This is the season and the period when politics has become a game. It has become a ritual every four years, the political waters are rumbled and different fishes are thrown into it. Some don’t normally survive; others make noise and withdraw without prodding, while a few make it to the end of the primaries and beat a retreat thereafter.
Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu is the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, FCT. She is the founder of the Global Women and Youths Strategy, an NGO, and a philanthropist par excellence. The Onyize of Ebiraland is a dealer in hope. She sees leadership as the capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. She is one of those few humanitarians of the 21st Century whose core interest is to raise future giants from the gutters of their community into global entity via empowerment and other available opportunities.
She is a young woman in a hurry but resolute to write her own copy of history. She bowed to the overpowering zeal to serve humanity. Her strength of character and no nonsense reputation for getting results has made Ramatu a champion today. In her doggedness this passionate political Princess of Kogi state has proven that success is no respecter of gender but only favours hard work, tenacity and purpose.
The minister has weathered the political waters and is still in good standing. She has paid her dues, or, more appropriately, she is paying her dues on the political turf.
Ramatu is a native of Budon, a suburb of Lokoja, the Kogi state capital. She can conveniently say she has and is manoeuvring through the corridors of power in Kogi state and the FCT.
She was the managing director of AZAH Intermediaries Nigeria Limited, a special adviser to the then Gwagwalada Area Council chairman in the FCT. She has been on both the international and national scenes. She emerged as national vice chairman North Central Zone, national women leader, both of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, as well as becoming the first female president of the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) a 56-country member Pan-African body. When the time came for the merger in 2014, she again emerged as national women leader of the current ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC
Thereafter, fortune shone on her and in 2019, Ramatu was appointed a Minister of the Federal Republic. She has received awards in many areas of endeavors in appreciation of her efforts in mobilising and bringing women into main stream political arena.
Naturally, as expected in our clime, political jobbers have dusted their antics and are already putting much pressure on Ramatu to join the senatorial contest in either Kogi state or in the FCT.
Yes, she is qualified to be a senator going by her antecedents, but.. Though attractive the bait may be inviting, it will be good for her to maintain her present intelligent disposition and still retain her dignity on the political turf.
Success is not accidental, neither is it served a la carte; you have to go for it! Whether you are a man or woman, young or old, the only thing that separates leaders from others, winners from losers, is their dedication and perseverance in bringing true change into anything they do. She has left her mark in all the positions she has held so far, to say that she is an achiever is an understatement.
A warrior does not jump into the arena when he knows the weather does not favour him or her. The question begging for several answers are too numerous but I will try as much as possible to justify why she shouldn’t run now.
One, age is on her side. She is a youth and still has years on her side. You don’t rush to eat hot food because others are hungrier than you. Then of course any politician worth his/her salt does not jump into the murky waters without first determining her chances of possible win. She has passed the stage she could be counted as “one of former aspirants”.
As for real politicians who know their onions, you sit down calculate your chances of possible win and then decide what to do. Then, in her situation, though she could contest in either Kogi or FCT, but who are the forces she would contend with as the match to 2023 begins in earnest.
Starting with FCT, everybody knows that Senator Philip Aduda has become an iroko in FCT politics. For anyone to think of upstaging him, such a person has to muscle much power and influence than the iroko tree. Worthy of note is that to Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu Senator Aduda is not only a politician but a brother of a very long standing and well respected family relationship.
Many factors are playing in favour of Aduda today. He is a spender and he touches the lives of people that come across him just like Ramatu but most of all he is an “INDIGENE”. Most of the urban communities in the six area councils that constitute the senatorial zone have one or two landmark of Aduda as much as can feel the giant strides of the Honourable Minister.
The summary of it as pertaining to FCT is that for now, FCT is a no-go area for any politician including of course SARAUNIYAN ABUJA and MAMA PALLIATIVE, as she is popularly called.
Now to Kogi state. There are powerful dare devil political hawks that might swallow, destroy and “kill” any politician that may want to dance naked on the political turf of their senatorial zone. The gladiators are Smart Adeyemi and Melaye Dino. Not that the great mobiliser, trailblazer and administrator is not likely to make it by popular votes in the ballot box; as she is one politician to beat in Kogi state too, but the Kogi west senatorial district politics today requires much more than popularity, goodwill, experience and money.
It’s surely going to be too rough for the ‘clean’ politician whom she is to confront.. For anyone to jump into the fries could be called political suicide. The two gladiators are the area fathers of the Kogi west senatorial zone. There are many that are interested in the slot, but because they value their lives, they would not dare contest. These two play politics both in and out of the books.
Ramatu joining in the macabre dance will not be good for her no matter the prodding from her supporters and political sympathiders nudging her through. The Zinariya of Lokoja who is a Ph.D holder in security and strategic studies will bring all the might of the security approach and apparatus to bear of which time shall soon unveil.
Indeed, with a new dawn on the horizon beckoning, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu may be leaving an indelible footprint on the sand of time as an irrepressible Amazon of change and an astute administrator.
She needs wisdom in her quest to remain relevant as a politician. It is only a foolish warrior that his grave is pointed at for his bravery but the wise bid her time for the most appropriate period to strike.
Moreover, Ramatu is too relevant in the scheme of things at the moment and the void she would create if she jumps into the fries would be too costly. A word is enough for the wise, please, Ramatu, don’t run, there is still ample time ahead for you.
Abdul writes from Abuja.