Binta Bello: Golden jubilee for the golden heart

Birthday is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. And if there’s any birthday worth celebrating, it’s that of the woman of the golden heart, Hon. Fatima Binta Bello, the Jakadiyar Kaltungo. She is one woman, who wears a lot of hats – a successful and life impacting politician, business icon cum philanthropist par excellence.
In each trait of life, different people attain different levels either by the dint of their hard work, resilience, and determination, or by the offered bed of roses around them. 

By falling aptly within the former class of people, the former member of the House of Representatives (Kaltungo/Shongom, Gombe state), Honourable Binta Bello, rose from being a classroom teacher, deputy chairman of Shongom local government to Gombe state executive member and a member of the National Assembly for two consecutive terms of eight years.

Today, Binta Bello has enviably written her name with a golden pen in the annals of Gombe history and positioned herself firmly within the matrix of Nigeria’s political firmament. Hon. Binta is indisputably a model of a gifted woman who struggled to navigate through multifarious political turbulence to ascend lofty heights towering above her contemporaries.
From teaching, which many believe its reward will be reaped only in Heave, Hon. Binta, who has a notion that her people need purposeful leadership to get out of the woods, ventured into the murky waters of politics during the era of Governor Muhammad Danjuma Goje, the Sarkin Yakin Gombe, who appointed her as deputy chairman for Shongom local government and later commissioner for women affairs as a result of her extraordinary and sterling performance – she has many awards of excellence and recognition in her name by various governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Based on the sage that one good turn deserves another coupled with her unbeatable feats in the Gombe state executive council which did not only awe-struck her boss, then governor but now Senator Goje, but also endeared her more to the people she was representing as they were evidently enthralled by her leadership acumen, Binta Bello was called upon to contest for the Kaltungo/Shongom federal constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2011 general election. Tested and trusted, she won the party’s ticket and subsequently won the election by a landslide.

For the people of Kaltungo/Shongom, it was the first time they had it so good, so working and so impactful. Thus, without any hesitation, they beckoned on Hon. Binta Bello to re-contest to enable them reap more of the dividends of democracy which they have started enjoying for the first time ever.
In 2015 when the Muhammadu Buhari’s tsunami swept virtually all PDP seats in the Northeast, with the green light from the landlords and as foreseen by many, Binta Bello withstood the hurricane and won for the second time. She was the only PDP member of the 7th assembly to get re-elected to the green chamber in the 8th assembly in the whole of the Northeast zone, comprising Gombe, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and Bauchi states. That earned her the position of deputy minority whip of the House of Representatives in the 8th assembly. 
In spite of the glaring paucity of funds and bureaucratic bottlenecks, Binta Bello was able to influence and execute life impacting projects within her constituency in areas of education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, human capital development, among others. Signature projects like Filiya cottage hospital, Tula snake bite hospital situated at Wange, donation of ambulances to Kaltungo and Shongom general hospitals, donation of hospital beds to Kaltungo hospital and newly built mortuary, are undeniable impacts of her representation.
As an educationist who knows the importance of having a knowledge-driven society, Binta Bello built blocks of classrooms in over 20 selected primary schools within her constituency, 300 capacity JAMB centre and gave financial support to numerous students. Also, she supplied various units of transformers, boreholes, donated cars, motorcycles, and sewing machines as human capital intervention to her constituents.
Sadly, at the time her people demanded for bigger representation by calling upon her to contest the Gombe South senatorial seat which she subsequently accepted and won at the primary election of her party, PDP, by defeating a serving senator and deputy governor, some gangs of adversaries cut short her journey through the deployment of all sorts of manipulations and treachery. She lost as they wished while her people have been deprived from enjoying quality representation.
Given the zeal is in her heart, even in her political sabbatical, Binta Bello is doing what even those occupying elective positions aren’t doing. After the successful commissioning of 160 ton per day capacity FBB rice mill in Kano, she also established the Fatima Binta Bello Foundation where she awarded N10.8 million scholarship to 540 indigent students.
Not done, she recently commissioned over 200 capacity Computer Based Training Centre for writing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for prospective students from all the four local government areas of Gombe South – Balanga, Billiri, Kaltungo and Shongom. 

Though, the landlords have now realised and accepted the fact that they’ve been bamboozled by selfish politicians who don’t have anything to offer to the people of Gombe South but hatred as the only stock in trade, the trending proclamations are prayers for 2023 to come for them to return the only woman (Binta Bello) who is doing what men have failed to do. Hon. Fatima Binta Bello (FBB), you’ve got what it takes to be successful that’s why you are soaring higher as you are equally growing in age. This golden jubilee, make yourself a promise that you’ll continue to make your people happy and put to shame your adversaries.
Happy 50th Birthday Jakadiyar, Waziriyar Tula, Wakiliyar Waja and Tauraruwar Tangale
Ibrahim writes from Gombe, Gombe state

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