FOMWAN mourns Ha­jia Bilk­isu Yusuf

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

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)

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