The People Democratic Party (PDP) expected to rebound after an upcoming December 9 national elective convention
Staff Reporter, Texas International Guardian
As the National Caretaker Committee of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) readies for an elective December 9th convention, a projected image of an anticipated new look is beginning to emerge with more diverse organizational structure. This time around, the party is opening its doors to every demographic segment of the population – allowing women an unrestricted participation in building a solid front to retake the government. Among those in the projected line of duty is Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma, a veteran politician and former Minister of the of State for Women Affairs.
Hajiya Ciroma will be running for the first female Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party at the Convention. “Our focus right now is to bring the party in shape for National politics and this would require strong leaders with that competence,” She said in an interview November 14th in New York, during her recent visit to the United States.
Hajiya Ciroma’s political involvement has permeated PDP’s delegate community with positive outcomes. Last week, her candidacy was endorsed by PDP- USA with a proclamation signed by the Chairman, Dr. Harold Molokwu. According to Dr. Molokwu, “her candidature and imminent emergence as the First Female Deputy National Chairman (North) portrays a great step in the right direction by our Party leadership. Women are the very integral part of every society including political parties.” Dr. Molokwu said that generally, the involvement and integration of women into the affairs of the PDP in this era, is an essential ingredient desperately needed to propel the Party to victory come 2019 electioneering year and beyond.
PDP it may be recalled, has faced several leadership tests since the 2015 presidential election, when the Party lost its control of the Government. Amidst intense law court battle, the party struggled with both in-house governance and a blue print to move forward. However, it was gathered, the upcoming convention facilitated by the current leadership, a caretaker committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi would substantiate the Party’s readiness to proceed with it national agenda. “With a national convention devoid of any resentment, we are certain to provide not just vivacious opposition, but also confront the APC head-on in the years ahead,” Hajiya Ciroma said.
Currently trending is Hajiya Ciroma’s bid for Deputy Chairmanship. She is not new to politics and has always been instrumental to major national campaign policies in PDP. In 2003, she made a bid to become PDP’s candidate for the Borno South Senatorial District. Then in July 2005, she was appointed Minister of State for Women Affairs. In August 2005 she started a nationwide advocacy tour of the 36 states of the Nigerian on matters of child’s rights and discrimination against women.
Hajiya Ciroma’s advocacy for women participation in National politics has been consistent. For instance, before the 2007 elections, she called for a percentage of the electoral positions to be reserved for women, decrying the marginalization of women in Nigerian politics. In her tenure as the Minister of State for Women Affairs, the Federal Government approved the National Gender Policy to establish gender equality and children welfare in the country.
In January 2007, her ministry issued the “National Guidelines and Standards of Practice for Orphans and Vulnerable Children”. Speaking in May 2007 of the action plan spelled out in this report, Hajiya Ciroma predicted that without taking determined steps to address the specific needs of children, there would be no chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals at the time. Her push for this cause invigorated hundreds of non-governmental organizations to follow suit.
After leaving office, Hajiya Ciroma became the National Weman Leader of the PDP. She also served as Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, Lokoja, Kogi State Nigeria. She was accredited with turning around water transportation process in Nigeria; as well as origination of massive enlightenment programs about safety on Nigerian Waterways. In December 2014, she was recognized by the ECOWAS Students body, the West African Students Union Parliament-WASUP with the WASUP Kwame Nkrumah Honor. In her view of her service to the nation, the Nigerian Coordinator for WASUP, Comrade Daniel Emeka Nwachukwu described her as “A great woman, leader, and mentor; and an example of selfless service for both women and children rights with positive effects on the youths”
Hajiya Ciroma is from Biu Local Government Area of Borno State. She attended primary School in Biu, proceeded to Government Girls Secondary School Maiduguri, from 1968 to 1972. She did her Advance Level Certificate studies at the Bayero University Kano; earned Bachelors in Political Science at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; and accordingly, served at the national Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Her first employment was with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as a cadet Editor, in 1979. She however moved to Lagos when her husband, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma was appointed a Minister under Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s regime. Hajiya Ciroma worked at Federal Civil Service as Administrative Officer Grade1V, where she underwent a post Graduate diploma course in Public Administration.
She took a brief break from politics and proceeded to set up her Business ventures in Kaduna. She was elected as President of Nigerian Women in Business ( NANWIB) Kaduna Chapter, and served from in1987 to 1989. Hajiya Ciroma in her career in politics and business has attended many conferences both nationally and Internationally. She has equally received many awards, including Thisday Newspaper Awards, celebrating women of Distinction. In further recognition of her immense contribution to national development especially on Gender and Child issues, she was awarded with the prestigious honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger CON by the Nigerian Federal Government.
With a long string of achievements in government and political leadership, Hajiya Ciroma believes that her experience would play a role in regaining PDP’s favorability status. “We have to be accepted by the masses before we could present our leadership picks. We have to address their needs in our blueprint for building a great nation before the population could trust and accept us. We have been through this road before, so we could do it again. But doing it again require the necessary talent; the required strategies and tools to attain success,” Hajiya Ciroma said.
She continued, “With the current surge in the women population – I mean voters – how could we explain a lack of women representation in our party structure and political leadership? I would urge Nigerians to watch out for the PDP they have known and trusted; the PDP that threads on social, political, and economic possibilities as it positively impacts the population- irrespective of zonal origins. By next month, they will see PDP back as the leading Party of the People.”