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By NBF News

•Hajiya Ahmed

Hajia Lantana Ahmed, the Special Adviser to the executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma on Culture and Tourism has noted that what constitutes a set back to women in politics is that the support of their fellow women is a mere lip service.

Women, their own enemies in politics
Declaring this as the worst form of political enmity, she gave an example of the fate that befell Hon. Uche Ekwuinife, the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) governorship candidate in the Anambra. I was so sure that Hon. Uche Ekwunife had support of women during the campaign. You can see the number of women that came out and campaigned with her. I was so sure that she was going to win or she would come second. But she did not. If the support of some of the women was so strong there is no way she will not win. This shows that women are their own enemies in politics.

The fact is that most women pay lip service in terms of their support to the women that come out for political elections. With this she opined that what the women should to do in order to win in elections is to be organized. She noted that so long as women fail to be one entity politically, they cannot make any head way in politics. The funny part is that some of these women were given wrappers, salt, rice. That is when they sing song and dance, and pledge support. They are also given money, and at times, they fight over wrappers. Unfortunately, that is the end of politics for women.

On female president
If this enmity is not checked, it is only in the long run that a woman can emerge as Nigeria's President. It is the same reason that has denied me a female role model in politics. I admire any woman who is bold enough to come out and say 'Yes I want stand for a position. Such woman like Sarah Jubril who once came out and wanted to be president of Nigeria, I really admire her. I salute that Anambra woman too. These are the women I look up to and say we are really coming of age. I pray one day we have many women as governors and woman as our president. But this is on the long run.

This is because of the challenges of education and orientation of our local populace. Telling them that their votes means a lot, your votes means that you can vote in somebody who can now deliver what he or she has promised. If we can vote the person we think can deliver, then we have gone a long way. I can assure you a woman can be the person to vote. I urge women to be bold and try their best to achieve victory in politics. I had this winning mentality since I ventured into politics both as commissioner and Special Adviser.

My role as Adviser
My relationship with the Governor is based on an advisory level. Advising him is the easiest thing for me, because he understands where I am coming from and where I am heading to. We sit down as senior and junior and I will tell him what we wanted, can we look at this and that, he will say no, lets look at it this way. He talks to me as a theatre artist, not as governor. You should know that Adviser to the Governor can be a man or a woman as long as you are worth your onion.

There is nothing spectacular about it. Our governor is theatre artist. I am a theatre artist, and for whatever I am going to advice him, he has been my senior colleague and can tell me what is better for me to do. So advising him is a symbiotic relationship. He is the first cultural officer in the north. He was educated in University of Ibadan. While the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) is the first Professor of theatre arts in the north and first PhD holder in modern drama, His Excellency is first cultural officer. He was an artistic director during FESTAC'77. So we the younger ones look up to him as a role model. He has said it over and over again that if he comes back to this world again, he will still be a theatre artist. This is because when you are a theatre artist, there is nothing you cannot do. You can explore all possibilities in solving problems.

Challenges of my position
You know our societal challenges. People always look down on us, but most Nigerian women are talented. You cannot deny the fact that women are strong and focused creations created by God. We are capable of doing anything because we are multi talented and can handle many things at the same time. Of course what a man can do a woman can do better. We are better managers. These challenges notwithstanding, what I have done so far in politics was achieving a lot as a Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Abdullahi Adamu's time.

When the new Governor came even before he appointed the Commissioners he recognized my ability to take the cultural troupe to NAFEST 2007 and we came first. In 2008, we came first again. In 2009, we came first again. That means I must be doing something right. Well it is not only me, but it is collective efforts. We worked as a team. We are a family. We have come first in the past three years. What I do is that I prepare myself as an artiste when we are working. I show them that I can do it, though I am older and they are younger. For me it is a mark of good leadership.