A few weeks ago, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun sworn in his commissioners and Special Advisers. The cabinet has been active since the taking of their oaths of office. Among the cabinet members are six powerful women, some of who are grassroots politicians and some are experts in their different professions. OGUN Correspondent, Bunmi Mustapha, brings you the list of the six powerful women in Governor Abiodun’s cabinet.
Mrs Ronke Soyombo is the Special adviser on Education. She is a resourceful educationist, prolific writer, an accomplished business lawyer, a Microsoft certified professional and a great motivational speaker.
After her stint at the then Ogun State College of Education, now Tai Solarin College of Education, she proceeded to and graduated from the prestigious University of Lagos with Bachelor of Science (Ed) (Chemistry) in 1989. She later went to London Guildhall University in 1997 where she bagged LLB in Business Law.
Ronke displayed a first-class primary strategy and highly skilled teaching knowledge applications to aid learning and gained a rare recognition as the first black Advanced Skilled Teacher (AST) in Lambeth Borough, London (top 3% teachers in England and Wales). She was privileged to work as head of school in two schools in England and one in Nigeria.
She was trained under the new OFSTED framework in leading, monitoring and evaluating schools in London before her appointment as the first Director General of the Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance in 2015.
While working under Governors Raji Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode, she embarked on reforms in line with the vision of the Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to improve the quality and standards of Education in the state by guiding the Office of Education’s Quality Assurance in coordinating and evaluating Quality Assurance process and support services in schools to improven learning outcomes.
Through her determined and committed leadership, Ronke Soyombo has improved on the standards and quality of schools graded fair and poor to good and very good. This was achieved through Whole School Evaluation (WSE) and OEQA’s intervention in both public and private schools resulting in improved learnerss’ performance in Lagos State .
The quality and standards of teaching, security around schools, learning environment, safeguarding and child protection, checkmating of examination malpractices and admission racketeering activities across schools in the state’s Six Education Districts have improved tremendously since her coming on board .
Ronke, who has led many leadership trainings, has successfully pioneered the review of the evaluation schedule to enhance Quality Assurance Evaluation practice, which has also been replicated at the federal level. She has well over 35 awards of recognition and she is happily married with children.
HON ADIJAT ADELEYE OLADAPO
Two-term former House of Assembly member, Honorable Adijat Adeleye Oladapo is the Special Adviser on Women Affairs. She is known to be very stylish and fashionable, a grassroots politician, who has paid her dues in the days when she was representing Ifo 11 State Constituency.
Born on the 7th day of June, 1976, to the humble and disciplined family of Pa Micheal Mufutau Adeleye and Madam Mary Adeleye both from Ogun State Adeleye-Oladapo started her early education at Methodist Primary School, Tabon -Tabon ,Agege in Lagos State. She later proceeded to Lagos Baptist Secondary School, Orile Agege for her secondary education, but completed it at Iju Grammar School, Iju Station.
It is worthy of note that as a result of her humble background, Hon. Adijat started fending for herself and her siblings at a very tender age. This affected the pace of her education but despite her very humble upbringing, she was determined to acquire higher formal education. In 1998, she obtained a Diploma in Yoruba Linguistics from the prestigious University of Lagos where she often walked about three kilometres to and fro Akoka.
Adijat, perhaps had an omen that she has greater days ahead. So, she was focused on acquiring more knowledge, this fueled her resolve to attain higher academic standard, thereby studing Accounting at the Institute of Chartered Management Accountancy. Today, she is an Associate member of that Institute. With her quest for additional qualifications, Adijat has in view, a Post Graduate Diploma from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State.
Hon Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo’s advent into politics was accidental as she started from the lowest level. She started active politics by registering with the UNCP. She later moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) where she was, at a point, women leader of her Ward. She later joined the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003. In 2004, she was appointed Consultant to the Chairman of Ifo Local Government on Community Development Matters.
She resigned in 2006 to contest primary election into the Ogun State House of Assembly and won. She later won at the general election, to represent the good people of Ifo II State Constituency in the Ogun State House of Assembly on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Owing to the strong niche she has carved for herself in the first four years, she re-contested in 2011 under the auspices of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and won. Thus becoming a two term member of the State Assembly.
Also, history would never let it be ignored that she was the only female member of the famous G15 in the 6th Assembly that stood for credible governance-cum-accountability in the face of daunting challenges. These never weakened her morale in the delivery of democratic dividends to those who brought her to office. Among her constituency projects are the two Free ICT Centres in Mubarak and Lambe areas respectively, which she built, equipped and funded from her salaries and allowances. Now, over 1,000 persons including youths and adults have benefited from the programme. Her love for even grassroot development made her collaborate with the Community Development Councils in her constituency by supporting her constituents with N500,000 each to embark on meaningful projects of their choice.
Adijat, who believes in the great words of Chancellor Linda Katehi that “when it comes to being an architect of Change, I don’t know of any more effective blueprint than education”, rose to the plight of Otemuyi people when she built a block of three classrooms with toilet after the building collapsed five times. Even as a State lawmaker, she facilitated some Federal Government projects in her constituency in fulfillment of her pledge to make a lot of difference. To mention a few, the Solar Powered streetlight at Akute Market, Solar, Powered Street light at Ajuwon Market and Solar Powered Bore Hole at Kajola Village among others.
Adijat has, because of her contributions, received a confetti of honours and a plethora of awards from government and international organisations, ranging from Distinguished Merit Award by NLC, Ogun State Council; Community Service Award by Rotary Club of Oke-Ona Egba; Most Influential Female by Egba Youth Award; Special Award in Appreciation of Contributions in Developing Leaders of Tomorrow Through Free ICT Training by Akute CDC; Award of Excellence by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS JCC OGUN AXIS); The Young Achievers Award; Media Friendly Award by NUJ, Ogun State Council; Special Recognition Award for Remarkable Contributions to Politics in Ogun State by City People Magazine; The Pillar of Truth award by FIBAN, Ogun State Chapter among several others. Her status as the women of all seasons has earned her several chieftaincy titles like the Asiwaju Obinrin of Agbado Land, the Yeye Oge of Igede-Ekiti Land and the Okanlomo of Akute Land among others.
Adeleye-Oladapo, who contested, but lost in the 2015 general elections for the Federal House of Representatives Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency seat, has not abandoned her charitable and philanthropic way of life, the statesmanlike spirit to serve her people still lives in her. She was appointed a Senior Legislative Aide to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rt Hon. Yusuff Lasun.
But significantly, her contributions to the socio-economic development of Ifo land have continued to ginger the spirit of the people to embrace and recognise her selfless leadership and philanthropy. One cannot imagine the widespread accolades and goodwill that put Adijat many miles ahead of her peers.
PRINCESS PEJU SHOTE
Princess Peju Shote is the Special Adviser on Special Duties. She was a Special Assistant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun. The Ijebu-Ode-born politician aspired on seat at the Federal House of Representatives on the platform of the All Progressives Congress. Shote, a woman with piety and modesty, it was learnt, is making concerted efforts to give other women a voice in the parliament and to make sure the 35% affirmative action for women in politics is achieved.
Dr Tomi Coker is the Ogun new Commissioner for Health.
Kikelomo Longe is the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning. She is a Vice President at African Capital Alliance (ACA) with responsibility for Investor Relations, Fundraising and marketing. She joined ACA in 1999, bringing to work experience in financial controls, banking and finance, and venture capital. She started her career with Deloitte as an audit trainee and qualified as a chartered accountant winning two national prizes at the qualifying examinations. After Deloitte, she gained experience in Banking, finance and general management before joining Ventures & Trusts Limited (V&T) in 1995 as financial controller. V&T is a Nigeria-based venture capital/project finance company that manages a small Venture Capital Fund for the European Investment Bank Mrs. Longe holds a Bachelors’ degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos.
Longe, a indigene of Abeokuta South, bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos, and later became an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1986.
HONORABLE FUNMI EFUWAPE
Mrs Funmi Efuwape is a former chairman of Sagamu local government. She is the Ogun new Commissioner for Women Affairs. She was an arrow head in Yayi for governor campaingn which metamorphosed into Dapo Abiodun’s campaingn train. This pretty female politician of repute played a key role in leading women towards the success of Dapo Abiodun at the governorship election. Till date, she still plays the role of a women leader across the state. Her effort and huge role in the present government have earned herthe opportunity to be among Dapo Abiodun’s commissioners.
She had spent a great deal of her life working in Lagos Civil Service before crossing to Ogun State to contest the Sagamu local government chairmanship which she won at first attempt. That was in 2012. And ever since, she’s been an unrepentant progressive who’s currently one of APC’s most outstanding active female members in Ogun State. A staunch supporter of the Ogun governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, she was one of those who tirelessly worked to ensure his victory as the Director of Women’s Affairs of Dapo Abiodun’s campaign committee.
To her, politics is a passion, Although her father was a politician, so perhaps somewhere along the line she picked the interest from him. Her dad was the late Hon. M.K. Akinye. He was a vice chairman of the local government and was also a commissioner in the Civil Service Commission. She was used to politics, while growing up. Basically, why she found politics, attractive is that it gives her a platform to reach out to people, help people and make decisions that will have positive impact on the people.
She worked in Surulere local government particularly for years before she left to go and contest and became the chairman of a local government in Sagamu Ogun State.
She left Lagos when the time was right to move on. At the time, she was going into the local government, she had the opportunity of working NAL Bank, while she had the option of working with a stockbroking firm. She served in a stockbroking firm but somewhere along the line, she felt that after marriage, she wanted a job that will give her time for the kids. That was why she joined the local government civil service because her husband was a banker. She felt that both of them shouldn’t be away from home for long hours every day. That was why she resigned from the stockbroking firm to join the local government civil service. While she was there, She was very active. In fact, she was aiming to contest the presidency of the Nigerian Union of Employees in Lagos State after Mrs Obasa. e