‘Why Women need to work harder to lead’

Fa­tima Muham­mad is a young politi­cian, and gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date of the Restora­tion Party of Nige­ria (RPN). She was born into the fam­ily of Malam Muham­mad, a busi­ness­man. The seventh out of 16 chil­dren, her par­ents are orig­i­nally from Katsina State, but

Weekly Trust - - News/ Encounter - Fa­tima Muham­mad Maryam Ah­madu-Suka, Kaduna Fa­tima Muham­mad: Fa­tima: Fa­tima: Fa­tima: Fa­tima: Fa­tima:

Can you share your po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing the youngest gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date in Kaduna State?

It has been an in­ter­est­ing and scary road. At first, I was not sure I had the guts to stand up against sev­eral men to run for gover­nor of Kaduna State, but as time went by, and I mus­tered courage, the road be­came eas­ier. It is my hope and prayer that Al­lah will see me through.

What in­spired you to run for gover­nor?

I am in the race in the in­ter­est of women and youth. The fe­male gen­der needs to work hard to par­take in the lead­er­ship po­si­tion be­cause they are in a bet­ter po­si­tion to take care of the fam­ily. Women are able to spread their wings and think out­side the box and I be­lieve that if there is a fe­male at the helm of af­fairs, this coun­try will be even greater.

I am mo­ti­vated by the fact that the largest per­cent­age of vot­ers in Nige­ria to­day are women and youth, and be­ing a com­bi­na­tion of both, I am op­ti­mistic that I will be given the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the peo­ple come 2019.

How will the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill help your po­lit­i­cal ca­reer?

With that bill passed by the Na­tional As­sem­bly, the youth can make a dif­fer­ence in gov­ern­ment by show­cas­ing their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and mov­ing the coun­try to the next level. Nige­ri­ans should be sup­port­ive to young and en­ter­pris­ing youth who are as­pir­ing for po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions, be­cause that is the only way youth can be men­tored to take over the man­tle of lead­er­ship of this coun­try.

Our party has a para­mount pur­pose pro­gramme which pri­ori­tises health and job cre­ation, agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, and so on, and I am bas­ing my in­no­va­tions in all these key sec­tors be­cause I be­lieve they are sig­nif­i­cant in chang­ing the for­tunes of this coun­try.

If elected gover­nor, what new in­no­va­tions should we hope to see from you?

Our party has a para­mount pur­pose pro­gramme which pri­ori­tises health and job cre­ation, agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, and so on, and I am bas­ing my in­no­va­tions in all these key sec­tors be­cause I be­lieve they are sig­nif­i­cant in chang­ing the for­tunes of this coun­try The chal­lenges are enor­mous, but I think the big­gest is lack of funds. To do pol­i­tics in Nige­ria, one re­quires a lot of funds which my party does not have and that is why the two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties are al­ways at the top be­cause they have fi­nan­cial back­ing

I hope to ad­dress the in­creas­ing rate of in­se­cu­rity, the de­plorable state of ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and in­crease pro­duc­tion of agri­cul­tural pro­duce.

What are some of the chal­lenges you have faced, or are still fac­ing in pur­suit of your cho­sen ca­reer?

The chal­lenges are enor­mous, but I think the big­gest is lack of funds. To do pol­i­tics in Nige­ria, one re­quires a lot of funds which my party does not have and that is why the two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties are al­ways at the top be­cause they have fi­nan­cial back­ing. How­ever, I am op­ti­mistic that with God on my side, all things are pos­si­ble.

What is your call to other women who as­pire to be like you?

They should strive to stand on their feet, and not wait for their hus­bands to do ev­ery­thing for them. Rather, they should earn a liv­ing for them­selves so that they can com­ple­ment what­ever the hus­band is con­tribut­ing. It is my hope and prayer that if elected, I will en­gage women in skill­sac­qui­si­tion, so that they can also con­trib­ute their quota to the de­vel­op­ment of their fam­i­lies and the coun­try at large.

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