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Will the North Produce Nigeria’s First Female Governor?

For months, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has gone around the country hawking their candidates like fine bread. President Buhari has been missing for most of the campaigns until yesterday when he blessed Yola with his presence and endorsed Senator Aishatu Binani’s bid as Adamawa’s governor. If she wins, she will make history in Adamawa and as Nigeria’s first female governor.

Who is Aishatu Binani?

A serving senator of the 9th Assembly

Aishatu aka “Gimbiyar Adamawa”, meaning the Princess of Adamawa, was a former House of Representatives member representing the Yola North/Yola South/Girei federal constituency (2011-2015). She is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also serves as a member of the 9th National Assembly – the only female senator from the north to do so. 

First female governorship aspirant to represent a major political party

On May 27, 2022, Aishatu emerged winner of APC’s governorship primaries for Adamawa state, defeating her close rival, former EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu. 

You would think a female aspirant wouldn’t be out of the norm with the population of women in Nigeria. However, women have, for years now, struggled to get adequate representation in politics and government, with the House of Assembly shutting down any bill seeking equal rights and opportunities.

Mother of all empowerment

Aishatu isn’t known only for her political upheaval but for her philanthropy which has endeared her to her constituents. She has empowered them with scholarships, ICT facilities, and healthcare services.

Regardless of her win at the APC primaries, she has had to fight many opps to her governorship aspiration so far.

  • On October 13, 2022, a federal high court in Yola nullified APC’s governorship primaries and annulled her victory. But her village people finally let her go when on November 24, 2022, the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling and reinstated her.  
  • Our First Lady, Aisha Buhari, was very busy last year, from shuffling Nigeria and Dubai to dealing with trolls; she also gave her two cents on a female governorship. In a meeting with stakeholders on November 18, 2022, she threw her weight behind Nuhu Ribadu and claimed Adamawa wasn’t ripe for a female governor. What happened to women supporting women?

For some reason, it seems like the thought of a female governor makes many people uncomfortable. Here are some examples of women whose governorship dreams were shut down:

Aisha Al-Hassan

Many people called her “Mama Taraba” for her influence in the state. 

In 2015, she contested Taraba’s gubernatorial seat under APC and was declared the winner in November. However, her victory didn’t last long, as the Appeal Court soon reversed the judgement. 

Gbemi Saraki

Sibling rivalry is nothing new except that in the Saraki family, rather than fight for food or clothes, the reason for their feud was Kwara’s governorship seat. In case you didn’t know, Gbemi Saraki, current Minister of State For Mines and Steel Development, is the sister of former Senate President Bukola Saraki. 

After his tenure as Kwara state governor, Gbemi had plans to succeed him, but rather than pitch camp with his sister, he decided to side with the other candidate. And her attempts to win the gubernatorial elections proved futile. 

A big conversation right now is ensuring more female representation, especially in government. And if Aishatu emerges victorious, it would definitely be a big win for women and a great way to kick off 2023. 

This post was originally published on this site

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