In every setting in life, there exists a category of people who see nothing good in any positive efforts, made out of goodwill to improve the lives of the people. Handling this group of people is, without doubt, the most distressing and hectic aspect of government business, as they myopically tend to lead the good citizens astray and give them wrong impression.
There was public derision after an appointment letter confirming Balaraba Ibrahim as “Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Affairs (Unmarried)”, surfaced on social media platforms, owing to the appearance of the word “unmarried”.
The state government through the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, told the BBC that it was a typographical error and that she was, in fact, appointed as “Special Assistant on Women Affairs (Divorced)”.
The appointment which was copied from neighbouring Kano state has a similar role. In her new responsibility, Ms Balaraba Ibrahim, a divorcee herself, is obliged to be engaging women in a think thank of sister conversation garmane to their existence with a view to providing them with solace and solutions, and is expected to be organising state sponsored mass-weddings for divorced women and also supporting their business ideas. This is not a responsibility she is new to, Ms Ibrahim was head of the association of divorced women in Bauchi state where she has organised meetings and programmes for them. Following her selfless service to women, devotion to duty and sense of responsibility, the governor saw her fit to assist him fulfill his campaign promises among which is providing an avenue for women to feel and taste the divident of democracy, thereby improving their lives and giving them sense of belonging.
Reports indicate that the rate of divorce is high in Northern Nigeria, and it appears to be the most itchy part of women’s body. The saddest part of it is, despite their gigantic contribution in every democratic dispensation, women’s voices are muted, their dreams, yearnings and aspirations are not taken into cognisance; they are discriminated and dominated by men. In fact, sometimes, they tend to fall prey to dishonest people, mainly because they know full that the women have no channel through which their voices can be heard.
Governor Bala Mohammed out of his compassion for the plight of women, especially widows and divorcees who are mothers, sisters and daughters and who require special attention, has made a difference to have appointed their fellow woman whose pedigree is a golden one in championing the cause of women. This alone is a testament to the governor’s intention to carry everybody along without an iota of prejudice against gender. The appointment should, therefore, rather be a glad tidings than a subject of controversy.
And since the appointment is a copied one from Kano state, it would be recalled that within three years (2012-2015) in Kano, no fewer than 5,000 widows and divorcees had benefitted from the government- sponsored mass wedding programme introduced by former Gover Rabi’u Kwankwaso. From 2015 till date, the Kano state government has sustained the programme to have been organising programme as regards to the dittoed. This has been a blessing to the state, as owing to the policy, the rate of prostitution and other vices women, especially widows and divorcees, do indulge in out of depression, have drastically reduced.
The good citizens of Bauchi state, particularly women, should be hopeful and optimistic that the appointment will yield a juicy and fruitful outcome, and under the watch of conscientious Governor Bala Muhammed, their lofty dreams will always certainly be reality
Dear Governor Bala, listen not to and care not about destructive criticisms. Only take into consideration, constructive criticisms that are borne out of patriotism for progress, as they improve performance.
Sulaiman Maijama’a,Faculty of Communication,Bayero University, Kano[email protected]