- Category: Interview
- Published on Saturday, 05 February 2011 09:44
- Written by Leadership
- Hits: 2821
Mrs Sarah Jibril, four time presidential aspirant, has asked Nigerian women why she was left to vote for herself in the PDP primary. She spoke to Ruth Choji-Tafida.
You had only one vote during the PDP primarily elections, what could have led to that?
The climax of the whole thing was that I, Sarah Jibril, voted for myself to produce the only vote that I got. What I noticed was that the usual fanfare that surrounds primaries was not there! where you have the aspirant displaying their banners and mingling with the delegates, was not there. Knowing that, my banner that was well displayed, way away from any public distraction but was removed by the security agents was painful. My fliers were disallowed and I wondered why. There were only three of us contending, why was there so much discrimination? The thing was so strait jacketed, everybody was mute, but we had to wait through the tension. Thank God I had my vote, and that one vote is speaking to the conscience of a lot of people.
There have been calls for women to vote for women, so what went wrong in your case?
Apparently I think that it was out of ignorance. If they knew better they would have strategised better and done better. When the party seemed to be angry I said they did not do their home work well, I asked them what they told the women, when they call themselves the largest party in Africa, did they know the number of women in the party? Are they aware the image Nigeria has as a signatory to the convention, treaties, and protocols of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and at the African Union that has declared that this decade is the decade for African women? Nigeria is also the one of the sponsors of the ECOWAS protocol. How many millions of dollars has Nigeria spent by going to Mexico in 1975 with the largest contingent, to Prussia in 1985, to Beijing in 1985 and even to New York in 2005? Nigeria has spent money on Better Life, WOTCLEF, FEAP, MAMSER, Girl Child and created the ministry of women affairs, and allowing women to have positions. It is the PDP that has handled the ministry of women affairs. The
There were reports that governors forced their state delegates to vote for specific candidates. What is your take on that?
I wouldn’t know because I was minding my business, but what baffles me was that it was not all the states that were contesting elections, why were there thirty –seven boxes? Why would the governors more or less hold everybody by the neck? They didn’t put our pictures.
Is it true that you lost because you didn’t have money to spent around like the other candidates?
It wasn’t the money, I didn’t have money but some well wishers, including men and women, contributed money for me to buy my form, they contributed money for the campaign. All the people that worked with me were volunteers. Even the press made it to look like it was only president Goodluck Jonathan and Atiku Abubakar that were contesting. Alhaji Atiku, who left the party, bad mouthed the party and came back to contest the presidency, when even the constitution of the party says that if you leave the party and come back, you have to be under probation for eighteen months.
What is your relationship with the president now and has he tried in any way to integrate you into their campaign?
Of course it is cordial. During the campaign I sent a message to him, that it is not a personal thing, but let him understand that I am not against him, In the spirit of sportsmanship, I congratulated him at the Eagle Square. After that he gave me an appointment. I went to the house but we couldn’t talk because there were many people there. If PDP were to apply wisdom then they would find a way of bringing us together. They will need my face on the campaign ground so that our critics will know that if Sarah Jibril, after all she has been through, can still believe and stay with the party, then something good is happening there.
Do you think Nigeria is ready for a female president?
Nigeria has been ready since 1993. If not why did the men vote for me? And if it was not for the manipulation I was supposed to be the vice president of Chief Moshood Abiola. So Nigeria has been long ripe for a female president who believes Nigeria is teachable, transformable and adaptable. If we must nurture Nigeria back to sanity, then Nigerian women must arise. When I was in PAC, the PDP gave me an award for indomitable character and now that I am in the party, nobody voted for me. I don’t know why I am being mocked, have I been a source of embarrassment to the PDP? Why are they treating me this way? Ask them and also ask the women what I have done to them, have I brought shame to womanhood in Nigeria? Everywhere I go, I try to work with integrity, so why am I being mocked? If there is something I have done that I am not aware of I think they should tell me so that it can be corrected, Nigerian women should stop encouraging the political class to criminalise Nigeria.