In celebrating Nigeria’s Democracy, one name that comes to my mind is that of the former member representing Kaltungo/Shongom federal constituency of Gombe state, Hon. Fatima Binta Bello (Jakadiyar Kaltungo) who has exemplified and redefined the basis of selecting political office holders.
As we choose who to celebrate in Nigeria’s democracy day I choose to celebrate Hon. Binta Bello for her glaring effort in representing her people.
On 19th September 2019 i was in Transcorp Hilton to attend a Book (Through the Eye of the needle) launched in Honor of late. Hon. Justice Abdu-Kafarati Adamu (RIP) who was at that same day taking a bow out of service. I was in the first row of the seat sequence when Hon. Binta Bello accompanied by one septuagenarian appeared to sit beside me – Binta is a sophisticated and popular politician in Gombe state that each and every person interested in governance must be aware of her trajectories and gestures toward her people. She was member of the state executive council during Senator Danjuma Goje while as a Governor of the state and was once a Deputy Minority whip during the second time of her two term membership of the Nigeria’s house of representatives from 2011-2019
It was our first meeting but we had an interesting tit-a-tit on good governance and responsible democratic dispensation. I don’t know may be because of the socio-economic and moral ambiance of our environment at that time, she was very humble and open that we explore deeply in discussions about how she was not returned elected when she contested for senator representing Gombe South in 2019. How she was so faithful to accept the results of the elections when she has the entire requisite to contest it in the tribunal remain marvelous to many. In her words, she has accepted this destiny and she believes this is part of what she needs to learn in her political chronicles.
I don’t intend to highlight Binta’s achievements but to portray how while out of power she is redefining good governance, economic power and responsible democratic representation. In the last two years that she’s relieved of any formal responsibility from Gombe south senatorial district she appeared to be the most responsive, participatory and performing stakeholder even beyond those who were voted to represent the region in 2019. This has been affirmed by sincere people from her constituency.
While the dichotomy between people of diverse groups is relatively increasing in the state she is glorifying our conscience with an indubitable belief that in 2023, so long we want good governance we must set aside all differences and get ready for serious Business. she is reaffirming the fact that those Nations and states that failed are victims of their own fears, moral and political decadence. Inversely, those nations and people that triumphed today are celebrating the meaning of sincerity of purpose, honesty and unity irrespective of their diverse affiliations.
Binta is apparently proving that selection of political office holders shouldn’t be predicated on the basis of monolithic kind of arrangements where over-zealousness and iconoclastic views are held vehemently. But, selection must be on the basis of competence, sincerity of purpose and glaring political commitment.
Binta’s political participation indicates how such commitments will results in tangible gains for democracy, including greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines, and more sustainable peace.
All over she has proven that the meaningful participation of women in national, local and community leadership roles has become an important focus of global development policy.
It is now left to the people of Gombe South who enjoys the best of Binta Bello to sift through and weigh whether if selection of representatives will either be on the basis of competence or otherwise.
Abdullahi is a public affairs commentator, he writes from Abuja