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Bauchi May Get a Female Governor in 2015 – Commissioner

| August 5, 2013 More

Bauchi โ€” Hajiya Talatu Mohammed Barwa is the Bauchi State Commissioner for Women Affairs. She spoke to journalists on her ministry’s mandate and the pet projects of the governor’s four wives. She speculates that Bauchi may produce a female governor in 2015 amongst other issues.

What key roles is the mandate of your ministry?

The Ministry of Women Affairs is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that women are not marginalized, coming from a less privileged position in the society. The government feels it is important to help women in the state. Therefore, we have the mandate to see to women and children issues in the state.

To what extent would say the ministry has fulfilled its mandate?

Since May 29, 2011, the ministry has done a lot in the state to empower women in different skill acquisitions. After the training we usually give them, support materials and a minimum of N20, 000 (twenty thousand) each as take off grant. We have trained 1000 women in the last few years on different skill acquisition.

In child development, we have also done a lot because we recognized that children’s problems are much and so, the government mandated us to take adequate care of them. We handle any issue related to children, and we have organized series of sanitization workshops and advocacies for the children. Only recently, we sponsored our children to Abuja for the Children’s parliament election and they won some seats at the national level. Last year, we took six children to Dubai holiday day camp and this year we are taking three to the camp where they meet with children from various parts of the world and interact with one another.

We observe children’s day every year in Bauchi and the purpose is to give these children a sense of belonging in this administration and the day offers them the opportunity of fun. We have organized series of advocacies and sensitization for the women and tours for political office holders and they are given financial support where necessary.

What efforts have you put in place to encourage girl- child education?

The First Lady of the state, Hajiya Aishatu Isa Yuguda is very passionate about children’s issues, especially girl- child education. So, out of her monthly allocation, she donates one million naira for the development and advancement of the education of girls in the state. There are also series of contributions to various schools and individual families by the First Lady through my office because we always collaborate. The girl- child enrollment ratio in the state has improved now than before. In fact, when we came it was less than 11% but now we have about 35 to 40%.So, you can see that within a short time there is a remarkable increase.

Do you have any agricultural programme for women in the state?

We have women NGOs which are into agriculture and they have registered with us and we are assisting them. In fact, we work with the ministry of Agriculture to uplift women in that area. We intervene by getting fertilizer and seeds for women. We are trying to assist them financially, although, we are a bit constrained, but in last two years we purchased cotton seeds for the women to start producing cotton and to start a cotton industry.

What are you doing about encouraging women to join active politics?

Governor Yuguda is a gender-friendly Governor. He has given us so many appointments ranging from Advisers, senior special assistants and directors-general and in this ministry I have over 64 women political appointees. In the last dispensation we had over 300 women appointees, some personal assistants. Governor Yuguda is actually, observing the 35 percent affirmative action through his pattern of appointments with due consideration to women, Even though, we are only two in the cabinet but he has appointed women as DGs, SAs, and SSAs.

Why do you think women are afraid of contesting elections in Nigeria?

The fault is from men. They don’t allow us to contest for elective positions in this country. Most of the women coming out for political offices come out through our ministry. And we sent their names to the First Lady of the country for assistance and at the state level, we have equally given them a helping hand. But, I am not actually happy with the way men are marginalizing women when it come to elections. They always put on these big attires and say they are the boss; they want to be elected while they ignore our women. What we want now is that women should come out and indicate interest to contest elections. But this time around we are out for a war with them,

The 2015 is elections are getting nearer. Do you see the possibility of a woman contesting the governorship of Bauchi State?

Yes and if possible, we would like to have a woman as a governor of the state. Women are free to come out and contest the governorship of the state in 2015 and other political or elective positions. The First Lady through her office and pet project is interested in helping women to contest elective positions and our mandate at the state is to forward the names of such women to her, after they have registered with us.

There are allegations that women enjoying appointments are redundant. What is your comment?

No, it is not true. We have offices allocated to them. You know the reserved nature of women, they don’t show up publicly, except it becomes necessary. And right now, the director -general in this ministry is in her office working and other women attached to my ministry all have offices. They write memos for their programmes and they are included in all our programmes. Therefore, you can’t say they are redundant at all.

There are allegations that the four wives of the Governor through their various NGOs have taken over the duties of your ministry. What can you say about this?

No, no. The wives of the governor all have their NGOs and all the NGOs are registered with us here and they are doing their work at the NGO level. The First Lady Hajiya Aishatu Isa Yuguda is attached to the ministry of Women Affairs because she doesn’t have an NGO, so she is with us and our work is in collaboration with her. They are doing their work, separately and we are doing our work separately. And our relationship is very cordial. We attend their functions and they do attend our activities too.

Similarly, there e are allegations that the four first ladies are working on similar projects handled by your ministry. What are some of the activities of the First Ladies pet projects?

They are working in different areas. Hajiya I Isa Yuguda is attached to this office and her pet project and the ministry are working in collaboration. She focuses more on girl -child education. Then the second wife is Hajiya Hauwa Abiodun Isa Yuguda had her pet project tagged “Challenge Your Disability Initiative” where she looks after disabled persons in the state. Hajiya Mariya Isa Yuguda’s pet project is the sensitization of women on health issues which is different from the “Challenge You Disability Initiative” and last wife, is Hajiya Nafisatu is assisting the youth, the old and the elderly people.

Category: Bauchi State News

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