FOMWAN mourns Hajia Bilkisu Yusuf
September 24th, 2015 will remain indelible in the hearts of the Muslim Ummah, particularly those who lost their loved ones in the stampede that took place in Saudi Arabia on the faithful day.
The news that our dear Hajia Bilkisu (mni) was one of the 769 victims of the stampede came to us as a rude shock.
With over twenty (22) years experience that span through the public sector, journalism and NGO activities, Hajia Bilkisu Yusuf has made her mark as one of the foremost women advocates and activists in Nigeria with strong commitment to improving the quality of life of women and children and a promoter of the education of the girl-child.
Until the sad event, Hajia Bilkisu was a columnist for Daily Trust and Leadership newspapers and Executive Director of ‘Advocacy Nigeria’; a movement working for the reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality.
Hajia Bilkisu was a founding member of several NGOs including two of the countries’ most vibrant and pace setting national women’s organizations; Women in Nigeria (WIN) as the first Kano State Coordinator and Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) where she was one of its pioneering members. Hajia Bilkisu was a one-time National Amirah (President) and until her death, the Chairperson, Committee on External Relations of FOMWAN. She also had a leading role at ABANTU for Development, an NGO where she was the master gender trainer for Northern Nigeria. She was also a member of a number of other organizations committed to and contributing to national development, especially the development of women.
Hajia Bilkisu attended and contributed to a number of local and international training programs, which enabled her to bring rich ideas and perspectives into what she did, as a Journalist. She distinguished herself as the serial editor of three national newspapers and magazines. These experiences explain her invitation to serve on the editorial board of a number of other publications in Nigeria. Hajia Bilkisu was a member of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies and was also conferred with a national honour. She was the vice chairman of MSA-Board of directors, a position she held till her death.
She served on several national and international boards, comittees and wrote several articles on women’s rights, media, gender, Islam, politics and maternal and child health.
Hajia Bilkisu served on the Federal Government committee set up to investigate the abduction of the ChibokGirls and was actively involved in campaigns to release them.
She will be greatly missed not only by her immediate family members but by all members of FOMWAN, an association she served passionately and selflessly with immense contributions.
May Allah have mercy on the souls of all the departed Muslims and admit them all into Aljanat Firdaus.
Hajia Amina B. Omoti, National Amirah (President) Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN)