AFAS P: May we know you?
PURPOSE: Good afternoon. My name is Ajimati Purpose Toluwalase. I’m a student of Linguistics and African languages and also combined with French language from European Studies department. I’m in 300 level.
AFAS P: You are vying for the position of presidency of AFAS. What’s the motivation behind this?
PURPOSE: I’m actually vying for AFAS presidency in these forthcoming elections because from time I’ve studied my predecessors. When I was in 100 level, that’s during AFOS’ time, 200 level was during Emeka Aniagboso’s time and 300 level now is Adeoye Adejare and I always had that motivation from 100 level and I’ve studied the good things, the mistakes and even the achievements of my predecessors and it has motivated me to come out and effect my own change in the Faculty of Arts. That’s my motivation.
AFAS P: You are using the word predecessors as if you are certain of victory in the forthcoming elections .what about that?
PURPOSE: Victory is not certain and election is a political game. You either win or lose. Of course election is not a do- or- die- affair. I’m not certain of victory but I am optimistic.
AFAS P: What is your leadership experience So far?
PURPOSE: When I was in 100 level , I was the floor Rep of my floor in Queen Idia hall. In 200 level, I was the Clerk of the legislative arm of my department, Linguistics Representative Council (LRT) and In 300 level because I was going for a year program abroad in Badagry, I couldn’t contest for any post or hold any post within the faculty or department
AFAS P: From the position of floor Rep at the hall level , to the Clerk at departmental level, to vying for the position of presidency in the faculty seems many steps… Why didn’t you vie for an executive position at the departmental level?
PURPOSE: Well, when your end is in mind you take steps to get to your end. My initial intention was to be the AFAS President and I know that leaders have to gain experience overtime. Also, I know that I can’t just leap to being the AFAS President just like that. So I took some steps to be in leadership positions even from 100 to 200 level to prepare myself for this particular moment. I made it a step at a time.
AFAS P: You know how popular your opponent is within and outside the Faculty. Do you think that you stand any chance of winning?
PURPOSE: I believe I stand every chance of winning whether my opponent is popular or not. It all boils down to what you have to offer to AFASites, what you are bringing to the table and I believe AFASites are intellectuals and they can judge rightly to decide the kind of leader they want. I’m sure that even when it comes to manifesto, AFASites will follow the electoral processes to decide what they want and will not vote based on popularity but make the right decision on how to move AFAS forward.
AFAS P: You said it’s about what you have to offer. So what do you consider as your selling point?
PURPOSE: Okay. First of all my leadership ideology is that it is not about being in a particular position as a figurehead, what is most important is that you are leading the people and making influence in their lives. I’m not going there to be the “President” if eventually I emerge but to lead AFAS.
AFAS P: What else do you do aside your academics and politics?
AFAS P: There was this “rumour” sometime ago that you considered stepping down but you were coerced into contesting by some cabal.
PURPOSE: I’m happy you also said rumour.
AFAS P: Behind every rum or there’s always an iota of truth.
PURPOSE: I’d like to corroborate your assertion that it’s a rumour. Actually, I was not around when the rumour was going round because I was in Badagry for a program due to my combined honours program in French language. So when I got back, the first thing I did was to release a disclaimer; and I sent it to Facebook and WhatsApp pages and made it known that it was only a rumour devised to reduce my chances and attack my personality.
AFAS P: Don’t pretend not to know the sentiment that female electorate seem to have towards male candidates at all levels of politics in the University of Ibadan. Do you think you can have the full support of female AFASites?
PURPOSE: Sorry what sentiment are we talking about?
AFAS P: More often than not, they prefer having a male leader to a female.
PURPOSE: Well…as you have said rightly: it’s a sentiment. We shouldn’t be sentimental in making choices. We are intellectuals and are supposed to make our decisions based on what would be the best thing for AFASites. As intelligent ladies, we can make our decisions outside of our emotions. That is the greatest power of a woman. I will enjoin all female AFASites to discard such sentiments because if eventually I emerge, I will be the president and leader to males and females, all departments and to everybody. So such sentiments should not come into fore.
AFAS P: Whenever we have a male leader in the faculty, we have ladies trooping into the Secretariat. Do you think we can say the same for men if you eventually emerge the winner?
PURPOSE: The Secretariat is for the faculty, it is not my Secretariat. Anyone can come in. It is open to all.
AFAS P: Okay. What is your political ideology, radicalism or conservatism?
PURPOSE: I believe that a blend of the two would be much more effective.
AFAS P: If you were not vying for the position of AFAS president, what position would you have preferred?
PURPOSE: I can’t say because when I came in 100 level was when I decided that I was going to run for presidency and I’ve always worked towards that goal. I have always burned in passion for it. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. I have taken several steps to this effect and I believe I will achieve it with God on my side
AFAS P: Which departments would you refer to as your strongholds within the faculty with respect to the coming election?
PURPOSE: That is a tricky question to answer because the election has not held yet. Let us wait for the election first so we can know truly where the strength of the Faculty lies.
AFAS P: If you were to convince your opponent to step down for you, what would you say
PURPOSE: I would tell him that “I have nothing personal against you but I believe that I am more capable than you are to handle the faculty of Arts. Not only based on my experience but also on my personality, the vision and passion I have for the faculty of Arts and AFASites as a whole”.
AFAS PRESS: Are you inclined towards radical feminism, putting your ambition into consideration.
PURPOSE: Well… I usually tell people that I’m not an extreme feminist in the sense that I having no problem with a man leading me. In fact I like it but I believe that when you are able to effect a change and you stand aloof and refuse to do what is to be done you might be unable to contend the eventual result.
AFAS PRESS: If you were asked to point out something fascinating about your opponent, what would that be?
PURPOSE: Well… that would be his power of pen. I believe he has a good command of the English language.
AFAS PRESS : Okay. Words for AFASites
PURPOSE: I want to implore AFASites that we should- as intellectuals- be careful in choosing who will be our next leaders in the faculty and choose not to do so, based on sentiments or popularity but on conviction.
AFAS PRESS: Miss Ajimati Purpose, it’s a pleasure having you speak to us. We appreciate your time and everything. We wish you whatever you wish yourself.
PURPOSE: Thank you. The pleasure is all mine.