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Behold, PDP’s founding mother

Posted by By Jacob Edi, Abuja on 2008/04/22 | Views: 591 |

Behold, PDP’s founding mother


The cliché “Founding Fathers” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came into prominence around 2001 when the marriage of convenience that bounded some “strange political bedfellows” together in the wake of the return to civil democracy, began to collapse.

The cliché “Founding Fathers” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came into prominence around 2001 when the marriage of convenience that bounded some “strange political bedfellows” together in the wake of the return to civil democracy, began to collapse.
Over the years, the term was commonly used to essentially represent some members of the party who were aggrieved with goings-on within the party.

Quite naturally, there cannot be fathers without mothers.
But little or nothing has been said about PDP’s founding mothers. Unknown to many, while PDP was being constructed in 1998 ahead of the 1999 elections, she was there. She attended all the night meetings and ensured that they had something to eat or drink.

Hajia Inna Ciroma, former Minister of Women Affairs and currently National Women Leader of the PDP disclosed to Sunday Sun, that while the men held meetings at night she was there to make the food that gave them strength to move on in 1998.
“I was always there, making tea for them in Kaduna. I kept late nights to wait upon them. I am a founding mother of the party,” She said in an interview.

Sojourn
But Inna, wife of Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, himself a founding father of the PDP, said her political journey did not begin with the Kaduna tea-making activities.
“I was a member of the students representative assembly in Bayero University before I came to ABU where I was fully involved in student union politics.”
From this point, according to her, she was politically conscious.

In came Ciroma
Interestingly by 1976 she was hooked to Ciroma and less than one year after wards they got married.
“I got married to him, in the formative years of the NPN when they were forming the then constituent assembly. It was then called national movement. But by the time they formed the PDP I was much older and used to being married to a busy politician.”
Of her meeting with Ciroma, she said: “It was by accident but he loved me immediately.”

Political Marriage
Mrs Ciroma, currently the only female member of PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC), refused to accept that her marriage to one of the surviving 2nd Republic Nigerian politicians was more of a political union but that she cannot deny the good will she enjoys as Mrs Ciroma.
“Am lucky to have married my husband. He has good will of Nigerians and if that is what is working in my favor, I thank God.”

But do you still have time to cook?
“Oh yes, I still cook his food especially at weekends. Cooking is one of my hobbies.” Unlike President Yar’Adua who is said to be in love with fruits, Ciroma, according to his wife, eats virtually any kind of food given to him. “He eats almost anything. He is adventurous when it comes to food. He appreciates food so much that you can hardly tell the one he likes most,” she said.

Future of women in Nigerian politics
“The future is bright. We have to be optimistic. Am glad that even our male counterparts, even in the north, want women to be beside them in leadership positions. Even in the north now, women are being encouraged by the men to come out and contest elections.”

Sharia, women and politics
“It is all about contributing intelligently. There are co-educational schools in the north. Even in government offices, there are women earning good salaries so they should be allowed to participate to actively in politics. We cannot pretend that men will go in there and protect our interest completely. There are issues that only a woman can understand.
“I like to stress that when we talk about gender equality, it is not for women to compete with the men but that they should understand that, as women we are different and that difference should be respected, that is all we ask,” she stated.

Etteh-gate and Grange-gate
Both women held public offices and left in controversial circumstances that bother on corruption, thereby fuelling chauvinistic sentiments that women may be worse than their male folk in corruption. But the PDP Women leader disagreed even though she admitted that the circumstances surrounding their exit was quite unfortunate.
“It is unfortunate that these things are happening when we are just beginning to get the women to support us. But when you compare the ratio of men who have been involved in corrupt practices in public office, you will see that it is negligible. This is not to say that am condoning it.
“All of us are ashamed and we are worried about it. And we should not be judged by this. We cannot say all men are corrupt because of the activities of some men. We will find a way of talking to ourselves about this development. I mean women in public positions.”

No reporting back to Ciroma
As wife of Adamu Cirma, Haji Inna dispelled speculation that she will report back to her husband on official party matters. “I will not report back to him. He didn’t sponsor me to be here. I will not discuss party matters with him. In fact he doesn’t make effort to find out.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.