Princess Omobolanle Ashabi Sarumi-Aliyu (BASA) is one of those running for the governorship in Oyo State. She is running on the platform of the National Interest Party. For those who don’t know let’s tell you about this pretty woman who was born on the 22nd of March, 1979 at the UCH, Ibadan to the family of Chief/Prince/Honourable Ali Balogun Sarumi and Mrs Jean Balogun Sarumi. Her father was born in the Abebi area of Ibadan, where their family houses are still standing. Her dad is a community leader, businessman, investor and a politician per excellence. He was a member of the House of Representatives, and a Chairman on Science and Technology, representing Ibadan North, under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) party between 1999 and 2003. His popularity within Ibadan metropolis abounds. Omobolanle’s beloved mother, Jean Balogun Sarumi is British and Christian by faith, while her father is Muslim by birth and faith. They got married in the UK after her father’s education and work. Irrespective of their religious differences, they live a compatible lifestyle worthy of emulation.
Princess Omobolanle Ashabi Sarumi-Aliyu is of exemplary character. She forfeited all the privileges associated with family royal comfort to pursue aggressively, western education to her fullest capacity. She attended both primary and secondary schools in Ibadan – Nigeria, while her tertiary education was from various institutions in the United Kingdom. She studied Social Work and Welfare, Psychology and Sociology. She also has a degree in Social Policy from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, U.K. These courses helped prepare her for her future careers in entrepreneurship and in service to humanity, as she is currently manifesting in Nigeria to the pride of all. Omobolanle is currently the CEO (Bees Bridal Ltd – an event planning, catering, decorating and bridal wears venture.)
She is also the CEO, Mia Uniform- (a uniform manufacturing company). She is the Founder of Childhood Bridge International Initiative and BASA Foundation, both of which are non-governmental and non-profit making organizations, crusading for the upliftment of the less privileged in our community. BASA’s drive is for a better Nigeria where everyone matters, regardless of tribe and religion.
She is happily married with children. Her rising profile in political administration was first noticed when she was appointed Special Assistant on Social Development to the then FCT Minister, Chief Jumoke Akinjide. Omobolanle has been actively involved in grassroots politics and she has learnt a lot from her dad since 1999 on how best to serve the people.
Her determination in venturing into partisan politics is with the aim to serve our nation, encourage and promote gender equality in Nigeria and build a better body of politics. Undoubtedly, she is totally pro-democracy, a democratic to the core, a talent and a path-finder who deserves motivations and support for her determination to be in government.
She is running for the governorship in Oyo state. As the first female governor in the state and in the country, she says she is determined to bring comfort and a new direction to politics in Nigeria. Last week, this beautiful female politician spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about her ambition to be the next Oyo State Governor.
Why did you join Oyo Governorship race?
I joined the political race for many reasons: to ensure the government creates an enabling environment for the people. To ensure the citizens have access to all basic necessities. To ensure children stay in school, and empower the citizens of my state so no one suffers. All in all, to end the sufferings of the masses.
What was your experience like emerging as a candidate of your party?
Emerging with National Interest Party was Gods doing for I already toiled, worked hard and promoted a very small and new party with the hope they were a free and fair party only to discover 4months down the line I was cheated at the primaries which I boycotted halfway, when all the people that came to vote for me couldn’t find their names on the list of financial members of the party. I spent millions of naira there but I thank God for this gift he gave me. Not only I’m I a flag bearer of National Interest Party, but I am also the party leader for Oyo State. I have almost 20members contesting for state House of Assembly in this party. These are young men I groomed and have the same mindset like mine to serve the people of Oyo state genuinely. These are regular people from good homes.
Why did you choose NIP and not APC or PDP?
I decided not to waste my time by joining the so-called big parties for they would never allow a 39year old woman emerge a Gubernatorial candidate. I am also not ready to waste my hard earned money by greasing the palms of thousands of delegates to vote for me. And finally, its time for a new party to take over. In Oyo State National Interest Party NIP will emerge the winner for with God anything is possible.
Tell us about your political experience. Have you held public office before?
I’ve never held an elected post before, however, I was appointed the Special Assistant on Social Development to the Former Minister of State in Abuja in 2011. In addition, my dad uses to be in the House of Representatives so I have a lot of political backgrounds. He represented Ibadan north local govt.
Where are you from in Oyo State?
Ibadan, I was born in UCH in 1979.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ibadan, attended Ebire Nursery n primary school at Felele Ibadan. My Secondary Education at St. Louis Grammar School Mokola Ibadan. I went to the UK for my university education and I studied Social Work and Welfare and Social Policy. I grew up at Bashorun, beside Oluwo Nla, with a mix of families of various incomes both low and high. I had a lovely childhood with 9 other siblings.
How has it been competing in a male-dominated political set up?
I’m not affected by this, because I am busy doing my door to door campaign with the masses and listening to all their needs. No time to dwell on opponents. Luckily for me, the other candidates from the APC and PDP are young men who have never held an elective post, politically, so we are almost similar besides gender. I am also hoping they are like me with the mindset of let Gods will prevail come 2019 and it’s not a do or die affair for us all.
Tell us about your private life. Are you married or single? How many kids?
I am married with children, both biological and adopted ones. God has been good to me. For now, I am looking forward to being the mother of all the children of Oyo State in 2019. This will be the best gift for me if I can make these children live better lives from 2019.