By Ademola Akinbola
You mean different things to different people. So, I ask, who is Fapas?
My name is Yomi Faparusi but my friends call me FAPAS. I am running for the United States Senate, as an Independent, to represent the state of Tennessee. The Election Day is November 3, 2020.
I attended and graduated from medical school in Nigeria and I later graduated with a Ph.D. from John Hopkins School of Public Health. Aside from holding a Ph.D., I also hold a Juris Doctorate.
Tell us about your birth, parentage, and childhood?
I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, but I am from Ode-Ekiti in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti state. I grew up on the University of Ibadan campus. Both of my parents were professors on campus; Dad was in Biochemistry; Mom was the Director of the Computing Center. I attended Staff School, the International School Ibadan, and the University of Ibadan medical school.
What are your core values and guiding principles?
I grew up on a university campus in Nigeria. I learned the value of education and hard work from my parents who had a poultry business in addition to being college professors. At a young age, I tended chickens at the family business. Thus, I understand the importance of small businesses in any nation. I am a believer in the American dream and my guiding principle is rooted in pursuing the greater good than just my personal success.
How did you become a politician and a political office seeker?
I was regularly active in Students’ Union politics during my University of Ibadan days, something rather unusual for a medical student or someone raised on the university campus. I came to the United States on political asylum, influenced by patriotism, quest for “June 12”, agitation against Abacha and dedication to the common man.
What are you bringing to the table? Why should it be you?
Today, we face a public health crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a licensed physician, I will bring the requisite knowledge to the US Senate to formulate policies that would address current and future health care issues. In addition, as a practicing immigration attorney, I will put partisan politics aside to resolve our immigration crisis.
I want a positive voice for all Nigerians- a Nigerian-American elected to the US Senate. I want to show that you can seek public office as an American of Nigerian or African descent and make a positive impact on the future of the United States and the world. I want to make being Nigerian-American, a thing of pride again.
What innovative ideas should we expect from you as a Senator?
I have three main issues I hope to address:
1. Healthcare- COVID 19 has shown that a healthy America is a healthy economy. Health is a right and not a luxury. Healthcare could be affordable and be of premium quality at the same time.
2. Economy- address the socio-economic inequalities in our society. We must prevent the extinction of the middle class. Finally, we must encourage small businesses, the basic unit of our economy, to thrive.
3. Immigration: We can no longer entrench this as a wedge issue for both major parties to leverage in every election cycle. Immigration is not only a social issue; it is an ECONOMIC issue … without papers, you cannot work.
These two critical questions must be answered: “what do we do with undocumented immigrants already inside the US, and “how do we stop illegal immigration?” Promoting legal immigration must be the foundation: secure our borders and grant DACA recipients’ legalization.
As minors, DACA recipients had no say in the decision to come to the US. In addition, these young men and women have been educated in the US and we make exceptions for minors in our legal system.
The truth is that the immigration system is clogged up with a backlog of nearly five years. Hence, I believe the best solution is to also create a path to citizenship for legal and undocumented immigrants without a criminal history of an aggravated offense.
We also must keep families together. A path to citizenship creates more taxpayers and reduces the need to increase taxes in future to pay down our debt.
How would you describe your stay in the US so far?
After the initial struggles of every immigrant, including three months of homelessness, America has been good to me in achieving the American Dream. The desire to give back to America and an enthusiasm for helping others achieve the American Dream have driven me to seek election to the United States Senate.
Do black lives really matter? Why?
Black lives matter because God created every race equally. Black lives matter because we still have racial inequalities and loss of lives of black men in the 21st century. These sad events require action to eradicate this ill in our society.
How can America become greater and stronger than it is today?
America needs fewer partisan politics, and it needs to protect its middle class from extinction. Therefore, I am running as an Independent so that I am not obligated to either party but to the people.
Fapas4 Senate (U.S. Senate Campaign in Tennessee)
Showing Compassion in Our Values
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