Bad Governance has turned our youths into cultists and Ogogoro drinkers – LSHA Aspirant, Lukman Oyewole Lawal (LOL) +Why Surulerians wants this orphan to represent them in 2015

LOL….’Two things we do

Young, dynamic and policy savvy;
these are the best words to describe Lookman
Oyewole Lawal
famously addressed as
LoL
in the entire Surulere
Constituency 1
where he is aspiring to represent his people at the Lagos
state house of assembly come 2015.

If you are lucky to have a sitting voyage
with this trained accountant you will start to get the significance of the
literary notion that indeed ‘the beautiful ones are yet to be born’. Lawal a chattered accountant and
political innovator is one of the few esteemed Nigerians that are very angry
with the present state of things in terms of political leadership and ready to
proffer a solution that will arrest the dwindling fortune of leadership in the
country. For this visionary thinker, there can only be two weapons to give his
people a refreshing leadership that is better than what we have now.  First is his genuine ambition to vie for a
seat at the Lagos state house of assembly come 2015 where he intends to
represent his people at Surulere
Constituency 1
in Lagos, South West Nigeria. The lead motivation for LOL is the high rate at which young
people in the society have turned into crime addicts as a result of lack of
quality leadership. Lawal feels
there is an urgent need to give a political solution that will bring the youth
and the general society back on the right track.

The second weapon of change for LOL is his NGO, The Ultimate Youth Dream Initiative (TUYDI) which he uses to do
what can be termed “a norms and values auditing tool” to gage government
policies and their direct impact on the larger society. Lawal’s recent auditing of the 2012
Lagos traffic laws
and other major laws at both local and national level
has earned him so much attention via various radio and television appearances
especially in Lagos, his state of origin. His fantastic research and bright statistics
of happenstances from the dividends of the Lagos
traffic law
and other laws which are solely promoted by his NGO has equally
earned him respect and attention from Government quarters as both the
government and the people of Lagos state appreciates his sense of detail and
sense of delivery of  facts and figures
which only comes with painstaking efforts.

This coming Sunday October 19, LOL who is most favored to clinch his party, All Progressive People’s  party (APC ticket)
to represent his people of Surulere
Constituency 1
at the Lagos state house of Assembly, South West Nigeria
come 2015 is organizing a citizen re-orientation and re-engineering impact
assessment seminar. The event which will have Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola as Chief Host,
first civilian Governor of Lagos, Alhaji
(Dr.) Lateef
Jakande as Father
of the day and Honorable Femi
Gbajabiamila
, national minority leader of the APC at the federal house of
representative, Abuja as host is equally a platform to present a report on
governance and give a society situational audit to the people of Lagos. LOL who
has a rare passion for Youth Development will also use the event to launch what
he calls “The Surulere got talent 2014” initiative which seeks to bring the
creative vive of young people in Surulere LGA to the fore. The event which is
to take place inside The Indoor Sport hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium,
Surulere, Lagos will start by 3pm and end at 6pm.

During a recent encounter after his
familiarity tour of the entire wards in Surulere Local government area of Lagos
which is equally the ward of the serving Lagos state governor, Babatunde Raji
Fashola (BRF), LOL granted an audience to Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter
blog asabeafrika and shared some of
his dreams with us including the story of his humble beginning. Enjoy the
excerpts.

LOL…’Growing up in Surulere for me was a mix bag of low and high times’

The ordinary child with an extra-ordinary
intention

Meeting
Lukman
Oyewole Lawal
will send one simple message across, ‘you are not meeting
an all times comer politician but one with the politics and quality of good
mind’, he narrates the story of his humble beginnings to this blog “I am
Lukeman Oyewole Lawal (LOL). I see myself first of all as a youth and a
concerned youth at that. I was born in Lagos, Surulere to be precise some 38
years ago. I grew up in Surulere.  I am a
chattered accountant by training. I have 5 years of private sector cognate work
experience; 5 years of public sector cognate work experience and formal
entrepreneurship experience of about 3 years as well as student and street
entrepreneurship experience of over 5 years because I actually saw myself
through university education. That is a brief introduction of my person”.

“I am a chattered accountant by training. I have 5 years of private sector cognate work experience; 5 years of public sector cognate work experience and formal entrepreneurship experience of about 3 years as well as student and street entrepreneurship experience of over 5 years because I actually saw myself through university education”


LOL….’The elites and refined must take charge of partisan politics’
This is my life by LOL
The
second question you threw at the politician makes him go down memory lane as he
reveals some facts of life that characterized his childhood “I lost my father
at the age of seven” LOL begins with a nostalgic expression on his face. “My
father is the late Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal. He was an Islamic missioner of the Ansar-Udeen faith. By that time, I
recall on Fridays, my mother will call me and say that is your father talking
on the radio on the then Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
(FRCN). He was one of the very few people to speak in English on the Islamic
platform and translated it in Yoruba to educate the mass of our people. I
equally recall that the Ansar-Udeen
society was all over his funeral program; they did a very huge funeral for him
and they were at the 8th day prayers as well and they held a
reception in his honor a few months after his death.  And I recall that my mother took me there to
represent the family and I think I got a cheque of N250 (Two hundred and fifty
naira) then”.

“It
was actually in 1983; I was his youngest son at the time and he loved me and
took me everywhere and a lot of people knew me with him at the time. It was
quite tough and at a time I was taken in by my paternal elder sister to whom I
owe a lot in terms of gratitude and appreciation because I was trained by a
young woman who will not take any nonsense from me. Who made me very conscious
of time; a woman, who made me conscious of discipline; who made me conscious of
cleanliness. I was brought up never to leave any filth on the floor at any
point in time in the day. I was brought up never to leave any plate unwashed
overnight. Even during the holiday period she will buy bags of beans and rice
for me to pick just to engage me. Wash clothes, iron clothes. So, I was well,
well brought up, well trained and I would not have had that kind of training if
I was left with my mum because naturally she would pamper me.  I didn’t enjoy such luxury growing up and it
made me to really appreciate my sister who saw me through primary and secondary
education”.

“Dad
had two wives and incidentally my sister who trained me is my half sister from
the first wife; I guess my mum was also a very good mother to her and she
didn’t see me as a half brother in any way and she is a very big pillar in my
life biography. My mum is also late as well. I lost my father at 7 and I lost
my mum at 17 just ten years apart. My mother Ramat Ayinke Lawal is
from the Agbole-Oluwo of Epetedo in Lagos Island as well as
the Yekini
Bakare
family also of Lagos Island. 
My dad is from Ikorodu. My sister’s name is Mrs. Oluremi Cole (Nee
Lawal) she is a trained nurse, she retired as an apex chief matron at Orile
Agege General Hospital under Lagos State Health Service Commission”.

“I had a leeway with the business and it also gave me a social lift in school. I was seen as a very popular person, I became very popular because I provided a platform for people to phone their parents and nobody would have ever looked at me for one second that I was an orphan. I never had that kind of outlook and I never bordered to tell people”.


LOL….’My utmost dream is to give the youth a sense of confidence’
 
LOL: The early school diary
Going
into another chapter of his life, LOL
shared with asabeafrika childhood circumstances that toughened him for
success and breakthrough “Basically I want to bless God for my life; in those
days in Surulere the society was a lot more serene and we would play a lot and
we would also read a lot. I started school at over 6 years old; I never
attended any nursery and primary school or any private school in my life. I had
public primary education at Jehovah-Jireh African Church Primary school
between 1982 and 1988 from where I proceeded to Berth Freeman High school (Lagos
State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola’s alma-matter) between 1989
and 1994. And I recall that I used to run from school when I was in Primary 1;
my school was directly behind my house; so, as a spoilt little boy, I would
sneak home to come and eat with my dad before going back. I saw school like a
punishment until the day one of my elder brothers became furious that I was
hanging around in the early hours of the day and he beat me and ran me back to
the school and they (Students) sang for me “Isa-Isa
ma tun de o, a le ko lo kole lo
” (The school deserter is back again, we
have tried to send him off but he wont exit) 
from one class to the other; they took me round all the classes, singing
 for me and that ritual became the end of
my being a truant and always running 
from school.  And I recall also
that some of my mates at that time will hold my hand, write something in my
book; I was so lazy and my mother will cry and tell the teacher to kindly put
me through. Funny enough, the teachers of those days were a lot more committed,
were a lot more tolerant, were a lot more detailed. So, my teacher at that time
will deny me going for break time, she will sit me on her lap and she will then
take time to explain to me the basics at that time without taking any money or
gratification. There was nothing like private or after-school lessons; it was
just her personal efforts and her passion to help because indeed children have
different receptive abilities. Some kids get things fast while some need extra
coaching.
LOL….’My October 19 Seminar & Talent hunts show in Surulere will show our desire for a great society’
So, by the time I got to primary 2, I was a lot more settled and I
started being one of the first, three, four, five most prized students and at
primary 3 I was about the best and I started becoming a class captain at that
tender age; through out my primary 3, 4, 5, 6 I was class captain and I took
the same level of intelligence to the secondary school; that is Berth
Freeman
secondary school. And I must really commend the kind of
competition we had in Berth Freeman High school.
We use to look forward to prize giving days; I was a prize winner and I also
use to come first in class. I was also a class captain for most part of my
education life at Berth Freeman High School. It was a very wonderful experience
at Berth
Freeman
because we were very keen on academic excellence, we had prize
giving days and it made us very committed. We want to know who will score the
highest in a particular subject and at different times we would commend
ourselves that ‘oh, you got more than me’ or ‘I did more than you in that
subject’, a kind of healthy rivalry and I really can never forget the kind of
apt it built in me to strive and I have discovered that everywhere I find
myself where there is healthy rivalry, it is a moral booster for me as a person
to want to put in more effort and to want to do better than my colleagues. From
there I wrote JAMB in 1995 and I gained admission into Ogun State University
Ago Iwoye”. 

“Now, what do we have? We have a lot of us as Ogogoro drinkers, people who sit from morning till night drinking ogogoro because there is no viable alternative. People who are lotto addicts….Today’s youth kill themselves, today’s youth are used by the so called “leaders”  to foment trouble and do all kinds of things and the most dangerous thing is that we the professional elites carry on as if all is well. And the reality on ground has shown that all is not well; the kind of public primary education that I enjoyed is a sham today”.


Lukman Oyewole Lawal
 
The orphan as an entrepreneur 
At
this junction, asabeafrika prodded the politician to tell the story of how he
survived the challenges of higher education as an orphan and what he revealed
to us will make you find the exact reason his people at Surulere has the best
representation in him come 2015. “Initially I wanted to study law but somehow I
started with philosophy; I studied philosophy for one year but somehow at that
time accounting was a very popular profession and my sister was like ‘you got
to read accounting’ because it was quite attractive and very prominent at the
time. So, I wrote another JAMB and then started accounting at the following
session and that made me to be a graduate of accounting. In school I took on a
phone business center and it was what I could say  helped me to make success in my educational
endeavor because it was quite challenging at the time; my sister had her own
kids growing up and trying to settle and I thank God I was able to succeed with
the business at that time. I had a leeway with the business and it also gave me
a social lift in school. I was seen as a very popular person, I became very
popular because I provided a platform for people to phone their parents and
nobody would have ever looked at me for one second that I was an orphan. I
never had that kind of outlook and I never bordered to tell people. I really
thank God for the period because it really shaped my persuasive skills,
communication skills because I had to make people come to my business center; I
was loved by so many people. I was seen as a very friendly person and I was able
to sharpen those skills while I was doing that as an undergraduate”.
LOL….’A political post is not a self glorifying slot but a collective appointment’
LOL and the new Dream for Youth
resuscitation 

On
why he wants to give back to society, LOL whose NGO The Ultimate Youth Dream Initiative
has carried out several youth awareness program in Surulere side-by-side
researches that aides government’s decision in terms of policy making at both
Federal and state levels told us why he found the courage to be a youth
reformist “My NGO, The Ultimate Youth Dream Initiative came about as a result of
failings that are apparent everywhere in our system today, especially today’s
youth generation. I can tell you sincerely that my generation of youth has been
failed by this system; a lot of negatives have been thrown at us while we were
growing up. I left secondary school during the (General Ibrahim) Babangida era
and in Surulere in those days, we were exposed to all kind of things. The likes
of (419 kingpin) Fred Ajudua will line up their convoys and spray money lavishly
and those were the people that some of us were looking up to; 419neers, drug
peddlers, visa racketeers and all kind of elements in the society. So, for me I
have been privileged to become a professional and as well leave my own country
for a short while, I know that there is no place like home and because a lot of
us as professional elites shy away from the realities of our polity. We have
been taken out of mainstream events by the comfort of ‘me and my house hold’
syndrome.

Sincerely speaking, governance should be the business of everybody.
We are taking a lot of back stand; so, all kinds of elements have been able to
force themselves over us in various capacities of governance. In so doing, you
will recall that in the last 15 years of uninterrupted democratic process we
have earned very much financial resources than we did after the Nigerian civil
war. Twenty nine years between the end of the civil war and 1999; between 1999
and today, the kind of resources this country has garnered if you compare it
with the reality of today’s infrastructural development, weather in power
sector, in road network, in aviation, in the rail system development, in
employment generation and in every sphere of our social and economic life, we
will see that it is a shame that what we have in today’s Nigeria is like we are
50 years behind in terms of infrastructural degradation.



LOL…’The Present act of democracy has failed our youth’

Our aim & objectives
The Ultimate Youth Dream Initiative
is a team of young professionals; a lot of us were born and bread in Surulere
and we talked to ourselves and we came to the conclusion that we must
give back to this Nigerian dream. One of the ways in which we have identified
to do that is first of all to do what we can call ‘norms and value auditing’
and we found out that a lot of us as youth today have a lot of negatives taken
as norms. If you engage an average youth on the street you will be shocked at
his sense of judgment in terms of what is right and what is wrong and his sense
of judgment about governance. And to a large extent we feel that if the future
must belong to us (Youth) we need a lot of re-orientation and re-engineering of
the present generation of youth.  I am
talking about those born between the early 70s and mid 90s, those are youths
within the age ranks of 18 and 45 years and those are the productive youths. A
good system supposed to prepare its youth from infancy stage which is
zero-to-12 with qualitative education. It is in our constitution alright, but
have we been practicing it? Between 12 and 18 which is the adolescent stage of
youth, the youth in addition to qualitative education must have what is called mentorship, have what is called positive social inclusion so that when
that youth gets to 18 and out of secondary school; weather you are thinking of
a vocation, weather you are furthering in tertiary   education or you are picking up a job, you
would be productive. You won’t be a liability to the state in human and
material capacity. Now, what do we have? We have a lot of us as Ogogoro drinkers, people who sit from
morning till night drinking ogogoro
because there is no viable alternative. People who are lotto addicts, I am not
against lotto but why should it be an addict because you don’t have any viable
alternative? As an adult you can choose to play lotto if you have your source
of livelihood; you can use a certain percentage of your disposable income to
play lotto but when you don’t have anything at all doing, and you do all kinds
of things because you believe that is the only way, it is a problem. What do we
(youth) do again? We do cultism.

Lukman Oyewole Lawal….’The training i got from my elder sister as a kid is the bane of my structured life style’

Today’s youth kill themselves, today’s youth
are used by the so called “leaders”  to
foment trouble and do all kinds of things and the most dangerous thing is that
we the professional elites carry on as if all is well. And the reality on
ground has shown that all is not well; the kind of public primary education
that I enjoyed is a sham today. The other day, WAEC results were released and
31.8% of pupils had credits in Math and English including few other subjects
and above  and if you noticed the trend
in the last fifteen years, you will noticed that the WAEC result has hovered
between 25% and 30%; that range. And year in year out we budget billions of
naira in salaries and allowances; in overheads; capital expenditure and I
challenge anybody, what is the parameters with which you can measure
performance of those funds? Is it not those kids that will come out of our
secondary education? Is it not those kids that we have taught all kind of ways
to cut corners because those were the things the system threw at our
generation; cutting corners? Breaking the laws are now rules to our generation.
So, I believe that we must do a lot of re-orientation; we must do a lot of
re-engineering so that the future that belongs to us will not be a future of
failures, would not be a future of cantankerous living.

LOL….’My sense of enterpreneurship @ School buried my burden of being an orphan

One of the cardinal
points of our NGO is to re-orientate the youth. 
As well, we noticed that a lot of people in government today weather as Mr. President or Mr. Governor or honorable members in the federal and state house of
assembly see their offices as if they own the office and we believe that that
notion first of all is wrong, you don’t own your office, you are just a
representative of your people, you must see yourself as a steward that must
give account of whatever you are doing; the office is a collective will,
collective right, collective privilege of everybody; so as far as we have
entrusted that office to you, you must serve us with honesty and dedication,
you mustn’t enrich yourself unjustly. So, to that extent we have adopted as
well the strategy of making impact assessment of extant laws and policies. We
believe that the essence of law making is for the whole citizenry; the positive
impact of government in each house-hold. What we are doing in essence is to say
to the federal government or state government, you have gone this way with this
policy or law; these are the kudos, here you got it right; and these are the
knocks where we feel you got it wrong.”

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