‘ Why women operate behind scene in politics’
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?