By Suzan Edeh
Baheejah Mahmood, a former Director General in the Bauchi State Orphans and Vulnerable Children Home is one of the aspirants seeking to contest the Bauchi State governorship election.
Hajiya Mahmood, who is aspiring on the platform of the Green Party of Nigeria, GPN, in this interview in Bauchi gives her perspective on the issues involved in the contest and why she is braving the odds against the female gender in the state.
What motivated you to join this race?
Well, I don’t think the majority of voters are fully satisfied with the performance of all elected representatives, especially those at the helm of affairs. If you look at the situation critically since 1999, only men have been governors, presidents.
To some extent, those leaders may have done their best and we have seen their scorecards; but still there is a lot to do. We now want the best hands that can address these challenges, to touch the lives of the majority of voters by improving their living standards through addressing many of the problems. I am coming out because of good hope and determination and the desire of many women groups to rescue our society. They know who I am and my commitment.
They asked me to contest, and after wide consultations with both men and women, youths and leaders across the state, I came out with a good vision and clear mission to rescue my state from these problems, since I will come with genuine projects that will definitely touch the lives of everyone in the state by addressing societal problems that hinder our socio-economic development and growth.
I need the prayers of everyone in the State; I need the support of all to succeed and to be able to govern the state with the fear of God and be just to the people. If I become governor, the common man will never complain of such problems again, because I will solve it for them.
If you become the Governor, do you have any project in mind with which you intend to do to rescue the state?
Since the beginning of politics, did you ever hear of a woman governor in Bauchi State? No matter how hardworking a governor can be, there are areas where a woman can make a difference because there are types of works that only a woman can do. To me, as everyone knows me, I specialize in the area of building human lives, rehabilitating human life, improving the living standard of a human being or whatever you call it. I will do my best to succeed because I know so many ways that I will improve the living standards of people.
My programmes will improve the living standard of all – youths, women, adults and old; because, when you look at it, what all the governors who governed the state did was to concentrate mostly on beautifying the state, as their projects. Ours will be a dual approach: To build the society and at the same time build the state.
We will also look at the way to create ways of getting wealth for the people, and we will boost the economics of the state to reduce hardship experienced by the people today.
Do you have any advice to the youths?
Youths are the leaders of tomorrow; they are the foundation and pillars of any country. I want them to focus on their education, both western and Islamic education. Some politicians use youths through lawful and unlawful ways and dump them; the way they dump them, that’s what led them to so many activities that are not good. They should stand their ground and resist any attempt to use them not on the right way and dump them. We want them to obtain their voters’ card to enable them to elect leaders of their choice.