A NEW DAWN AT THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS.
Appointing Haj Zainab M Musawa to lead the Ministry of Women Affairs was akin to putting a round peg in a round hole.
In his campaign days, Governor Dikko Umar Radda made an unwavering pledge to integrate as many women as possible into his government aligning with the 35% Gender Affirmative Action mandated by the National Gender Policy in Nigeria (NGP).
With three accomplished female Commissioners at the helm of affairs of key ministries, accompanied by a constellation of Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, Senior Special Assistants, and heads of various Departments, Agencies, and Parastatals, too numerous to mention here, one can rightly say the Governor has walked his talk.
What adds value to this narrative is that these women are not just mere placeholders but, in the words of Governor Radda, 'Women with immense capacity.'
In a strategic move that seems almost preordained, While Zainab Musawa takes her role as commissioner, her sister Hannatu was sworn in as a Minister.
President Tinubu, renowned for his commitment to assembling the best brains into his cabinet, chose Hannatu Musawa to oversee the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy for Nigerians to tap into her vast knowledge and wealth of experience.
The same could be said of her sister. Glancing at the rich resume of Zainab, from day one, I knew Governor Radda wouldn't let go of this vibrant, articulate, and versatile lady. Armed with a B.S.C. in Accounting from the prestigious University of Abuja, a master's in International Affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigeria Defence Academy, as well as a master's in International Studies from the University of Liverpool,Musawa perfectly fits the qualities of people Governor Radda was looking for to populate his cabinet.
As she entered the ministry, the new Commissioner was met with a warm welcome from the dedicated staff of the Ministry led by the indefatigable Permanent Secretary.
That she found the Ministry in limbo was no exaggeration, and that she was starting from scratch was a stark reality she kept in mind. Without procrastination, she set the wheels in motion to turn the tides.
Her first project was carrying out some renovations to make the Ministry's working environment more conducive for work. Next, she embarked on a statewide familiarization tour of the various agencies under the Ministry's umbrella. The sights she encountered were heartbreaking where she found structures in deplorable condition due to years of neglect.
Presently, the Ministry is diligently collating data of all registered Women Affinity Groups (WAGs) and those who wish to register, with a view to having a robust and comprehensive database that will guide the Ministry in implementing its programs.
The pace at which the Honorable Commissioner is moving bespeaks her passion, zeal, and profound commitment to rewriting the narratives. If this lady with an uncommon passion for women's development channels the same fervor that characterized her tenure at the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), the women of Katsina State will have no reason to falter.
The Ministry of Women Affairs has been reinvigorated. What was once a forgotten institution is now a bustling hive of activity. The Ministry's dedicated staff now conduct their duties with enthusiasm aware that there is a new sherrif in town. The future of Katsina State women more than ever holds a promise.