Rukaya Ibrahim, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was a former governorship aspirant in the 2019 governorship election in Kogi state.
In this interview with a select members of the media, the Kogi born politician and business woman, among other issues, emphasized the need for the ruling APC to appreciate the role of women in the party’s growth as the move to amend its constitution ahead of the 2023 polls. The AUTHORITY was represented
As a former governorship aspirant in Kogi State, how would you look at governance in the state?.
Well, l think the governor is trying his best. I am sure a lot of people in the state would agree with me that the governor has tried his best. I might not be able to be specific but l know he has tried in his own ways. But we still need roads, good hospitals and so many other things to be done in Kogi State and that was why l came out to put my own idea in governance of the state.
At the federal level governed by APC, there has been this lingering insecurity challenges, what will you say about this?.
l know the President has tried and he is still trying but Nigerians should know that we are all human and no one person can fix a challenge. We can do the ones we can do and leave the rest for God.
If you will agree with me, now is not like what we had in the past; it is not like what we had during President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime. At least we can go round; we are not scared of going to Banex Plaza for example because of insecurity. Unlike in the past, insecurity now is very far. The President is trying his best and don’t forget he is old.
Your party, APC, is likely to go for National Convention where new NWC members would be elected. How much of women would you want to be elected as members?.
If possible half of the men, which is 50 per cent of the Working Committee members. Women are trying and they need encouragement as they would help to build and stabilize the party and the nation.
But some persons are of the opinion that the party needs people with strong mind and character to run the party, do you see women with this attributes?.
When you say they need somebody who is strong, you need to break it down. Strong heart in what aspect?
You know in everything, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. So, as you have strong men, you have strong women too. You will get them in every sex. So, you will look at them. You don’t just pick anybody. If Nigerians stop selecting people that they want, l think things will go well. They should stop selecting. This person, oh l am recommending this person for you, then you just pick that person. What do you expect, nothing will go right. You have to examining somebody properly before you pick or elect him. You don’t just pick anybody. If you just pick anybody or your family members and you use them in government, nothing will go well. So, it will be good for us to be careful and look at those we are electing or picking for political offices..
Some women have come to the APC constitution review committee to make some demands but some persons believe that in politics you go for contest and not making demand of position because of your sex or something else. What would be you take on this?.
In Nigeria l don’t think men believe that we\omen can do anything. They don’t really believe that we can do it but we are saying we can do it and l believe that time will come when the men will give us what belongs to us.
For the 2019 governorship election in Kogi State, you ran a robust campaign. What do you think made you not to pick the ticket.
Well, l heard they said l did not sign the last page of my nomination forms, which l did. So, l wouldn’t know where that came from. They also said l didn’t have voter’s card, which l have and lastly they said l don’t look Nigerian, but they sold the nomination form to me. It was not giving to me freely, l paid for it with my hard earned money. I am a business woman, not a government worker. I gathered the money, around 11.5 million naira. Nobody gave 1 naira to assist and they disqualified me. Well, it is one of those things. In life, it is either you win or you lose but that would not make you to go back, you must continue. I am not weak, l look at the people in front of me and l try to copy. President Buhari tried many times, he didn’t stop as he continued until he won. So, l will not stop l would do same.
I will continue trying but it should be free and fair because whatever you do in this world, we will all die one day and we will account for our deeds when we meet our God. They should watch out. If you do good, it would come to you, if you do bad it will come to you. Like the saying goes, what goes around comes around.
Your state governor, Yahaya Bello, is been rumoured to be interested to run for the presidential ticket of APC in 2023, would you support him, from what you know of him politically.
Why not, l will support him. And like l told you, there is nothing wrong in trying. He is going to try, he is not the only one running. A lot of people will run and you know the seat of the President, to me it’s not a do-or-die thing. If you are going to rule, no matter what time it will come to pass. No matter how late, no matter how they stopped you. If God says you are going to rule, you are going to rule that is what l believe.
What would be your next political ambition since you said President Muhammadu Buhari tried many times before he won?
Well, l am not coming back to look for governor, l am coming back for something big and l am asking God to do it for me. If l win so be it, if l don’t win, l will leave it for God. However l will disclose my interest later.