Mr Oluwatoyin Gafar is a Senior Executive of Primesign Limited and the owner of Bolowotan Football Club. In this interview at his campaign office with Kunle ADELABU, the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief of THE IMPACT Newspaper he bared his mind on why he is joining the race to occupy the Ikorodu Constituency I seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly come 2019, his plans for the people of his constituency and his person. Excerpts:
IMPACT: Let us meet you sir?
Bolowotan: My name is Oluwatoyin Gafar, a brand expert and sponsor of Bolowotan Footbal Club.
IMPACT: Considering the fact that those that had represented Ikorodu Constituency I and the current representative at the Lagos State House of Assembly have their backgrounds as lawyers and they have been adjudged as competent in terms of lawmaking, what are you bringing into the race?
Bolowotan : How many lawyers have represented us so far?
Bolowotan: How many other people who are not lawyers have been given opportunity to represent us? None .Then, there is no basis for comparison. You only compare if A and B have done something and not when B hasn’t at all and all we have is A. However, I am a professional in my own field. I’m a brand consultant and representation doesn’t has to do with law. Of course, it is about legislation but what about the representation of the people? You need to know, feel the pulse of those who you are representing. The best lawyers can sometimes not be the best set of judges. Going by my background and what have been happening in my society, within my community and my town, Ikorodu, in the last 16years, my question is are we better off from what we were and what we are having now? My answer is straightforward, we have not gotten there and that is the more reason, I, Oluwatoyin Gafar, will want to correct when given an opportunity to make a difference within our community. We will improve; we will continue to make more difference when we are given the responsibility of representation and you can see in our manifestoes all what we plan to do. Ikorodu people will be better off at the end of the day when they give us the responsibility to represent their interest.
IMPACT: What are the factors motivating you to join politics and contest for the Assembly seat?
Bolowotan : The zeal to succeed; the zeal to see the life of my people get better is enough motivation. I want an Ikorodu town where my son will walk freely without having fear of being molested, arrested, victimized or robbed . I want a society where peace reigns. I want a society where equality is seen as a right and not as a privilege; a society where we see each other as our brother’s keeper; society where friendship is seen on the streets, in our homes, everywhere that we go. Our society will not thrive when we have a divided society. I don’t want to be the shining boy alone. I want us to shine together through better representation; provisions of basic needs because our people are very vulnerable; our children are very vulnerable and even the elderly ones are very vulnerable to societal vices and this is the time for us to right the wrong we’ve been having in our society. That’s the motivating factor.
IMPACT: How do you intend to confront political challenges, bearing in mind the fact that you are a reserved person who hardly talk or act?
Bolowotan : I know that is the people’s perception of my person. I’m not a noise maker. I’m a smooth operator and by my training, you don’t make much noise, what you do will make the noise for you and that is exactly what is happening. Yes, I admit I cannot do certain things. I cannot tell lies. I cannot deceive people. I cannot promise and fail because I have honour, credibility and integrity to protect at all times. That’s my training, that’s how I was brought up and that’s how I’m conditioned to work. You don’t promise what you cannot do and I always keep my promises because of that. Maybe some people love being lied to. If I make a promise by the grace of God, I will keep it. I’m a promise keeper and anything that comes out of my mouth, by the special grace of God, I shall try my utmost power to make sure that they come to pass. That’s the person I am. If people are seeing me solely from the angle of not being confrontational, it’s a pity but they need to know who Oluwatoyin Gafar truly is. They need to do more research. I’m not a public nuisance. I keep every word that comes out of my mouth because that’s how I have been trained and that has been my watchword.
IMPACT: It’s been 10 consecutive years that you have been organising Bolowotan Gafar Gold Cup tournament, what should the people, sport lovers and players be expecting in the final of this year’s edition?
Bolowotan : As usual, football is synonymous to Bolowotan and if you will agree with me, that’s why the competition is tagged as Ikorodu World Cup because it’s the biggest thing that happens in terms of sports in Ikorodu. We are not into only football, we are into other sports too but you know football overshadows any other sport everywhere. As usual, what the people should be expecting is a beautiful and well organized final. We are going there to enjoy ourselves and have fun. There is nothing too different to what we have been seeing. It’s just that to be successful is a tradition and a culture to us. It is inbuilt and it is embedded in our system. Hence, you will see a very beautiful final outing of tournament which marks the tenth anniversary of the football competition and luckily, it worth celebrating and we will celebrate it well.
IMPACT: What are your plans for sports if you get elected?
Bolowotan : Those are the areas that we are going to work on. We have plans on how to revive a lot of things sport wise in Ikorodu and above all, what I have grown up to know is that there is no more recreation center in Ikorodu. Every piece of land we see around is either for building big houses or supermarkets. For us, we have plans for recreations and sport development. Let me give you a scenario, just imagine having two plots of land, how many sport competitions do you think can hold on it? If by extension, you understand what I’m saying, we have the capacity to grow because in Ikorodu I grew up in and I know, we have Igbogbo police barracks playgrounds that had green lurch, but what do we have there now? We had the NITEL playgrounds but with all its facilities, where is it today? There are so many things that we need and they are very easy to do. It is not rocket science, but with the representation that we have, we are where we are today, but I’ll say I can make substantial difference in representing Ikorodu.
IMPACT: Finally sir, what are your messages to people out there?
Bolowotan : To the people out there, my message is, this is new dawn in Ikorodu. I am here to redeem your hope, hope that has been dashed, hope that has been lost and hope that has been dreamt about over time. It is high time to renew it. We are ready. We are focused to renew the hope of Ikorodu people. We are going to take them to greater heights if given this opportunity in the nearest future.
IMPACT : Thank you for your time sir.