APC govt has involved more women in governance




Kaduna state-born Rabi Adamu Musa-Manchi is a lawyer and House of Assembly aspirant in the forthcoming general elections.
She is the founder of Taurus Kids Ville, an amusement park in Kafanchan, the first of its kind in southern Kaduna.
In this chat with ENE OSANG, she speaks on her aspiration, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration’s empowerment of women including the need for more inclusiveness in governance.
You are running for seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, did your background influence you to join politics? Well, I am a Barrister by profession and hails from Jema’a LGA of Kaduna state.
I am from a minority tribe, Fanstwam, and the last daughter of my late mother’s eight children.
I grew up in a polygamous home and my parents were civil servants.
My father recently joined politics, as an elder states man.
My dad was a seasoned administrator and my mom a theatre nurse.
They all rose to the peak of their careers before they retired.
I was particularly very close to my mother, until her demise in 2016.
I have a degree in Civil Law from the University of Jos and attended the Kano Campus of the Nigerian Law School thereafter.
I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012.
I also have a certificate in social Entrepreneurship from the famous University of Connecticut, USA, among other certifications.
Growing up was fun, being the last daughter among many siblings.
My siblings and I are very close, we are like a fraternity.
We have a doctor, a pharmacist, a sociologist, an engineer, a linguist and an economist.
Our parents did a great job, I must confess, it was not very easy for them but they gave us their very best and we were all determined to be successful.
I grew up in a middle class family, I had everything I wanted as a child and I honestly didn’t have any reason to fail my parents.
My siblings nicknamed me “rabsense” because they keep saying I’m very sharp and articulate and my parents call me an independent woman, cause I always like to make decisions.
Growing up was fun I was a delegate at the United Nations Annual Youth Assembly, January 2013, at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
My first Job was with the Riders for Health, UK, I served as a monitoring and evaluation assistant.
I was a coordinator of Africa Youth Platform for Development in Plateau State.
I have attended several seminars and capacity building workshops both locally and internationally.
I also founded the Taurus Kids Ville, an amusement park , which is the first of its kind in southern Kaduna, located in Kafanchan.
I am married to Mr Manchi, who is an immigration officer and our marriage is blessed with a daughter.
My husband and I are from the same constituency, but we are from different wards, and I am contesting elections from my ward.
I am contesting for Jema’a Constituency seat, because charity, they say, begins at home.
My husband supports me 100 per cent in my political career.
We try as much as possible to keep our family life private.
What inspired me to go into politics? I must confess that I am appalled by the level of poverty among the people in the society, especially my constituency.
Poverty and illiteracy is very rampant, coupled with the ravaging impact of violence.
Any society that does not tackle poverty is a society sitting on a time bomb.
Improvement of people’s living conditions through enabling appropriate laws shall form the fulcrum of my campaign.

How would you describe politics in Nigeria, especially as it affects women? The Nigerian political terrain is very rough, especially for young female aspirants.
There are a lot of challenges. You have to be very brave and you must always stand your grounds in other to succeed.
Make sure you do not compromise. You just have to be strong to be able to move forward.

How would you assess Buhari’s administration as it concerns security and hunger in the land? This administration is doing its best but selfish people are not seeing it. There are a lot of on-going projects in all parts of the country.
Yes, people are hungry, that is because, the government is trying to shape things and put them in order for future generations.
One will not expect it to be a smooth ride but I can assure you that we will get there soon and people will see light at the end of the tunnel.

Under what platform are you running and what are your chances? One thing we should all know as humans is that power comes from God.
Yes, I have done my consultations and I am still making all the necessary effort I can, in order to win the hearts of the people.
I am confident that we will see light at the end of the tunnel. My campaign team are working 24/7, to make sure that everything is on ground. I have held several consultations with all the wards and my campaign team is not leaving anything to chances.
I have my supporters and they are desirous of change. They believe in me and have vowed to support me to the end.
They need a new vision and orientation to represent them at the Assembly. As a lawyer and expert on advocacy, I believe that my candidacy is capable of igniting the flame needed to take my people to the next level. My campaign is anchored on a new start and new vision for my people.
Unfortunately, most Nigerians at the grassroots are not well informed on the role of lawmakers.
As a member of a legislative tier of government, I shall be committed to making new laws towards improving quality of life for my people.
This can be achieved through constant interaction with my constituents and sponsoring bills to meet their expectations.
As a member of the assembly, I shall dwell on issues that empower youths and bring development to the grassroots.

What are the major challenges women face in politics and what winning strategy do recommend? Women have encountered a number of problems while venturing into politics.
This is as a result of large scale marginalisation both in voting and in appointment to political offices.
Political violence and the social stigma that politics is a dirty game is a further stumbling block for women to become actively involved in the politics of this country.
These are the major causes for the low representation of women in Nigeria’s political terrain.
More often than not, men constitute a larger percentage of the party membership and this tends to affect women when it comes to selecting or electing candidates to be the party flag bearers at various polls.
Since men are usually in the majority in th The APC government as compared to the previous government, in my opinion, has included and encouraged quite a number of women in government.
For instance, in Kaduna state which happens to be my state, the governor has about five female commissioners and quite a number of female special assistants.
Talking about inclusiveness, I agree that women are not properly represented in this country, in my opinion.
Yes, the present government as compared to the previous ones, have at least involved quite a number of women in government but what we are saying is that, it is not enough. All we are asking for is at least 35 per cent out of a 100 per cent. Women need to be in decision making positions, it is important.
In other countries of the world, women are given the opportunity to even be President and we have to emulate them How would you assess Buhari’s administration as it concerns security and hunger in the land? This administration is doing its best but selfish people are not seeing it.
There are a lot of on-going projects in all parts of the country. Yes, people are hungry, that is because, the government is trying to shape things and put them in order for future generations.
One will not expect it to be a smooth ride but I can assure you that we will get there soon and people will see light at the end of the tunnel.
Under what platform are you running and what are your chances? One thing we should all know as humans is that power comes from God.
Yes, I have done my consultations and I am still making all the necessary effort I can, in order to win the hearts of the people.
I am confident that we will see light at the end of the tunnel.
My campaign team are working 24/7, to make sure that everything is on ground. I have held several consultations with all the wards and my campaign team is not leaving anything to chances.
I have my supporters and they are desirous of change. They believe in me and have vowed to support me to the end.
They need a new vision and orientation to represent them at the Assembly.
As a lawyer and expert on advocacy, I believe that my candidacy is capable of igniting the flame needed to take my people to the next level.
My campaign is anchored on a new start and new vision for my people.
Unfortunately, most Nigerians at the grassroots are not well informed on the role of lawmakers. As a member of a legislative tier of government, I shall be committed to making new laws towards improving quality of life for my people.
This can be achieved through constant interaction with my constituents and sponsoring bills to meet their expectations.
As a member of the assembly, I shall dwell on issues that empower youths and bring development to the grassroots.
What are the major challenges women face in politics and what winning strategy do recommend? Women have encountered a number of problems while venturing into politics.
This is as a result of large scale marginalisation both in voting and in appointment to political offices.
Political violence and the social stigma that politics is a dirty game is a further stumbling block for women to become actively involved in the politics of this country.
These are the major causes for the low representation of women in Nigeria’s political terrain.
More often than not, men constitute a larger percentage of the party membership and this tends to affect women when it comes to selecting or electing candidates to be the party flag bearers at various polls.
Since men are usually in the majority in the political party setup, they tend to dominate the party hierarchy and are therefore, at advantage in influencing the party’s internal politics. Women usually constitute a smaller percentage of political party membership because of the social, cultural and religious demand of different Nigerian societies that most often tend to relegate women to the background.
As a result, only very few men, even among the educated, allow their wives to come out and participate in politics.
Another problem facing women is lack of adequate education.
Women constitute a larger percentage of the illiterate group in Nigeria.
This could be attributed to the fact that in most families, parents prefer to send their sons to school, instead of their daughters whom they feel will eventually get married and get incorporated into another family.
Lack of adequate finance is a hindrance to effective female participation in politics in Nigeria.
One of the things I will advocate for is girl child education.
I will also encourage more women to join political parties and participate actively during congresses.
By participation, I mean I will encourage them to contest for the various positions at the party level.
How do you manage politics and the home front? It is quite challenging, especially as a young woman.
I have a young daughter and most times I am away, attending meetings or conferences, I thank God because my husband supports me 100 per cent and even when I feel like giving up sometimes, he encourages me to be strong.
He believes in my dreams and we have agreed to stick together no matter what.
My philosophy is that, when ever you make your decisions, do not look at the faces of family and friends, be brave, be persistent and always stand your grounds.
Have a good relationship with God and always pray.
Always believe and have faith.

Have you faced opposition because you are a female politician? As a young vibrant female politician, I get that a lot and I am used to it.
I am a strong woman.
In my case, people in my constituency see me as a very young person, compared to the older people I am contesting against, so, I get a lot of questions like, “can you do it” and my answer is always, yes I can.

Have you contested for election before and were you successful? Yes, I have but I failed.
I remember contesting elections at the university of Jos and loosing to my school mate.
I conceded defeat and congratulated her because for me, power comes from God.
He gives power to who he deems fit.
As a politician, I think, one thing I have in me is the spirit of sportsmanship.
I believe that in every contest, there must be winners and losers.
Of course, I will always give it my best shot.
Who are your role models? My role models are my late mom and two sisters.
I have always looked up to them, because they are worthy of emulation.
They have taught me to be patient and to always persevere, no matter what.
How do you spend your leisure time? I love reading and I enjoy swimming and traveling too.
I also have always had a passion for children and I love playing with kids during my leisure.
This is why I always like to spend quality time with my daughter and of course that’s why I have a playground.

What is your advise to women, particularly as the elections draw closer? My advise to women is to unite, irrespective of political party and religion.
We are a force to be reckoned with but unless we work together, we cannot get positive results.
As for the political drama in Nigeria, we are used to it.
It is that time in the political season when several politicians are defecting to different parties for selfish reasons.
My advise to Nigerians is this to beware of politicians that jump from one party to the other, they do not have anything good to offer.
The 2019 general elections will not be business as usual for selfish politicians.

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