‘ Why women op­er­ate be­hind scene in pol­i­tics’

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Ahmed Mo­hammed, Gombe By 2019, the PDP will come back with full force. We have seen what tran­spired be­fore and dur­ing the last gen­eral elec­tions. We have iden­ti­fied our mis­takes and our strengths. We have the ex­pe­ri­ence and we would em­ploy bet­ter st

Ha­jiya Sa’adatu Sa’ad Mustafa was at dif­fer­ent times the com­mis­sioner for women af­fairs and women leader of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in Gombe State. In this in­ter­view, she speaks on prospects of women in fu­ture elec­tions in the coun­try.

What is your take on the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and Gover­nor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State?

To me, it’s a good start for both of them, con­sid­er­ing the vi­sion, pas­sion and laud­able pro­grammes they have for the coun­try and Gombe State. I think they have brought some changes with rea­son­able achieve­ments in terms of se­cu­rity of lives and prop­erty, es­pe­cially in the North-East. The pres­i­dent and the se­cu­rity chiefs are do­ing their best to en­sure that we have peace in all parts of the coun­try. Sim­i­larly, the way the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is fight­ing cor­rup­tion is also good be­cause we have to bring back the in­tegrity of our coun­try. I will also give our gover­nor in Gombe a pass mark be­cause he is do­ing his best in the ar­eas of se­cu­rity and pro­vi­sion of in­fra­struc­ture.

Many peo­ple be­lieve that more feats would have been achieved if Buhari had ap­pointed min­is­ters. There is the same feel­ing in Gombe be­cause the gover­nor is yet to ap­point com­mis­sion­ers. What is your take?

The de­lay does not af­fect their work even though I be­lieve in the say­ing that two heads are bet­ter than one. They are tak­ing their time to make the right choices. Nige­ri­ans must learn to be pa­tient with their lead­ers to make things work.

Are you sat­is­fied with the cur­rent par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in pol­i­tics?

Well, we still need to do more on women par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics. This is be­cause, if you put them on a scale, it is fair but not too en­cour­ag­ing. That is why I am sup­port­ing gov­ern­ment to give 35 per­cent of po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions to women. This should be in terms of elec­tive and ap­pointive po­si­tions.

Do you sub­scribe to the no­tion that women are in­tim­i­dated by men when it comes to elec­toral con­test?

Men tend to dom­i­nate po­si­tions be­cause they al­ways think that women want to com­pete with them. But in the real sense, a woman only wants to con­trib­ute her quota, at least, to fill in the gap where men fail to de­liver. Men should un­der­stand this and give more women chances to par­tic­i­pate and con­test elec­toral po­si­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try. How do you think this can be achieved? With the sup­port of all stake­hold­ers, the gap will be closed. How­ever, we must cor­rect the wrong no­tion that what women are try­ing to do is to com­pete with men or even dis­lodge them in the scheme of things. We should be seen as part­ners in progress. Men should be tol­er­ant so that more women will con­test in elec­tions and as­pire for more op­por­tu­ni­ties. I want to in­form you that we have com­pe­tent women all over the coun­try. We have women who are will­ing to sac­ri­fice ev­ery­thing in or­der to make the so­ci­ety bet­ter. How­ever, most of these women op­er­ate be­hind the scene be­cause of the ob­vi­ous per­cep­tion of the so­ci­ety about their role. I want to use this medium to ad­vice my sis­ters that they should al­ways be de­ter­mined, loyal and, above all, pa­tient.

Your party, the PDP, suf­fered de­feat in the last gen­eral elec­tions. Do you think it will bounce back in the near­est fu­ture?

Ha­jiya Sa’adatu Sa’ad Mustafa

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