built a day’, and that’s a pointer to the fact that I did not start politics today. It has been an institution that I have been long engaged in for over a decade and that I have always taken as a serious business aimed at shaping peoples lives which I think ought not to be left in the hands of mediocre.
I was a member of executive council of the PDP from 2007 to 2010 in Amuwo Odofin Local Government prior to my resignation to contest the October 20, 2011 Lagos State Local Government Election, of which I emerged the PDP flag bearer.
All these are enough to have given me a balancing in party politics.
You are contesting on the platform of the PDP, what hope do you have of winning against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in the state?
Firstly, let me take you back to the annals of history of Amuwo politics. The ruling party in the state has never won elections here in history, their victories at every poll has always been characterised with massive rigging and same was what recurred in 2011, rigging in a non-performer to the state House of Assembly, taking us back to the ill- representation we had at the state Assembly in 2007.
For an approximate three years that Hon. Sultan Adeniji Adele has been a member of the state House of Assembly, I make bold to put it to you that not even a half bill had been sponsored by him. The records of proceedings of the Assembly’s sittings are evident for Amuwo constituents to see.
A representative that does not speak on the floor of the Assembly aside seconding motions moved by colleagues, how do you expect such a member to promote bills aimed at positively impacting the lives and well-being of his constituents. It is on this note that Amuwo inhabitants have resolved to take a turn around because Amuwo Odofin is too elitist for mediocre and bench warmer representative as Hon. Adele.
Do you think you have the necessary experience to represent Amuwo Odofin in the state Assembly?
Representing people in a very high intellectual environ is no doubt a herculean task and judging by the wealth of experience I have garnered in the four walls of political classroom all through my years in politics, I would tell you that I have got the requisite experience, strong as weathered brick, to represent my constituency.
I want to uphold the virtues of a good representative by sponsoring serious and precise bills aimed at positively enhancing our lives collectively, which is one of the prerogative duty of an elected legislator.
What motivates you into going into politics?
Well, ever since I was a growing child, in all I do, I have always taken the leadership role. So as I grew up, my late dad, popularly called ‘Fire’ on Lagos Island, was a staunch politician in the old NCNC, NPN and AD. So each time, political issues were discussed in our home alongside with his associates like the Late Chief Hilarious Babs-Akerele, Late Senator Wahab Dosunmu and a host of others, I always sat close to him, and as a kid, I paid rapt attention to their discussions picking one or two things therein.
As I grew older, exceeding puberty age, same continued, I put up a flair for their political discussion though I have grown enough to differ from them on certain issues. To me, some of their ideas then have become antiquated.
But by then, my father has started seeking my opinion and contributions to some of their discussions.
As I gained admission into the University, I had to put to practice what I learnt by contesting as LASU Science Faculty Speaker and defeated the incumbent Speaker of my faculty. I progressed to the highest political platform of Students Unionism, as I ran an unprecedented election and won convincingly, emerging as the 13th Speaker of the Lagos State University Students Union Government(LASUSUG) with a trail-blazing record of being the 1st Students’ Union Speaker from Science Faculty since the inception of the University in 1984. And ever since, my ascension in politics grew taller with a giant leap in this field of endeavour.
You have once contested and lost, what now gives you the confidence that you will win in the general election?
Having ran a glamorous historic election in 2011 that attracted a huge number of stakeholders cutting across ethnic, religious and socio-political background, I have no doubt that contesting an election to be conducted by a reputable umpire as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), unlike the ramshackle state electoral one we had in 2011, the huge turn-out and support I got in 2011 would increase because of the confidence the electorate have reposed in INEC conducted elections and this time by the special grace of God, our arduous determination and unrelenting effort would give us a resounding victory, taking us to the promised land.
If you are voted to represent Amuwo Odofin State Constituency 1 in the state Assembly, how do you intend to impact positively on the lives of your constituents?
I have got detailed positively imparting programmes if elected to the state House of Assembly. To let the cat out of the bag, Amuwo Odofin State Constituency 1, encompasses Festac Town, Mile 2 and Abule-ado. As such, I would continually uphold the elitist legacy of the region, holding in high esteem the priority of education by assisting to sponsor students aiming to secure admission into tertiary institutions and those aiming to study further after their first degrees through representative and private partnership, making our policies more serious and precise; thus differing from the clownish distribution of clippers and call centre PVC plastic tables put up as empowerment by the ruling APC legislator.
Again, if you move around Amuwo Odofin, you would agree with me that our constituency requires serious government intervention both the federal and state on issues ranging from infrastructure, health, social to sports and since my prerogative duty as a responsible legislator is to formulate laws and ratify policies, government attention would be drawn to these social contracts by putting to rest the patching habit of infrastructure put up by the current administration, because I strongly believe Amuwo is too serious to have a beer parlour representative.