In my early days at school, one thing has always struck my imagination: the possibility of a world with less poverty and suffering. My formative years coincided with an era when military rule was widely being replaced by democracy as an emerging and promising new world order. However, over the years, the experience of democratic experimentation left me even more confounded with relics of the old autocratic era that heralded it. This confusion inspired in me a sense of curiosity with a corresponding zeal to understand the relationship of political systems and the improvement of human condition. Gradually, I began to develop a passion for everything political and thus began my journey into politics as a discipline and way of life.As a student of political science with pragmatic orientation, I have a pedigree of matching theory with practice. I have been actively engaged in altruistic pursuit aimed at stimulating intellectual awareness, promoting knowledge and encourage participation in political life and this has earned me several moral endearments. As an undergraduate, I functioned at various academic capacities facilitating group learning, mentoring and improving students’ performance. I have also served as a classroom teacher for a year (as part of mandatory National Service to my Motherland) and briefly as a teaching assistant in a private university. These experiences reawakened my zeal to understand the underlying basis of political operations and evoked my interest in the simple actions of individuals in the overall development of society, and thus my obsession with democracy and political engineering. This passion forms the core thread that runs through my research interest and pursuits. I have researched and written broadly on democracy, election, aid and development in Africa, with several book chapters and articles published in variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Third World Quarterly, Global Journal of Human-Social Science and Research on Humanities and Social Sciences.
My passion for learning is driven by praxis and this I effectively combine in practice. In the course of studies, I have been involved in several practical and problem-solving endeavours, appropriating the dialogic powers of politics to deflate conflicting positions. At Coventry University, United Kingdom, I co-chaired the Model European Union (EU) Summit (2013) aimed at merging classroom experience and real-life situation in the form of parliamentary simulation which attracted students from across Europe and, in Bayero University Kano, Nigeria, I co-chaired the World Trade Organization (WTO) Mock Summit, both exploring the challenges and prospects of multilateral relations in regional and global organisations. One striking feature of these experiences is how they develop my worldview to appreciate differences and function effectively within diverse and dynamic environments without disregard to team spirit. Thus, underlying my praxis is not merely the prescription of principles of conduct, but to explore nuances and bring to the fore knowledge and dynamics of sociopolitical systems in the fervent belief that through understanding of this sort we can be better informed, live meaningfully and make choices in tandem with true democratic spirit.
Also, I have been actively involved in electioneering activities, both as an election observer and ad-hoc staff of the election umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on different occasions. As an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO) I in the 2015 General Elections, I participated in the minute details of distributing election materials, setting up polling units, verifying and accrediting voters’, and collating and transmitting of election results. As an Election Observer, I have been privileged to witness electioneering process first hand, especially the conduct of election officials – INEC staff and security personnel – and voter’s as a ‘disinterested’ party. Functioning in these capacities enriched my exposure to the dynamics of political intrigue underlying electioneering processes prior to, during and after actual voting proper and these experiences inform my intellectual curiousity to examine ‘election-as-a-process’ beyond theoretical suppositions hence, my 2017 peer-reviewed article: “Rethinking Electoral Democracy: A Critical Analysis of Nigeria’s 2015 General Election.”