There are strong indications that Adeola Azeez, widely acclaimed women’s advocate and professional banker, has joined the race to represent the people of Ijebu Central Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Adeola, an indigene of Odogbolu, is a widely celebrated professional with a diverse network both within Nigeria and abroad. She co-founded and once chaired Nigeria’s leading non-profit for professional women, WIMBIZ, and has been described as a natural bridge builder and go-getter. With over 30 years’ experience in the finance sector, many say Adeola’s entry into Ogun state politics is bound to enrich the discussion about women’s participation and who is best qualified to represent the people of Ijebu Central at the House of Representatives in the 10th Assembly.
Ijebu Central Federal Constituency is made up of Odogbolu, Ijebu Ode and Ijebu North-East Local Government Areas. Sources within the APC in the constituency have described Adeola as “very approachable and down to earth”, while others have commended her “clear commitment to doing things differently and making positive impact”.
One of our sources, an influential woman in Ogun East, had this to say: “it was an interesting development for me when I learned about Adeola Azeez’s interest in the house of representatives seat. I first heard about her a long time ago, particularly the work she did with WIMBIZ and how they were impacting women’s lives all over Nigeria, and I know that somebody like that will do a lot of work for our people if she gets the chance.”
A veteran politician in the area also revealed that Adeola has consulted widely, and many party stakeholders seem to be interested in supporting her candidacy.
“Personally, I think it is a very good thing when women come forward because you know how kind and responsible our women are. Also, Adeola in particular is a consummate professional from a very good background who has shown commitment to bettering the lot of our people, and such people deserve a chance. We must always put our best forward.”
When asked about other aspirants who had indicated interest in the seat, a leader within the APC in Ijebu-Ode said: “well, the beauty of democracy is that many people will come forward. It is now up to the party to filter aspirants and choose who is best. This will either be done through consensus or through a contest at the primaries.”
Another stakeholder from Ijebu North-East, who revealed that Adeola had indeed consulted him, said that it is a thing of joy when illustrious citizens participate in the local politics.
“I am very happy that our daughter now wants to represent our people and in fact, I wish she had joined politics much earlier than now. We need our people who are doing well to signify interest in our politics so we can all join hands in building our state.”
Adeola Azeez is the daughter of Pa Ayo Adebanjo, leader of the Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere. She also runs the Adeola Azeez Community Care Foundation, though which empowerment programmes and other community development initiatives are being carried out.