It is not easy to upset the status quo in politics. But Rukayat Shittu, 26, said she won the nomination as the ruler’s candidate. Congress of all progressives (APC) for Owode Onire State Constituency of Asa Local Government Area of ​​Kwara State without giving money to any godfather inside or outside the party.

Rukayat Shittu

In this interview with Olasunkanmi Akinlotan of PREMIUM TIMES, Ms. Shittu also gave advice to young Nigerians on what they need to make an impact in politics.

PT: For the benefit of people who may be reading about you for the first time, please tell us what it was like growing up for you.

Mrs Shittu: My name is Rukayat Motunrayo Shittu, the youngest APC standard bearer in Nigeria, vying for the Kwara State House of Assembly seat for the Owode Onire constituency in the Asa Local Government Area of ​​Kwara State . I am from the Manyan village of the Alapa/Onire/Odegiwa district.

I attended LGEA Baptist Primary School in Ilorin, and Government Girls Day Secondary School, Oko Erin, for my Higher Secondary School Certificate in 2011 and then proceeded to the affiliated Kwara State University of Arab and Islamic Legal Studies. to Bayero de Kano University. Then I got a diploma certificate in Mass Communication and Islamic Studies in 2015.

After my diploma, I enrolled in a fashion school. In 2017, I got admission to National Open University of Nigeria and graduated in 2022. I worked as head of news department for a famous online media outlet in Kwara, Just Event Online.

PT: How old are you and are you married?

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Mrs Shittu: I am 26 years old and I am not married.

PT: Tell us about your parents and their dispositions to your political ambition?

Mrs Shittu: I have the best parents anyone could pray for on earth. They are the backbone of my political aspirations and have been since I was a student. My father usually advised me to compete for positions in the school and most of the time I got funding from him for the contests. His disposition regarding my political aspiration is so firm. My dad studied me and knows what is best for me, so he doesn’t hesitate when I aspire to things. I had been a class representative since primary school days and that continued until I graduated from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) as the first female President of the NOUN Congress of Students Senate (CONS), heading the legislative arm. of the student association in more than 85 study centers throughout the federation.

PT: Politics is not a profession, do you agree? So what else are you good at apart from politics?

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Mrs Shittu: We all have different definitions of things. They say that politics is not a profession except for me; it is something that every reasonable citizen must consider if we really want democracy. And life is a process, stage by stage. I’m very happy to have the privilege of being involved at a young age and with this. I am very sure that the furure is very bright.

I am a media practitioner, fashionista and entrepreneur.

PT: You studied Mass Communication, don’t you think you should practice?

Mrs Shittu: Yes, I studied Social Communication and graduated with upper second class division. I passionately understand the job. Before the contest, I was in the field for many years. Whether I’m in politics or not, I’m still a journalist, and in the real sense, every journalist is a politician because we have our preference when it comes to politics. Please note that you can still consult me ​​for your media related work.

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PT: You are competing on the APC platform. Why ACP?

miss shit: I am an APC cardholder member. No other party has been progressive and sensitive like APC in Kwara. APC brought the state of darkness into light, brought Kwara out of the state of ignorance (Jahiliyyah) into an age of enlightenment and enlightenment. Our Governor (AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq) has a good record regarding the inclusion of youth in government, which in the past was not the norm. Speaking of gender balance, he has given us a level playing field: APC has the most female candidates in the latest primaries and remains the only major party with the most women and the youngest candidate in Kwara State. There is progressivity in APC.

PT: It is believed that women are marginalized in politics, especially in Nigeria. How did you emerge?

Mrs Shittu: Yes, women are underrepresented and marginalized in politics because too many of us don’t stand up either. As I said before, our governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has given us the space to display ourselves. I emerged not only with the voice of the majority of the Owode Onire constituents, but also with the state government policy: ‘The 35 Percent Affirmative Action’ which encourages more people, especially those who are strongly connected to the ideals governor’s progressives to support me.

PT: What is your motivation?

Mrs Shittu: Governor AbdulRahman is my motivator, he motivated me and many of us across the state. Also, with the marginalization of women in space, I want to inspire and be a worthy role model for others who are afraid to get involved in politics.

Rukayat Shittu, the youngest APC flag bearer in Nigeria.
Rukayat Shittu, the youngest APC flag bearer in Nigeria.

PT: When did you develop your political interest?

Mrs Shittu: It turns out that I am a former leader of the student union and president of the Senate of the NOUN Student Congress. I have always had political interests since my student days. And when I was in the field working as a journalist, my focus has been to promote women’s participation in politics through the media. My passion for politics has been around since my college days.

PT: How much did the godparents pay to secure the ticket?

Mrs Shittu: I did not pay any sponsor to secure my ticket. I only paid for the nomination forms, while the expression of interest form was free for women and youth who were willing to participate under the ruling All Progressives Congress.

PT: Many young people are afraid to join politics because of the financial requirements. How have you been financing your campaign?

Mrs Shittu: The most important factor as a young person in politics is commitment, resilience, focus and perseverance. It’s another thing to have the right people around. For example, I am a member of a leading pro-democracy group in Kwara State, “Kwara Must Change”, which provided me with the human resources and knowledge to navigate the political process. I am financing my campaign through the support of various progressive sectors and I continue to expect more support as we get closer to the general election.

PT: If you emerge, what are your plans for the people and your future?

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Mrs Shittu: By the grace of God, I am going to emerge to represent the people of Owode Onire constituency in the Kwara State 10th House of Assembly. My plan as a legislator is to make laws and sponsor bills that benefit our people, facilitate and lobby government projects for my constituency, conduct executive oversight activities, and ensure that our people have adequate representation.

Lastly, I want the future to speak for me and mark me as a role model for young people. I believe that my candidacy will encourage and pave the way for more young people to be willing to participate in electoral contests.

(This interview is the first in a series focusing on the young candidates running in the 2023 general election. It is a partnership between Premium Times and YIAGA Africa.)

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