“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” ― Roman Payn
Coming from a humble background into a more affluent one via hardwork, sincerity, passion to stand out uniquely and the grace of the Almighty God. If a woman was a poem, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu would have been widely adjudged as not just as good poem but also as the best ever! Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu was born into Late (Alhaji) Pa Akeeb Alagbe Sunmonu and Late (Alhaja) Amudalat Jadesola Sunmonu on 9 April 1959, in Oyo, Oyo State. She was born into a family that realized the importance of education, she began her elementary education at Children’s Boarding School, Osun – Oshogbo and moved onto the Ilora Baptist Grammar School, Ilora in Oyo State before transferring to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo (formerly Oyo Baptist Boys High School).
As a young lady she later attended the Kwara State College of Technology. Her level of intelligence and brilliancy grew so high that she became unmatched by her peers psychologically, intellectually and linguistically. Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu decided to take up a job at the Accounts Department of the Property Development Corporation of Oyo state (now Housing Corporation) in Bodija Ibadan, Oyo State and later left for the UK in 1979.
She said in one of her speeches and I quote “obtaining a higher degree is unquestionably an achievement that will bring lifetime benefit even if the investment is difficult.” This was at our first meeting in person, sometimes in 2011. She holds sacrosanct the ideals that the role of Education for sustainable development cannot be over emphasized, and she virtually lived by that professed principle all through her time in the UK. She so much believes and promulgate often that Education is for sustainable development which promotes the development of the knowledge, skills, understanding, values and actions required to create a sustainable youth, women, and economic sustainability. In her quest for acquiring more formal knowledge while in the UK, she attended Holborn Law tutors for her LL.B. She then went on to the London School of Accountancy to complete a course to qualify for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators. She is also an alumni of Lewisham Southwark College UK. Her wealth of knowledge, healthy and unquestionable character has propelled her to a preeminent figure in the British Government, a rare feat unmatched by some kings in Nigeria and Africa at large!
She ardently pushes for the renewal of innovative and sustainable development in Nigeria. It was Late Margaret Thatcher who said: “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” As an indigene of Oyo, Oyo State, on 26 April 2011 Monsurat Sunmonu contested on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the Oyo East and Oyo West seat in the House of Assembly which she won convincingly.
Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu became the first female Speaker in the history of the Oyo State House of Assembly in June 2011. I see this as breaking the marble ceiling just as Nancy Pelosi (the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives).
The House of Assembly under her able leadership was the most effective and productive in the history of Oyo State till date! As the RT. Hon. speaker and an additional exemplified ardent stickler for excellence, Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu was able to predict with assurance on the basis of mystic knowledge, developmental factor in line with her motto: “Advancing Peoples Interest”. Today, so many of the principles that Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu fought for as a speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly are now part of the accepted political landscape in our country Nigeria. Above all she stands for something in the world – for Purity, Humility, Education, Proper Upbringing, True Democracy and for right over might. Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu a leader per excellence.
Indeed, she is a leader with a difference.
ADEOYE Ajibola Adetoyese writes from Oyo, Oyo State and can be reached via +2348114735242, firstname.lastname@example.org