October 2, 2022

Nigerian youths faced more violence during #EndSars than elections — Jalupon – Vanguard

  • October 30, 2021
  • 6 min read
Nigerian youths faced more violence during #EndSars than elections — Jalupon – Vanguard

Okikiola TaiwoJalupon is one of the young female politicians who have been making waves in her world.
She speaks with WO on her ambition towards the 2023 general elections, how she intends to break in as well as some issues relating to women in politics and what hampers their ambitions and aspirations. 
So, 2023 is just round the corner, what are your plans personally?
I will be contesting for the Lagos House of Assembly seat in 2023. One of the preparations is to start the conversation with major stakeholders including women and we have been soliciting their support.
I have also been talking with women who could fund my campaign. The truth is that, one of the challenges I had in the past elections was funding as well as getting the right tools to actually win elections.
My plan is to reach out to organisations for robust discussion on my project towards 2023 and how we can work out modalities regarding the elections for better service.
Another thing is that I have engaged myself in self development so as to be vast in policy-making and governance to be able to serve.
How has your experience been so far?
I am currently in the ‘Elect-Her Future Lawmakers Program’.  I’m also working with the UNDP and other organisations basically towards 2023, I’m also doing my business.
I am running under the Youth Party for the 2021 elections.
I need my ideology to blend with the party I run with because if we are not on the same page, we will never agree.
I am looking at developing myself in Youth Party but I am also standing as an independent candidate so that towards 2023, I can say that this is where I stand or this is the party I’m going to be running with.
I don’t always believe you have to go with a party in order to get in, I believe that if you have capacity enough, you can win from any party; that’s my ideology.
So why is it that a lot of young people are shunning the existing big parties like APC and PDP?
Well, there are some good and bad histories about those parties. I have met some good people in the APC and PDP, the problem is there are not enough good people in these parties and that’s why the bad ones are thriving.
In every situation, bad news travels faster than good news and the bad things happening are the most said, so I feel people shun those parties.
What’s your definition of good people?

Well, I have always advocated for candidates for their personality because the House of Assembly position is an office that comes with its own responsibility.
If somebody gets in and the person does not have the interest of the people at heart, he or she would never implement policies that are required of that office. And when you see good people, the difference would be clear.
What‘s your agenda for joining politics and what are you bringing to the table?
I run a foundation called the OKIKI Foundation and one of the things I do is to make sure that I reach out to everyone including children, youth and women.
Although the foundation is not registered yet, I have been serving my community. I see politics as service to humanity.
I have been doing it on a small scale but this time, there is an extension and I am willing to work with politicians on ground for the purpose of reaching out to larger communities.
What has your experience been so far?
We have had sincere conversations about what we are doing, where we are going. I have an understanding of where I want to be so I only relate to them on that premise for 2023 elections.
I have the ears of my family members including my Mum and Dad, friends, Aunties, Uncles, basically I’m reaching out to everybody towards that journey.
A lot of women hesitate to join politics because of the violence, late nights, all those things; are they correct?
The late nights are so true, there is nothing we can do about late night meetings, there are some people that will schedule meetings very late at night.
I have been out around 1 a.m. and will not be back until 3 a.m.  If you are married, your husband has to have an understanding of why you are going into that position and it is harder when you have a partner that does not understand.
Many people face that issue. Many believe that you have to be single before going into politics.
Thank God, I have understanding parents but it is not an excuse to do night crawling every day. It is always a few weeks before elections that late night crawling takes place.
The truth is that, there are consequences whether you are poor or rich.
We already agree that there is something wrong with the political leadership in this country and 2023 is coming,yet we are not seeing anything on ground that suggests that anything is going to change.
What would you like to see?
Real life change, I know that most times, some politicians will want to do the right thing but when elections are around the corner, they start sharing foodstuffs.
We have been doing a lot of talks on social media and I have been saying that 2021 elections proved that we have only been talking and we have not been doing; a lot of people complained about electoral violence and I feel like the power rests on the people but we are not exercising that power even as a people and during the EndSARS protests, we faced more violence which were worse than electoral violence so I feel it still rests upon us whether we want this to continue or not.
Do we need another EndSARS movement?
The EndSARS movement didn’t do justice to election. Maybe it did bring some changes and we can all agree that at some point, election is like  60 per cent of the problems we are facing so when we are done talking and it’s time to vote, we should come out to vote regardless of party.
I have been doing following up on voters’ registration for people because most people want to have the voter’s card for the purpose of banking, but I hope that before 2023, I would have convinced a lot of people that they have to vote and it is compulsory.
So if you are not coming under  the APC or PDP, do you think your personality can win an election?
I really do think so and one thing that is certain is that politicians look for candidates who are popular in the community and have power to win especially in a free and fair situation.
Vanguard News Nigeria



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