Body & Soul

Hajia Inna Ciroma: Defeated but unbowed

Hajia Maryam Inna Ciroma, 67, can best be described as a woman of courage combined with brain. She knows what she wants, worths and how to go about it, regardless of what the general norms holds about her vision and dream. She is just a woman of strength and conviction.


At the just concluded PDP national convention in Abuja, where the party elected new set of members from various parts of the country into its National Working Committee (NWC), Ciroma, who is the widow of the late former Minister of Finance and PDP chieftain, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, stoutly refused to withdraw from the race for the Deputy National Chairman(North) in favour of her male counterpart, Umar llya Damagum, despite the pressure from state governors.


Already, Sunday Telegraph learnt that, previously, precisely at the party’s 2017 elective convention that brought up Uche Secondus and the other executives, party leaders had prevailed on her and other women, who were schemed out through the ‘unity list’ that was considered obnoxious.


But this time, prepared, she stoutly refused to bow down, pointing out that she had paid her dues in the party, where she was a minister and woman leader.


She lamented the non-inclusion of women in the PDP leadership, hence, her emergence as the national deputy chairman could assuage the women-folk. Upon her insistence, the National Convention Organising Committee (NCOC) promised a constitutional review that would ingrain affirmative action in the party.


She warned the party, “Ignore 35 per cent gender representation at your peril.” WHO IS HAJIA CIROMA She was appointed Nigerian minister of Women Affairs in July 2005 by President Olusegun Obasanjo.


In August 2005, she started a nationwide advocacy tour of the 36 states of the Federation on matters relating to child’s rights and discrimination against women.


Before the 2007 elections, she called for a percentage of electoral positions to be reserved for women, decrying the marginalisation of women in Nigerian politics. During her time in office, it was reported that the Federal Government approved the National Gender Policy in pursuance of gender equality and children welfare in the country.


After leaving office, Hajia Ciroma became National Woman Leader of the PDP. She also served as Managing Director: National Inland Waterways Authority, Lokoja, Kogi State Nigeria. She was said to turn around Water Transportation in Nigeria and embarked on massive enlightenment programs about safety on Nigerian Waterways.




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