This Woman might become Nigeria’s 1st Female Deputy Speaker!

Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim

Right from
her entry into parliamentary democracy at the beginning of the 6th
national assembly in 2007, Honorable
Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim
made a solemn covenant with her conscience and
the people of her Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa
federal constituency to be an outstanding legislator in her parliamentary

 And today, as she returns for
a third term after being endorsed by her people and her party APC and with an advanced
knowledge in parliamentary democracy, it is obvious that her experience is
needed at a higher level of political leadership.

Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim is seen as the face of CHANGE which
is the domineering policy of the incoming government of APC. With every
political alignments and re-alignment taking place before the inauguration of
the 8th assembly in June, Khadija
Bukar Abba Ibrahim
from the North East is mostly favored on many fronts to
become Nigeria’s first female deputy speaker 
of the lower house. Apart from making history with such a sublime
decision at the lower chamber of the bicameral assembly, the opportunity of
having a woman as a deputy speaker of the lower house in its’ first outing as a
ruling party is seen by gender enthusiasts as one of the biggest achievement of
the APC government in her determination to fulfill a gender balance.
Basking in
the euphoria of a credible assurance of “New Deal” for women and youths by General Muhammad Buhari, a group of
concerned gender enthusiasts is presently looking at the credibility,
experience and parliamentary maturity of Khadija
Bukar Abba Ibrahim
as one politician who is well prepared ahead of time
with her three term experience in the lower house.
General Buhari who is seen as a honest democrat who
honors his words with action made a promise during his campaign to give women a
befitting affirmative slot in his government. His promise and that of his party
APC is viewed with fervor. In his words, General
who has suddenly brought lots of fair play and fair sense into the
democratic space within a short time said “We
shall commit ourselves to merit based
affirmative actions
to level the playing field for women and provide them
with opportunities to be part of decision making and governance at all levels”.

 Why Khadija  Bukar Abba Ibrahim  might become the APC choice.
In 2007, the
PDP government gave Nigeria her first female speaker, a hair dresser from Ikire town in Oshun state in the person of Honorable
Patricia Olubunmi Etteh
. Today, many PDP enthusiasts viewed that singular
gender achievement as a noble cause but the nobility suffered merit as the
circumstances that led to Etteh’s
removal from office after 7 months still hunts the outgoing PDP till date. Today,
the incoming APC government through General
Muhammadu Buhari
is changing the game by going for merit first before
Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim comes on
board with a luggage full of merits. She joined the 6th national
assembly on the 29th of May, 2007 after her public service
experience as the Honorable Commissioner for Transport and Energy in Yobe state
between 2004 and 2007. During her first tenure as a lawmaker, she held several
leadership positions that came with lot of tasks. She was Deputy Chairman of
both the House Committee on Rural Development and House Committee on
Communication. She also served as member in the Power, Water Resources,
Interior, Women Affairs, Appropriation, Electoral matters, Banking and
Currency, Petroleum upstream, Police Affairs, Sports and Constitution Review
In 2007 she
was returned to the lower chambers of NASS by her people and her responsibility
in the parliament doubled; she was appointed Chairman, Privatization and
Commercialization Committee. She also sat on the board of committees on Culture
and Tourism, Environment, Industries, Interior, Millennium Development Goals,
Niger-Delta Development Commission and youth and Social Development.  
legislative interest cuts across humanitarian projects like development of
health sector, development of the education sector with regards to the female
child education, women empowerment and maternal protection.
Born on
January 6th, 1967, Honorable Khadija
Bukar Abba Ibrahim
has a BSc in
Business Studies and Sociology from the University
of Surrey,
United Kingdom
(1989). Before then, she bagged a National Diploma in Sociology from Padworth College, Reading, UK (1986).
She got her O ‘level certificate from Headington
Oxford, UK in 1985.
Apart from
being a lawmaker and public servant, Khadija
Bukar Abba Ibrahim
was a Resident Commissioner for NICON Insurance, Yobe
state between 2006 and 2007
Today, Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim has won several awards for her
meritorious acts in politics. She won Thisday (Newspaper) woman of distinction
awards 2012. Early that year, she equally won Transparency and Accountability
Innitiative Award” as “Most Outstanding Female Lawmaker” in Nigeria. In 2008,
she was honored with the SATBILA Award by NEPU-PRP committee. She won the
Northern Nigeria Women Merit Awards in 2007 and Rotary Club International gave
her a “Distinguish Leadership Award” in 2006.
A Lawmaker away, a Good Samaritan @
Apart from
her legislative stake in Abuja, Khadija
Bukar Abba Ibrahim
has been much at home in the war against the destrucion
of her people by the deadly Boko Haram
sect. Two of the 4 LGAs under her constituency were overran and taken over by
the Boko Haram terrorists and this
has equally earned her an advocacy role against the deadly terrorist group. She
dedicated her efforts at lobbying government at both state and national level
to liberate her people which is coming with measurable results. Khadija  Bukar Abba Ibrahim is also engrossed with the
advocacy and support for internally displaced people, which includes her
donation of money and relief materials to the camps of the IDPs. She has also
given some of the IDP children scholarship. She also mobilized NGOs and
International donors for support especially in the area of clinical psychology
and counselling for the displaced people to help them recover from the post
event trauma.
Factors that will work for her
Toady in the
lower chamber of the National Assembly, Honorable
Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim
is the most highly ranked female member of the
house that has never decamped or cross carpet into any other party than APC.
She is equally the only female member that is on her 3rd term
mission in the National Assembly on the platform of APC.
With the
promise of giving affirmative act based on merit, the APC will be making good
her dream as a party by giving just one of the top elective political offices
in Nigeria to a woman. (i.e. President, Vice President, Senate President,
Speaker, Deputy Senate President, and Deputy Speaker)
With the
failure of the outgoing PDP to get merit on her card when appointing Etteh in 2007 and with the poor outing
of Mulikat Akande as House majority
leader in the 7th house, the APC will need to make a great impression
by merging merit with sentiment for a maximum expression on gender balance. With
an incoming presidency where the office of the first lady will be much more
silent, the least position that can give the incoming ruling party a niche to her
pedigree is that of Deputy Speaker.
For the
prominent role Nigerian women played in working for the actualization of the
CHANGE mantra, the position of a deputy speaker will go a long way to console and
consolidate the gains of gender leadership in Nigeria.
The position
of deputy speaker which Honorable
Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim
is eminently qualified for is not seen as a
political slot per se but a gender slot that will confirm APC as a gender sensitive
The analyst speak…
In his
submission, Professor JAF Adegbulu a
public affairs analyst and gender enthusiast gave his opinion about Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba’s dream “The beauty of this whole argument is
the fact that the APC as a party is not in short supply of eminently qualified
women who can fly the flag of the party in any capacity in government. It can
be argued that this advocacy (Gender equation) is more germane in the
legislative house where there has been a paucity of women principal officers’
vis-à-vis their male counterparts since the beginning of this democracy in 1999.
If there is any arm of government where the principle of Affirmative Action
should be strictly adhered to, it should be at the national assembly where our
laws are made”
Professor Adegbulu took deep look into factors that
will work for Honorable Khadija Bukar’s
Abba Ibrahim’s candidacy as Deputy
Speaker of the 8th house “Looking at the geo-political configuration
based on current power equation, it appears that the South West may be favored
to produce the speaker of the House of Representatives. If this calculation is
correct, it is only logical that an experienced woman, versed in legislative processes
and procedures, be chosen from the North East as Deputy Speaker”
Adegbulu gave his reason for choosing North
East above any other  geo-political zone
in Nigeria “The North East zone is considered the most cheated in the power
equation of National Assembly since 1999, as no woman from the zone has been
privileged to serve as principal officer of the legislative body”
Adegbulu deepened his points “Besides, the
North East is considered the third most populous in Nigeria after North West
and South West; having the highest minority tribes who are often the victims of
marginalization in the country’s power sharing arrangement. Moreover, in the
just concluded presidential and national assembly elections, the North East
produced the second highest number of Federal Lawmakers for the party (APC)”
Professor Adegbulu quickly acknowledged the fact that
his advocacy for gender equation in the Nigerian parliament is not an act of image
laundering but a honest consideration for a fine pedigree of hard work and a
record of excellence in a woman who will be bringing to the legislative
business a whole gamut of experience spanning three years in the legislative
enterprise. He added “Besides, it is anchored on APC’s policy of a “merit based
Affirmative Action” aimed at providing a level playing field for women and
provide them opportunities to be part of 
decision making and governance at all level”.
“Based on
the outlined facts, the choice of Honorable
Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim
from the zone as Deputy Speaker in the 8th
National Assembly will be a logical step to the much vaunted policy of APC on
women participation in political leadership”
“It will be
seen as putting a round peg in a round hole”. Adegbulu concluded.


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