Engineer Atinuke Wuraola Owolabi is the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Association of Professional Women Engineers (APWEN).
An active politician, she was a member of the Support Groups Directorate of the defunct All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC). She is very a popular and resourceful grassroots politician and very diligent in her Engineering profession.
In this exclusive interview with the crew of thegazellenews.com, Engineer Owolabi spoke on her sojourn into politics, her role as APWEN Chairman in the state and other sundry issues.
Q: Who really is Engineer Wuraola Atinuke Owolabi?
A: Engr. Atinuke Wuraola Owolabi was born to the family of Late Chief Joseph Adejuyigbe Agbaje. She is a philanthropist committed to bringing smiles to the faces of the less privileged in her generation. She earned a B.Eng(Hons) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, in 2002, and a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Management from Coventry University, United Kingdom. She also holds an Award of Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Technological Development from European-American University, Commonwealth of Dominica Africa Operations.
Atinuke is a member of several professional bodies and has received numerous awards for Excellence, Professionalism, Politics, and Humanitarianism based on her personal achievements and the accomplishments of her foundations.
Q: Why did you choose to be an Engineer which many believed to be a man’s world
A: Engineers, both male and female, are problem solvers. Despite misconceptions, the profession is open to the brilliant and smart. I excelled as one of the best students in my school, particularly in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, and I’ve always enjoyed challenging my world.
Q: Why did you decide to go into politics?
A: My entry into politics wasn’t solely my decision. The leaders in my community in Ifako-Ijaye Local Government, Lagos state recognised my humanitarian efforts, encouraging me to join politics, believing I could utilize resources for the welfare of the people.
Q: As a professional engineer, how do you combine the profession with your involvement in politics
A: Engineering is my profession for a livelihood, while helping people is my calling.
Q: How do you combine the quadruple roles of a mother, wife, engineer, and politician
A: It’s by the grace of God. I’m grateful for my family, especially my husband, who acknowledges my strength lies in helping the masses. Work-life balance/integration is crucial. Knowing how to balance it, with the cooperation of the family and emotional balance, is key. Family comes first, and when there is peace at home, you can function effectively.
Q: You’re the Chairman of the Lagos State Association of Professional Women Engineers, what does the job entail?
A: Yes, to the glory of God, I’m the Chairman of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, Lagos chapter.
We introduce young girls to the exciting world of STEM, igniting their curiosity and passion for the Engineering field. We encourage them to pursue careers in STEM by showcasing inspiring successful women in the profession. Our engineering students and young engineers are mentored in order to retain them in the profession, while we advance the professional development of our senior engineers.
Since its inception, APWEN has played a pivotal role in breaking down barriers and promoting diversity within the engineering sector. We have initiated various programs, including STEM Clubs for primary and secondary students, Artificial Intelligence for girls in Engineering, and Reverse mentoring for Elders.
Q: Why did you really decide to join politics, and what was the reaction of your immediate family, husband and children when you took the decision
A: My husband and family noticed my passion to truly serve the people, and they encouraged me to follow my passion.
Q: Who are your inspirations in politics?
A: My primary inspiration in politics is President Bola Tinubu for his generosity. He is a giver and incredibly accommodating. To thrive in politics, one must learn the art of giving and be ready to accommodate others.
Late Mrs. Kemi Nelson is another source of inspiration for her commitment to empowering women.
HE Orelope Adefulire’s humble and resourceful leadership also inspires me, along with Otunba Femi Pedro, who demonstrated that a professional can engage in politics without compromising integrity. He emphasised not abandoning one’s profession. However, the last election significantly impacted my business as I devoted substantial time and resources to ensure President Bola Tinubu emerged as the President and Governor Sanwoolu as the Governor. In the process, I unintentionally neglected my technocratic responsibilities. We initiated “woro si woro, koro si koro.”
Q: What are your political ambitions?
A: I aspire to serve my people if I’m given the opportunity.
I want to serve the people of my community ifako ijaiye by providing quality leadership and direction which will meet their desires.
Q: What do you hope to achieve in politics?
A: My goal is to be the voice of the vulnerable, ensuring that people, especially the vulnerable, obtain their rights.