Categories
FEATURES HEADLINES

The Sudden Exit Of Hadiza Bala Usman From Sir Kashim Ibrahim Govt House Kaduna: Who Fills The Vacuum?

Haj. Hadiza Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman is undoubtedly of an intimidating family lineage and sparkling prolific curriculum vitae (CV).

She is the daughter of late Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman a re-known astute scholar, a human rights activist of reputes and a full blood royal Prince, a direct grandchild of the famous Late Muhammad Dikko the Emir of Katsina in the early 20th century.

Haj. Hadiza bags her 1st and doctorate degrees from the premier Nigerian University of Ahmadu Bello, Zaria. She rose to national lime-light through various working activities and activism. She immensely contributed in the formation of the then solid and verile opposition party APC that won the 2015 general elections.

Her appointment as the Chief of Staff to His Excellency Mal. Nasiru Ahmad El-rufai of Kaduna state was to say the least but was however proved to be the stabilizing force given the entire administration cohesion and progress. As expected of the office, she combined political skills, technocratic mastery and administrative grandizment to propel the government of Mal. Nasiru Ahmad el-rufai higher most.

Her recent appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as the new MD Nigerian Ports Authority doesn’t take analysts aback considering her immense successes and contribution on the nation building.

However it was a thunder bolt or earthquake to the people of Kaduna state who woke-up with shocks of the news that strip-naked the entire government of Kaduna state.

The night-mare therefore remains the tongue waggling of who bears the shoes of this giant wolf that moves to the national stage.

Pundits are of the opinion that some of the possible replacements to the office of the chief of staff government house Kaduna could be:

 

  1. Alh Uba Sani (Political Adviser)

Uba
He is the present political adviser to His Excellency. He had a track record of loyalty and commitment. His only short comings are the inability to help the governor to manage the political confusion in the state chapter of the ruling party APC.

The government is not able to tackle widespread accusations on the lack of an all-inclusive administration with most of those who politically contributed in the success of APC in the state very well sidelined.

He may only be qualified on the aspect of his closeness to His Excellency, loyalty and administrative management skills.

  1. Hon. Garba Abbas (IMC Chairman Giwa)

BashirHe is the present IMC Chairman of Giwa local government as well the state ALGON Chairman, a charismatic politician who was the pioneer secretary of the El-rufai campaign organization before the primary elections.

He was later to be the assistant secretary to the present commissioner for local governments & chieftaincy affairs Hon. Bashir Sa’eed during the stirring committee of the El-rufai campaign organization.

He well served in many capacities among which, the transition committee for the handing over of government to His Excellency Malam Nasiru El-rufai in 2015.

His biggest challenge may be his inability to manage his relationship with other elected officers from his local government area, but he may be considered for his political sagacity to serve as a bridge and a unifying factor.

  1. Hon. Moh’d Sani Dattijo

(Hon. Commissioner Economic Planning)

DaltijoA very young and exposed technocrat with vast knowledge, a level headed person with a brighter future in the state. He is the present commissioner of economic planning. He served in different capacities amongst which the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Washington DC. He is a prolific young politician.

His challenges could be his political limitations but he is however a sound administrator.

  1. Bashir Sa’eed (Hon. Commissioner Local Governments & Chieftaincy Affairs)

SkimA close ally of His Excellency with whom the political moves were initiated. He was involved in all of the skimisms and was later the general secretary pioneer state APC leadership doubling with that of the stirring committee of His Excellency’s campaign organization after securing the Party’s candidature for the governorship in the State.

Hon. Bashir Sa’eed was appointed Commissioner for local governments & chieftaincy affairs on the inauguration of the administration. However, His Excellency promise for the autonomy of local government councils is yet to be fully implemented. To worsen situations, the commissioner is more of the log in the wheels of the local government councils derive to deliver dividends of democracy to their teeming masses.

He is a more controversial senior member of the present administration and his appointment as chief of staff to His Excellency would add more to the desired need for an urgent rescue mission to project the government’s dwindling political image.

  1. Mr Jimmy Lawal (Senior Special Assistant Counseling)

JimmyA very close associate of His Excellency, he was part of the successes of Mal. Nasiru El-rufai as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. He made tremendous contributions in His Excellency’s journey to ascend to the present position.

Mr. Jimmy Lawal is undoubtedly a member of the inner-house that projects policy formulation and implementation for the administration in the state. He presently act in capacity of the chief of staff but may not be able to provide one of the key demands of the chief of staff office which is to stabilize various sectors and institutions due to his lack of touch with mainstream political structure in the state.

Categories
OPINION

Hadiza Bala Usman And The Doubting Thomases: A Rejoinder to Muhammed Auta

The last few days have been exciting in Nigeria’s social sphare, courtesy of president Buhari’s appointment of Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman as the new head of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Her appointment did not come as a surprise to many, particularly those who are following events with keen interest in Kaduna State. It is not out of place to assert that Hadiza’s pedigree, capacity, and experience have been phenomenal to the successes recorded in Kaduna State in the last one year under Mallam Nasir Elrufa’i.

It is therefore laughable to see her critics advance arguments that are not only intellectually impotent, but also logically imbecile in order to seek attention and score cheap political points. More shallow are the reasons given by an “author” Muhammed Auta in his article titled: Hadiza Bala Usman: A Square Peg in A Round Hole, Period! Published  on the 14th of July 2016.

From his arguments, it is apparent Muhammed Auta is a Doubting Thomas—One who habitually or instinctively doubts accepted beliefs. Doubting Thomases are nonbelievers, skeptics, unbelievers, pessimists and doomsday prophets. The author admitted he “has never met Hadiza in person, but has read about her since her days at the BPE as an aide to el-rufai when he held sway as the DG….” Hadiza must have made giant strides as an aide to be noticed and even read about by Muhammad in far away Jalingo.

It is unfortunate that the only experience the author saw after taking a “cursory look” at her CV was when she worked as a research intern at the Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CEDDERT) in the early stages of her career  “except as an aide to Mallam Elrufai”. This narrative is myopic and misleading. Indeed Mallam Nasir has been phenomenal in Hadiza’s career, and that has prepared her to take up greater challenges in the service of the people in which she has so far demonstrated her altruism and capacity.

As difficult as it is to convince Doubting Thomases, here is

Hadiza’s CV in a cursory look…Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (ABU), Masters in Development Studies (not a Postgraduate Diploma as the author suggested). It may also interest Muhammad Auta that while at BPE, Hadiza played a key role in the privatization policy of the Federal Government that saw the concession of many government assets including our seaports. She was the Special Assistant to (arguably) the best FCT minister on Project Implementation in the FCTA. She was also Director of Strategy and Planning at the Good Governance Group (3G) until her appointment as Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor.

Muhammad Auta’s ignorance of public service rules and procedures is glaring, he is not familiar with the differences between mainstream civil service and other government agencies. What is good for the goose cannot be good for the gander in this case. He suggested and I quote…“I thought the seat should be advertised, certain number of candidates should be pre-qualified, interview and or examination be conducted preferably by a foreign consultant, and the candidate with the highest score appointed”.

Oga Doubting Thomas! This is not a Federal Tender’s Board and neither is it a contract award exercise. It is a presidential prerogative to appoint whomever the president wishes to, be it on a personal recommendation or experience, and Hadiza is so qualified on both fronts.

I borrow your words, “Lets call a spade a spade”! Your obsession with the name Elrufai which you have mentioned many times in your write up, seems to suggest that the piece is more about Mallam Elrufa’i than Hajiya Hadiza. Goodwill and prayers are what Hadiza Bala Usman needs from all of us­­­­­-the doubting thomases, the wailing wailers, the hailing hailers, and the fencing fencers, to deliver her mandate and revamp the Nigerian Ports Authority.

 

Habib Gajam can be reached via habibgajam08@yahoo.com or Twitter handle: @habibgajam

Categories
OPINION

The Hadiza Bala Usman They Don’t Know By Uba Sani

Let me confess that at the Government House, Kaduna, we all received the news of the appointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman as the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), with mixed feelings. It is an appointment roundly deserved. But the Kaduna State Government House without the gallant Hadiza seem unthinkable, at least for now as she is one of our finest. Following her appointment, slightly over a year ago, by Governor Nasir El Rufa’i as his Chief of Staff, Hadiza speedily became the bulwark and the engine room of sorts of the ever-busy Kaduna State Government House.

But moments after digesting the news of her appointment, however, it dawned on me once again, that our great nation is truly at the cusps of change – positive change, that is. In placing the young but extremely energetic and innovative Hadiza Bala Usman at the helm of the Nigerian Ports Authority, President Muhammadu Buhari abundantly underscored the direction of the new Nigeria: a nation where mediocrity will no longer find space; a nation where the energy of young, educated, talented, patriotic and incorruptible citizens will be harnessed to re-work a country that totally ran down by successive uncaring and insensitive governments.

I will not dignify the few critics of the appointment of Hadiza as the Chief Executive Officer of the NPA with a reply. It is not necessary. The Hadiza Bala Usman that I have known and worked closely with for almost two decades has shown serially that she is more than able to defend herself and even other unduly oppressed persons at all times. But I concede that it may well be true that some persons do not actually know Hadiza Bala Usman beyond her role as the co-convener of the Bring-Back-Our-Girls (BBOG) Campaigned that she and few other persons commenced in 2014 after nearly 300 girls were abducted from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno state.

The BBOG Campaign was to force the embarrassingly lukewarm Nigerian government, then under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to act expeditiously to rescue all the girls alive. The very tenacious Hadiza Bala Usman and other members of the BBOG, fearlessly and relentlessly called out the government to act, and their campaign helped to draw global attention to the plight of the hapless Chibok schoolgirls. Till date, the about 300 girls have not been rescued, but the story might have been different if the Jonathan administration had acted fast and decisively.

Long before the BringBackOurGirls campaign commenced in 2014, Hadiza Bala Usman, at a relatively young age had begun leaving indelible marks in the sands of time. Groomed very early in life to speak to power and to take responsibilities for her actions by her equally indefatigable father, the famous Historian, Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, Hadiza has never missed an opportunity to make a mark. I had my first close interaction with Hadiza in 2001 at the Abuja Head Office of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) while she worked as an aide to my very close friend and associate, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the current Governor of Kaduna State. At the BPE, Hadiza, though fresh from the University was generally viewed as way older than her age. She was bold and courageous in her handling of projects at a time the BPE was at the peak of the disposal of federal government’s interests in hundreds of firms and enterprises. Under the legendarily profound Mallam Nasir el Rufai, Hadiza Bala Usman and several other young Nigerians cut their teeth in the management of very complex projects. She and a number of her colleagues while at BPE benefitted from several management courses both within the country and abroad.

It did not come to several of us as a surprise when Mallam Nasir el Rufai absorbed several of these well-groomed aides to the Federal Capital Territory Administration structure when he became the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in 2003. It is an open secret that Mallam Nasir el Rufai inherited an FCT Administration that was steeped in uncommon corruption and land racketeering that had culminated in the total distortion of the Abuja master plan. Defying huge odds, El Rufai and his team of young and well-groomed aides commenced the arduous task of restoring the dignity, beauty and original master plan of Nigeria’s Federal Capital. They generally succeeded.

At the FCT, Hadiza was feared.  Being the special assistant to the no-nonsense Mallam Nasir El Rufai on project implementation was never going to be a tea party, but Hadiza was clearly tailor-made for the job. She never bent the rules for even the closet friends and political associates of Mallam El Rufa’i. I had the privilege of being a fringe Political Adviser to Mallam El Rufai while he was FCT Minister and I was always of the impression that Hadiza was rather too strict and I confess that I had on more than one occasion advised Mallam El Rufai to prevail on her to be a bit ‘politically correct’ without breaking the rules. Mallam El Rufai typically would not have that and would always insist that anyone who was not prepared to meet the strict project implementation guidelines of the FCT administration should not seek to have anything to do with administration. In fact, on several occasions, I heard Mallam Nasir el Rufai telling Hadiza: “don’t bend the rules even for me.” Hadiza Bala Usman is a good student. She has, over the years been well tutored by some of the nation’s best brains particularly her dear father, the highly revered Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman and the phenomenal Mallam Nasir el Rufai.

It is absolutely important that I mention here that Hadiza Bala Usman brought her training, discipline, dexterity, tenacity and sheer ruggedness to bear at the Campaign Office of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC). She was the Administrative Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Organization and worked very closely with the Chairman of the Campaign Organisation, The then Governor of Rivers State, the Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who is the current Minister of Transportation. Hadiza’s administrative acumen helped the campaign office to achieve a seamless liaison with all other campaign and electioneering organs of the APC during the hard-fought 2015 Presidential election. Party leaders have not stopped lauding the efforts of the APC Presidential Campaign Office.

Since the appointment of Hadiza as the Managing Director of the NPA, I have had series of discussions with Mallam Nasir El Rufai on this matter. Of course, the Kaduna State Governor, like a good father or teacher is extremely proud of Hadiza Bala Usman, and he is also proud of the leadership recruitment prowess of His Excellency,  President Muhammadu Buhari. It is the view of Mallam Nasir El Rufai that Hadiza’s appointment would help unlock the huge potentials in the nation’s maritime sector at a time the diversification of our economy has become compellingly inevitable. But from our discussions, I gleaned very unmistakably that Mallam Nasir el Rufai may find it extremely difficult finding a suitable replacement for Hadiza Bala Usman at the Kaduna State Government House.

Uba Sani is the Special Adviser, Political Matters to Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State  

Categories
OPINION

Hadiza Bala Usman: A Square Peg In A Round Hole, Period! By Muhammed Auta

When Thisday Newspaper reported that it was reliably informed that President Muhammadu Buhari was set to appoint Hadiza Bala Usman as the new MD of The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), I dismissed it as one of those allegations aimed at denting the already dented image of the President by the “South Newspapers”. However, on deeper reflection based on the well known relationship between the Transport Minister who is responsible for the supervision of the NPA and on whose recommendation we were told Mr President acted, and Hadiza’s boss, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, I decided to keep my fingers crossed to see how things unfold.

Not long thereafter, we saw a Press Release by the Ministry informing us of Hadiza’s appointment which effectively confirmed what Thisday Newspaper alleged. I have never met Hadiza in person, but I have read about her since her days at the BPE as an aide to el-Rufai when he held sway as the DG of the government privatisation Agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprise.

A cursory look at Hadiza’s CV shows that, she is 40 years old which is quite interesting and encouraging, with a Postgraduate Diploma. But all her life, she has never worked a side the one year she spent in her father’s think-tank, Center for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria except as an aide to Mallam el-Rufai. From his days at the BPE, to FCTA, and to the Good Governence Group (3G) which he co-founded when he was being chased by Yar’adua government and to the Kaduna State Government House where she was serving as his Chief of Staff before her appointment. If we are to be honest with ourselves, a person with that credential is not qualified to handle a delicate task of managing our port. Being a personal aide is entirely different from heading a every strategic agency like the NPA.

Some e-rats may try to justify this nonsense by citing the case of Osita Chidoka who was appointed Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps without any experience aside being a Special Assistant to a Minister and in the Presidency and other similar irrational appointments by the past government. My answer to them is simple: We are tired of the status-quo, that was why we demanded for change, and through shared effort, and the will of God we got it.

President Buhari should be careful with the way he handle some of these issues. He should not approve all the junks being wrapped by his ministers as recommendation with scrutiny. Because, Hadiza’s appointment clearly indicated that Mr President’s gospel of reform in the Transport sector is not for real.

I thought the seat should be advertised, Certain number of candidates should be pre-qualified, interview and or examination conducted preferably by a foreign consultant, and the candidate with the highest score appointed. With that, we are sure of the quality of the person so appointed. Lets call a spade by its name: el-Rufai ask his friend, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi to recommend Hadiza for the post and cornered the President to approve the recommendation of the Transport Minister.

However, what we have now is a clear case of Square Peg in a Round hole which clearly indicated a clear evidence of Nepotism!

Muhammad Auta, Jalingo

Categories
NEWS

Its Official: Buhari Appoints Hadiza Bala Usman, Others Into NPA

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Hadiza Bala Usman as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

This was made know in a series of tweets by the official twitter account of the President Villa, @ASorock.

The appointment according to the twitter account takes effect from yesterday, 11th May, 2016.

The appointment confirms earlier report that the president is considering appointing her into the position following recommendations from the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

The president also appointed Mohammed Bello-Koko as the Executive Director (Finance) of the port agency, while Prof. Idris Abubakar Executive Director (Engineering).

Also appointed Dr. Sekonte Davies who will serve as Executive Director (Marine Operations)

Ms. Bala Usman, who until her appointment was the chief of staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.

She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.

She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.

She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.

In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.

She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.

Categories
NEWS

Buhari Considers Hadiza Bala Usman As NPA MD

In a bid to inject a fresh pair of hands to run the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has submitted Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman’s name to President Muhammadu Buhari to take over as the new managing director of NPA.

Should Buhari approve the recommendation, Ms. Bala Usman, 40, will become the first female chief executive of a top tier federal government agency and of the NPA.

She shall take over from Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, who was reinstated by Buhari in August 2015 as the managing director of NPA, after he had been shown the exit by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015.

Sources in the presidency, who confirmed that Ms. Bala Usman’s name had been sent to the president, said Amaechi had decided to make the changes in order to overhaul the NPA.

Amaechi, it was gathered, is not particularly impressed with the way the NPA was being run and has decided to effect a change of the executive team as soon as possible.

A presidency source said that the minute Ms. Bala Usman’s name was submitted to the president, Buhari was happy to consider the recommendation, given the past relationship he had with her father, the late Prof. Yusufu Bala Usman, who was a renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) academic, historian and activist before his death some years ago.

Amaechi was also believed to have recommended Ms. Bala Usman, on the grounds that two chief executives of the foremost parastatals under his ministry – Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) – are from the south, and he would rather have an equitable distribution of appointments into the agencies under his ministry.

Ms. Bala Usman, who is currently the chief of staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.

She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.

She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.

She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.

In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.

She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.

Credit: Thisday

Categories
NEWS

Elrufai Appoints Hadiza Bala Usman As Chief Of Staff, Names Other Aides

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufa,i has appointed a new Chief of Staff.

She is Hadiza Bala Usman, a well-known figure in the All Progressives Congress where she served in a number of committees and capacities, key among which were: the Administrative Secretary of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization, Member Secretary APC Elections Planning Committee, Member APC Strategy Committee.

She was also Director of Finance in the Nasir El-Rufai Campaign Organization, and later the Kaduna State APC Campaign Council.

Ms. Usman was born in Zaria where her father, the famous radical historian Yusufu Bala Usman, was lecturing at the university.

Dr. Yusufu Bala Usman himself later became Secretary to the Kaduna State government during the Balarabe Musa administration.

She started her primary education at ABU Staff School, attended ABU Demonstration Secondary School and earned a B.Sc. in Business Administration from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 2000. She later obtained an MA in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 2009.

Ms. Usman worked at the Bureau Of Public Enterprises (BPE) from 2000 until 2004 when she was hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration [FCTA] from October 2004 – January 2008 as a Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Project Implementation.

Since 2011, she has been Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G).

In April 2014, she co-founded the global movement #BringBackOurGirls which has been demanding for the rescue of the 219 young girls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok Secondary School in Borno State North East Nigeria.

Ms. has been internationally recognized for her contributions.

Financial Times (FT) named her amongst the most influential women of 2014, while CNN chose her as the most inspiring woman of 2014. Ebony Magazine also named her amongst the 100 most influential black women in the world in 2014.

In August 2014 she gave touching speech on Chibok Girls at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during UN DPI conference as a guest speaker.

A statement by the Special Assistant to El-Rufai on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan
on Monday, said government also announced the appointments of Bashir Dabo as Special Assistant, New Media, and Saude Amina Mohammed as Personal Secretary to the governor.

Ms. Mohammed is a graduate of Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Advertising and Marketing from Coventry University, UK.

As a researcher with the Good Governance Group, she provided support for the work of Malam Nasir El-Rufai on the critically acclaimed budget series published in his weekly newspaper column.

She also featured as a guest writer during the young voices series published in Thisday and Peoples Daily. Most recently, she has served as Secretary to the finance sub-committee of the Kaduna State APC Transition Committee.

Ms. Saude is the grand-daughter of the Reverend Canon H.O Mohammed of Wusasa, Zaria, who was the former Chief Commissioner of the Public Complaints Commission and Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Mr. Dabo holds an M.Sc. in International Business Management from the University of Bedforshire, United Kingdom and a Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

He was assistant coordinator of the Kaduna State APC Situation Room for the 2015 elections.

– Premium Times

Categories
OPINION

In Defence Of Hadiza Bala Usman By Bashir Ibrahim Dabo

The publication of the names of members of the APC Presidential Inauguration Committee last week did not go without getting its own fair share of mischief and controversy. Hadiza Bala Usman, featured among the committee’s members. She is known by many as a result of the pioneering role she has been playing in the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy. It was a campaign that came into light after the unfortunate abduction of almost 300 school girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, in Borno State, April last year. Many, who know her only as an activist, have gone wild on social media and other media platforms accusing her of profiting from the misery of the abducted Ch ibok Girls. However, there is another side of her.

I cannot claim knowledge of the date Hadiza joined partisan politics. But I have a fair knowledge of her political antecedents. I am up to date about when she contested her first political office in her native Katsina State in 2011. In defiance to the norms in Northern Nigeria regarding women’s participation in partisan politics, she contested the primary election for House of Representative seat together with another brilliant and active lady in the sphere of Nigerian public commentary, Hannatu Musa Musawa under the platform of the (defunct) Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), from Matazu/Musawa Federal Constituency.

Subsequently, she won the nomination. Her victory made her the only female aspirant that emerged as the flag bearer of House of Representative seat under the CPC in Katsina State. But, unfortunately she gallantly lost the battle to a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Garba Danlami Matazu. As it would turn out to be the only House of Representative seat the CPC would lose in the state during the 2011 general election. Since then, she has remained active in the opposition till date.

In November 2014, Hadiza was the chief agent of Mallam Nasir Ahmad Elrufai in the Kaduna State APC Gubernatorial primary election that took place at Trade Fair Complex, Kaduna. In carrying out the assignment, she personified everything in the saying ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’. She displayed courage, condor and finesse to the admiration of many of us that graced the place.

It was such display of enviable qualities that endeared her to be nominated into both Kaduna state APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council and APC Presidential Campaign Council concurrently. As a member of these campaign councils, Hadiza was opportune to have toured almost every part of the country campaigning for the APC. In this alone, she has raised the par and set a new standard for women in partisan politics in Northern Nigeria. Not even the revered Hajiya Gambo Sawaba of blessed memory had reached this height in our national politics.

Hadiza is not only a member of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, but also a member of Kaduna State APC Transition Committee simultaneously. This further proves her competence, capacity and multi-tasking quality. In essence, she actually had a political life before 2014; and that political life preceded the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign. I think it would be the height of injustice and unfairness to accuse a woman that has worked this hard towards the victory of her party of using the                                      #BringBackOurGirls campaign to gain such national prominence. Ours should be a wicked country.

You can reach me on twitter @Bashir_Dabo