Senator Aisha Al-Hassan, APC and the slippery terrain of politics for women

Aisha Jumai Alhassan

All Progressives Congress (APC) made history in the country when a woman emerged as its governorship candidate for Taraba State in the 2015 general elections after a primary election held in the State. It is also history that Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan roundly defeated four males to emerge the winner.

I met Senator Al-Hassan way back in September 2013 during the 50th anniversary of her almamata, Government Girls Secondary School Kawo Kaduna when both of us were special guest at the occasion. For me it was a chance meeting not because I went through GGSS Kawo but because I am the representative of Kawo Constituency in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

She is a lawyer of more than 30 years at the bar. She had been Attorney General of Taraba State. She is well-spoken, amicable, self assured, unpretentious and friendly. Indeed she is an amazon in all ramifications.

When we got chatting Senator Al-Hassan revealed to me how difficult and challenging for a woman to be in politics in what she called a very conservative North Eastern region in the country.

She said that women from that part are by upbringing very shy and lay back because of religion and culture. I told her I was really very impressed that she has decided to throw her hat into the rough and turbulent terrain of politics in such a difficult and conservative environment. This is evidence how determined, dogged and politically astute Senator Al-Hassan is.

Senator Al-Hassan reminds me of tough women politicians and statesmen we have seen in conservative Muslim dominated countries in Asia such as Bangladesh and Pakistan such as late Benazir Bhutto (21st June, 1953-27th December, 2007) the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and then 1993 to 1996.

There is also Sheikh Hasina the current woman Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

I was struck when I discovered that her personal assistant is a young Christian lady from the Igbo speaking part of Delta State.

This is striking evidence on how open, accommodative and broadminded Senator Al-Hassan is. She will make a good governor in a mini Nigeria like Taraba State.

Taraba State is ethnically very diverse and also multi-religious. The emergence of Senator Al-Hassan as the governorship candidate of the APC for Taraba State is the first time a woman would be the governorship candidate in a major political party in the country.

I think the emergence of Senator Al-Hassan has more than ever shown that the APC is a liberal, progressive and social political platform committed and dedicated to changing the social, economic and political landscape of the country to usher in economic progress, prosperity and democracy founded on social and economic justice.

It has also established the fact that APC is committed towards preservation of the interest of women, youths, ethnic and religious minorities and economically and socially disadvantaged segments of the population.

Which evidence does one need to see that truly APC stands for change as amply demonstrated by the emergence of Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan as the governorship flag bearer of the party for the 2015 governorship election in Taraba State?

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