Aishatu Maradun is a bonafide woman member of the Zamfara State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). She was recently elected as state Woman Leader. In this interview with journalists, she spoke on the need for gender equality especially when it comes to politics and some other issues. Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d was there.
You have now been elected as the PDP state Woman Leader, what fruitful service do women expect from you?
I will first of all ensure women empowerment is the priority of the next government of PDP in the state especially having been satisfied that, the ruling APC would no longer be given any chance by the good people of the state to rule again. I will facilitate that first in order to restore the lost conscious in women so that they could be able to understand why women were the most needed category of voters being used to form a government at all levels.
How do you hope to achieve your dream?
It is very easy because, all good women across the fourteen local government areas of the state, be it politicians or otherwise have been clamouring for the change of government in the state, and believe you me, they entirely have respect for my words as you have seen during our election, when they patiently waited to hear what I will say in terms of which direction women are to follow in all kind of affairs. I sat with the Chairman of the PDP, Senator Hassan Nasiha, and discussed on the fate of women especially after forming the government of the state. He assured me of every required support and cooperation to ensure that the living standard of women in the state would be taken care of, they would be empowered to the extent that they can measure shoulder to shoulder with men in every aspect of politics and the run of government affairs. We would never allow any politician to see women as political tool kits who could only be used during campaigns and elections, this time around; my office would go about setting of committees that would work harder to ensure that women were given equal attention with men in all manifestos designed by candidates vying for political offices. This is the time women of Zamfara State would show the world of talents they were blessed, you see, we have heroes in women as that of men, they can competitively run the most complicated offices run by the state government, we have an alarming number of well educated women who can serve to move the state forward to the next level of development.
Are you suggesting that all political offices in the government should be shared between men and women?
That could not be possible because it is too early to embark upon crusades like that, but would come into being gradually, especially when it is noticed that women have lucrative roles to play in taking the state’s crawling economy to greater height, for example, we have knowledgeable women and vocal enough to struggle for bills in favour of the state economy in the two national assemblies. Zamfara State is blessed with women icons in different kind of trades like in commercial sector, education, judiciary and even internationally legitimate high profile businesses. They have much to contribute in building new Zamfara State which took men from 1999 to date without reaching the targeted destination, let them be given the chance to see how eventually dreams would turn to reality.
How would you assess the position of women under the ruling APC in the state?
Absolutely poor because, women’s votes were used to gain access into power by the APC but, at the end of the day, they became the first category of victims targeted to politically victimize in the state. During campaign days, Governor Yari promised to empower women across the state as soon as he was elected. He promised that the sum of 30,000 naira would be given to each woman after every six months in order to ensure that they were empowered. After nearly the end of his first year in office without giving a penny to any woman, he smashed down the amount to 25,000 naira. Unfortunately, up till now, women across the state could not see anything from the state government, but Governor Yari is still fooling them by making another promise to give 5,000 to each woman despite that only some days remain for his deceptive APC to vacate the Government House for PDP by God’s grace. So, the act of rating women as ignorance as played by the APC government has clearly shown how deceptive the party has been, and time for women in Zamfara State to retaliate is fast approaching.