General Secretary-Elect: Deborah Olaitan Komolafe

It must have been quite surreal to emerge as the winner in such a closely fought race. But I’m sure your campaign must have been quite the affair. How was the initial reception to your announcement to run in the first place?

Yes, it does feel surreal. There were several reactions when I declared to run for this office. Some people were super excited and pushed me to work my hardest for it. A number suggested that I run for other positions instead, for better chances. In all, it was quite the buzz.

Hmm. That’s quite variegated, as expected. What do you feel was your greatest challenge to your aspirations?

Hm. A challenge would be the fact that this was my first time contesting for an executive office. I was pretty much learning on the go. Another was the other candidate running for the same office. He performed excellently in his current office and convincing people to vote for me instead was to be a herculean task.

My advice to IFUMSAites is a saying by Barack Obama, “If you run you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run you’ve already lost.” To me, this applies to all areas of life. If there is something you want to do or try out so bad, just start. You never know the end from the beginning and the experience is always worth it.

That’s true. Some could have claimed you were an underdog in the race. Nevertheless, you do have large shoes to fill. Has there been any correspondence between you and your predecessor or did he largely stay neutral throughout the race?

I contacted my predecessor and others before him to consult about the office in question. In particular, their manifestoes and what they were able to accomplish or not. He stayed neutral during the race.

Hmm. But now that you’re the Gen. Sec- elect what do you feel will be your first point of address?

The first thing I would work to tackle would be the secretariat and do a check-up to identify issues that need to be fixed. Then I would also set up a team for the effective implementation of my manifesto.

Do you foresee any major hitches to your manifesto achievement? How do you plan to arrest them?

Several things can arise during the parliamentary year. It could be the demands of school or the administrative duties the office requires. This is why I mentioned setting up a team earlier. As Helen Keller said, Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.

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