Soon after the keenly contested election to the office of National Woman Leader of APC in 2018, Hajiya Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma did not spare little time before settling down for the task ahead of her new job,barely a year to the nation’s general elections in 2019
Conversant with the political terrain and abreast with the need to mobilise women and critical stakeholders from her constituency,the North central and by extension, the entire country comprising of 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory,she devised the means to reach out briskly.
She started through bringing together the already demoralised women folk in the APC,whose political direction and followership was not defined, to contribute their quota to the political success of the ruling party, few months to the 2019 general elections.
In few months of her stint as National Woman Leader,through a well mobilised tour of the entire length and breadth of the country,prior before the campaign for the last election,Mrs Salamatu Baiwa had put together a formidable women squad, that drive the vision and manifestos of the party,along with its Presidential candidate,President Muhammadu Buhari.
She brought on board new innovations and system to sustain the women drive and relive confidence in the role of women to the political development of the nation, Nigeria.
As part of the innovation,advisory roles and advocacies were also engaged to top political gladiators not to de-emphasise the role of women in the political emancipation of the country, that was legendary.
Despite the strong and bitter opposition against the policies and government of the ruling APC by the main opposition party,the new National Woman Leader was unperturbed,undaunted and determined to sustain the good leadership traits of the present adminstration, led by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and Her Excelllency,Nigeria’s first Lady,Hajiya Aisha Buhari.
Building on the success recorded by Mrs Buhari in conjunction with the wife of the Vice President,Mrs Dolapo Osinbanjo and other notable women stakeholders in the APC,she was able to draw a well thought out plans,that only to ensured the victory of APC at all levels,but maintain the victory recorderd in 2015,while in some areas it was surpassed.
As a member of the National Working Committee(NWC),of the party,she made a strong case and recommendation for the inclusion of more women in all areas of the party’s programs and assignment,as well made adequate case for more women presence in the governance of the country.
It was her recommendations that ensured more women participation both in party assignment,adhoc programs of the party and by extension improve the synergy between the ruling party and the desire of inclusion of more women at all levels of decision making.
The aggressive drive for women participation in the political development of the country, was redoubled in the last one year of her leadership at the top echelon of APC ,an improvement from the previous operators that culminated into more women participation in the last election.
All these contributed immensely to the success of the party in the last general elections in May at all levels in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
One good thing about the National Woman Leader, was the mobilisation,agitation and drive was inline with the best practice and in tandem with the laid down procedures and global initiatives.
The National Woman Leader’s efforts along with critical stakeholders paid off, leading to the success of the party,APC winning and retaining majorly the Presidency,majority of members of the Senate and the House or Representatives of the National Assembly, including the retention and winning of some states of the federation.
Not done with the present success of the party at the National and State level ,the appointment of some female ministers and an improvement from the last cabinet by the President, was a promise fulfilled by this adminstration, in recognition of the roles of women in the last election powered by the President’s wife in conjunction with her collective advisory roles.
It will be on record that during her stint,within the available positions and provisions,more women will be attracted to more government programs and policies interms of appointement and employement.
At the home front,it was no longer news her sustenance on human capital development,empowerment, employement and other opportunities maintained a high tempo,aimed at transforming the lives of ordinary Nigerians by and large.
On the whole,the last one year at the leadership of women at the top heirachy of APC,was eventful, remained a blessing and envisaging more women participation in the political advancement of the country.
Abubakar Yusuf is a Public analyst.