By Bashir Ibrahim Dabo
The publication of the names of members of the APC Presidential Inauguration Committee last week did not go without getting its own fair share of mischief and controversy. Hadiza Bala Usman, featured among the committee’s members. She is known by many as a result of the pioneering role she has been playing in the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy. It was a campaign that came into light after the unfortunate abduction of almost 300 school girls from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, in Borno State, April last year. Many, who know her only as an activist, have gone wild on social media and other media platforms accusing her of profiting from the misery of the abducted Ch ibok Girls. However, there is another side of her.
I cannot claim knowledge of the date Hadiza joined partisan politics. But I have a fair knowledge of her political antecedents. I am up to date about when she contested her first political office in her native Katsina State in 2011. In defiance to the norms in Northern Nigeria regarding women’s participation in partisan politics, she contested the primary election for House of Representative seat together with another brilliant and active lady in the sphere of Nigerian public commentary, Hannatu Musa Musawa under the platform of the (defunct) Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), from Matazu/Musawa Federal Constituency.
Subsequently, she won the nomination. Her victory made her the only female aspirant that emerged as the flag bearer of House of Representative seat under the CPC in Katsina State. But, unfortunately she gallantly lost the battle to a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Garba Danlami Matazu. As it would turn out to be the only House of Representative seat the CPC would lose in the state during the 2011 general election. Since then, she has remained active in the opposition till date.
In November 2014, Hadiza was the chief agent of Mallam Nasir Ahmad Elrufai in the Kaduna State APC Gubernatorial primary election that took place at Trade Fair Complex, Kaduna. In carrying out the assignment, she personified everything in the saying ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’. She displayed courage, condor and finesse to the admiration of many of us that graced the place.
It was such display of enviable qualities that endeared her to be nominated into both Kaduna state APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council and APC Presidential Campaign Council concurrently. As a member of these campaign councils, Hadiza was opportune to have toured almost every part of the country campaigning for the APC. In this alone, she has raised the par and set a new standard for women in partisan politics in Northern Nigeria. Not even the revered Hajiya Gambo Sawaba of blessed memory had reached this height in our national politics.
Hadiza is not only a member of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, but also a member of Kaduna State APC Transition Committee simultaneously. This further proves her competence, capacity and multi-tasking quality. In essence, she actually had a political life before 2014; and that political life preceded the #BringBackOurGirls Campaign. I think it would be the height of injustice and unfairness to accuse a woman that has worked this hard towards the victory of her party of using the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to gain such national prominence. Ours should be a wicked country.
You can reach me on twitter @Bashir_Dabo