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Hajia Salamatu: A reflection on exploits of a woman political activist



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Since pre-independence and post -independence struggles that brought about the initiatives of women emancipation and participation in public activities spearhearded by notable dogged women in the likes of Queen Amina of Zaria, Chief Mrs Margaret Ekpo, Mrs Funmilayo Anikulapo Ransom-Kuti and lately the politically motivated grand movement of Hajiya Gambo Sahara, all of blessed memory that enshrined political, economic and social recognition for our women folk in Nigeria and beyond its shores, the recent activities of the immediate past National Woman Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hajia Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma took another dimension by revolving round for the positive developement of all facets of women’s life.

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The election of Hajia Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma in 2018 after the National convention of the APC was a major milestone towards the developement of women in politics, governance and global improvement in Nigeria. push({});

This took another phase from our previous women activists, politicians, social crusaders who at one time or the other made alot of sacrifices towards both the inclusion and recognition for women in national politics.

Her election came at the critical time the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC was yearning for consolidation and re-election towards the 2019 general election.

Coming from both private and public sector experience with versed political affiliations, the task of achieving greatness at that level was realisable at the shortest possible time.

No doubt, the grand mobilisation of not only women but men towards the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari as the APC candidate was a task achieved through her in-depth political ideas, that criss-crossed round the country, and resulted in the winning streak, garnered by the party in the February general election.

Mrs Umar-Eluma did not stop at winning in the last general election alone, she embarked on intensive campaign of the need for mass inclusiveness of women in the Federal Executive Council through the appointments of seven female Ministers, the highest in recent time into President Buhari’s administration.

This is a departure from what was obtainable in the previous administrations where few women are appointed as cabinet Ministers into the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Nigeria.

Not done with Ministerial slots, she used her tenure to solicit for a Presidential visit by Nigerian women to the Presidential Villa, the first in the history of the country, where she pleaded for more roles for women both agencies, parastatatals and departmental heads as well as board appointments, to bridge the wider gap between the two folks.

This was in addition to creating job opportunities both in political and civil service as well as the private sector, to ameliorate the critical situation of women in Nigeria.

During her stint, she also prioritise women, children and less priviledge programs with designated dates, both Nationally and Internationally, meant to mitigate and improve the lives of women, children and the vulnerable in the society.

She represented Nigerian women in the last UN 74th general assembly along with some delegates to brainstorm not only on way forward for women in the globe for gender equality, but several other issues.

Hajia Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma took the issue of women welfare and emancipation to the world centre stage, where discussion was carried out to engage world leaders on the need to refocus more attention to women developement and advancement.

At the session, SDGs programme was tabled that will improve not only social services, but girl child education, poverty alleviation and reduction, quality education, climate action/change, women inclusion and also expanded programs towards women’s welfare at the global level came to fore.

She ensured the worlds’ leaders commitment towards more provisions for women and was particularly impressed about President Buhari’s show of more expanded efforts towards the betternment of women in Nigeria as well as governance ahead of the prevailing situations.

She was particularly elated at the joint session where world bodies like AFDB indicated more interest in the improvement of women and children, to bridge the gap of gender inequality.

She pursued the issue of women recognition and welfare at the front burner both at the local and international sphere, that had improved tremendously women participation both in political, governance, corporate entities with required attention from the government.

Her goals in two years in office, was greatly achieved as women recognition was at the top level, with great attention from government and International communities.

The uniqueness of her effort both in the provision of social, economic, political and governance in Nigeria and the globe, stands out ahead of other women actors both as a socialist, activist, politician and voluntary actors in recent times.

This had improved in no small measure, attention by world bodies and government towards the total liberation of women, children developement in Nigeria.

The unbroken records already laid by the immediate past APC National Woman Leader, will be a standard to be adopted by subsequent occupants of the office.

Consequently, the desire to engage capable hands like the immediate past National Woman Leader in both human and material
management cannot be overemphasized, having achieved so much within the shortest possible time in the office.

Abubakar Yusuf writes from Abuja


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