Few months ago, my husband came back from one of the monthly meetings of the Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia (ANNS) and said to me ‘I would like to contest for the position of President of ANNS, I didn’t even allow him give me reason(s) why he took the decision, I just vehemently said ‘NO, I am not in support of it, we didn’t come to Canada for that’. I said so many things that evening and I made it clear I was not interested for him to run for the office.
Over the past months, my husband has had to convince me why he took the decision. I could appear easy going (or maybe not 😊) but I’m not easily coerced to do or support things. He took him some time to explain and convince me why he took the decision and what he plans to achieve with the office.
I didn’t refuse because I thought he couldn’t do the job, I refused because I do not like drama and unnecessary stress. As voluntary as the said position is, it is mind-boggling that the position has been extremely ‘politicized’, so I just didn’t want my husband or my family to be in such dramatic mix. I came to Canada for a better life and not for drama 😀. I also feel the position would require a lot from him in terms of time, efforts and resources. However, one thing my husband said to me was that if we all keep saying ‘I don’t want to get into the mix or I don’t want stress or I don’t want people to scrutinize or criticize me, then nothing substantial would be done’. He said if anyone believes they can make a change in any position, they should be bold enough to vie for such position and such persons should be supported or encouraged accordingly. He said we can’t be complaining about how things are done and do nothing about it. He said and I quote ‘I believe I can make more impact in this position and that is why I am vying for this position’. I can’t even begin to enumerate all the things he has done and doing in preparation for this position. Below is his manifesto.
A lot of time, efforts and resources went into his manifesto. There are times I tease him and ask, are you sure you are vying for the office of ANNS president or you are looking to contest to become the premier of the province because he has got many lofty ideas for the association and strategic implementation plans.
Abdul is a silent achiever who rarely blows his trumpet. So let me blow it a little, in 2014, he won Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation in the ideas category for his electricity product called Interactive Media Interface Design (IMID), a remote communication interface for GPRS-enabled pre-paid meters. It occurred at the AfricaCom Awards ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 2016, he was selected to be part of the 1000 entrepreneurs in Africa for the yearly Tony Elumelu Foundation in the energy/power generation category.
He is a passionate entrepreneur who works super hard. Since we moved to Canada in 2016, he has worked on various projects and made great strides in various accomplishments. One of his ideas is currently being worked on by the research and product development department of a foremost institution in Canada. When I look back to see how hard this man works and how much capital, time and resources he invests in his ideas, projects and business, I get excited about our future, even though most of these investments have eaten deep into our pockets 😀. Abdul is an individual who is focused about the future, I am definitely excited for what the future holds for him and us as a family.
He is also a very patriotic Nigerian. He has travelled to Nigeria 3 times since we moved to Canada over 3 years ago. He believes that one should invest in their home country and maintain economic ties, while also contributing to their new country.
His business (Iformit Solutions Inc.) is registered in both Nigeria and Canada. Many times, I stylishly remind him how better (financially) we should be living if not for his heavy investments on his projects and he is always quick to reassure me of our long term goals. I pray God grants us the fruits of these sheer hard work and sacrifices.
Together, we founded the Life in Nova Scotia (LINS) platform (website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter). A platform we started on the 5th of August 2018, which was our second anniversary in Canada. It is our way of giving back to the community. This platform is to share our experiences in Canada with a focus on Nova Scotia. We feel the beauty and opportunities in the province are not showcased well enough and that Nova Scotia is quite underrated. Prior to starting this project, many people hardly knew about Nova Scotia and the ones who knew had a totally different opinion of the province. On this platform, we share information on life in Canada so as to make life better for residents, newcomers and intending immigrants to the province and country in general. In our over a year existence, we have received tons of great feedback on how this platform has helped people in various ways.
I would also like to tell you a little about this man I call my husband on the home front as they say, charity begins at home and family is the smallest unit of the society.
Abdulganiyu Onabanjo is a WONDERFUL man, I must have done something right in my former life (whatever that means 😀) for God to have bestowed on me this man as a husband.
If there is anything I have done well for my children, one of it would be choosing this man as their father. I sometimes get ‘jealous’ of the bond my children share with their daddy. What a FATHER. I can’t even begin to tell you all he does and sacrifices for his family: both nuclear and extended.
Asides the qualities he possesses as a husband and father, he is also extremely kind and selfless to people generally. His kindness and selflessly sometimes get me concerned (it’s simply because he is TOO selfless). Many of you on here say I am kind and selfless with how much useful information I share, I just smile and say to myself, these people haven’t met my husband, he is the king of kindness and selflessness. I can’t even begin to list all the extraordinary things he does for people.
I am yet to meet a more patient person, I kid you not. His patience level is out of this world. I bet that’s one of the reasons we are still married after 10 years 😀. Seriously though, there are times I wish I have half the level of patience that he has but then I change my mind because honestly I couldn’t be that patient. I still don’t know how he does it. Even though he is patient, he is also very firm and knows where to draw the line. So when my husband gets angry with anyone, I just conclude the person must have over stepped their boundary and that my husband must have had the final draw from the person.
Abdul is a leader. His leadership quality is top notch, very legendary. I have seen him lead people in the most amazing way. His patience and tolerance level have helped him so much in that area.
We lived in 2 housing estates in Nigeria before we moved to Canada and he was unanimously appointed the General Secretary of the housing estate’s association for both estates that we lived at. I am talking about an estate that has well over 300 houses; where we have the old, young, very rich, rich, average, people of different faiths and just different people in many other ramifications. He was able to effectively hold those positions and amicably work with other EXCOS and residents. To know my husband is to like him, except of course you are strange 😀.
He was also the Public Relations Officer of Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia for a period of time. He has held other leadership positions as far back as secondary (high) school days. He was the President of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (Government College, Surulere branch).
He was one of the International Student Ambassadors at Nova Scotia Community College-NSCC. He has always got the leadership skills and willingness to serve. he has volunteered and still volunteers his time in the community and on various non-profit endeavours. He currently volunteers for Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS).
He is very confident and is able to air his opinions and share ideas wherever he finds himself, nothing ever limits him.
I have not extolled Abdul’s virtues because he is my husband, I have done so clearly because he is a good person and deserves recommendation. I also acknowledge that he has a number of weaknesses (like we all do) but I can vouch that his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.
When we were discussing about this upcoming ANNS election, I told him I was going to put up his poster and manifesto on here and do my bit to campaign for his candidacy, He then said, I should also put up the other 2 contestants vying for the position of the ANNS president, that is how selfless this man is. Which is why I put up the earlier post on Instagram and on this blog about the election and the other contestants.
I wish all the contestants well as we all belong to the same Nigerian community. At the end of it all, all we strive for is for a better community for Nigerians in Nova Scotia and Canada at large.
I hope with these FEW points of mine I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that my husband is the best person for the job 😀.
Vote Abdulganiyu Onabanjo for President of the Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia on January 26, 2020 at ADAM’s place, 3200 Kempt Road, Halifax. ANNS would be better for it. You can take that to the bank. 😀
Thank you for reading my epistle.
All the best my darling husband. Deciding to contest for this position is a win for me already, not everyone is this courageous and selfless.