Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Hear what wife of ‘Porn’ caught Senator Abba Buka Ibrahim said about him


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Hajiya Khadija Abba Buka, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs)

NB: This Interview was granted to Asabeafrika couple of years back when Mrs. Khadijat Buka Abba Ibrahim was struggling to become Nigeria’s First Female Deputy Speaker.

Today, Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim is the Minister of State, External Affairs. Born into a family where politics and social service is a second nature, this beautiful lady is a rare luck among her peers. Her father, the late Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, a former Presidential aspirant in the second republic and founder of the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP) was an icon of political emancipation in Northern Nigeria of his era. Khadija, as if born with an apron of politics strewn around her personality later got married to a political icon in North Eastern part of Nigeria in the person of the first civilian governor of Yobe state, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Who is presently enmeshed in a sex scandal with prostitutes inside a dingy hotel)  and whose political acumen earned Khadija a platform to promote earn her present status.
Hajiya Khadija has earned it all, from a former Commissioner for Transport and Housing under her husband’s administration, Khadija later served as a three time member of the Federal House of Representative representing her Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa federal constituency before President Muhammad Buhari recently appointed her as a junior minister in his cabinet.
She is a B.Sc holder in Business Studies and Sociology from the University of Surrey, England with additional certificate from Padworth College, Reading, UK.
She initially had the ambition of becoming Nigeria’s first deputy female speaker at the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly but fate elevated her to the position of a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This interview is the unpublished life story of Honorable Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim conducted by your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika weeks before she was appointed minister by President Muhammad Buhari.
 It is a rich compendium of the rise to prominence of the onetime commissioner in Yobe State, three time lawmaker in Abuja and present Minister of State, Foreign Affairs as she answered questions on her life style, politics and ambition.  Enjoy the excerpts.

My Kaduna Years
Hajiya Khadija Abba Buka, Daughter of a prominent politician and wife of a prominent politician
 
Growing up in Northern Nigeria was not different from growing up in Southern Nigeria in those days (70's). I grew up in Kaduna and attended Capital School Kaduna. Then it was a boarding primary school. We had children from all over Nigeria attending the school. There was no discrimination between Christians and Muslims or North and South. Kaduna was the old capital of the Northern Region so all tribes were represented. The Southerners also felt at home in Kaduna because it was a cosmopolitan town with no cultural restrictions. Growing up in Kaduna as a child was very enjoyable. The British Colonialists had not entirely left by then, so we had tea parties with the diplomats as well as robust relationship with the white community. So, a lot of interactions took place between Northerners, Southerners and the white community. The weather was also very nice because it was not too hot neither was it too cold. Though, it gets rather cold and during harmattan season and in the raining season, there was a lot of rain.
There were no religious conflicts because both Muslims and Christians lived together. There was a lot of respect for each others' religion. During the Sallah period, the Christians would celebrate with us and during the Christmas period, and other Christian festivals, we celebrated with them. So infectious was the unity that it could be likened to the old National Anthem which says "Though Tribes and Tongues may differ in brotherhood we stand". Therefore, because of the indifferent nature of the town, Kaduna was one of the best places to grow up in those days because one was brought up under an environment where high moral values were inculcated into the children ; where there was love and respect for one another, where religious leaders preached love and unity of purpose. That was the kind of environment under which I grew up. In terms of education of the girl-child, the Northern Nigerian environment had its fair share of the traditional African belief concerning the place of a woman in the society; that a man’s education should take priority over that of the girl-child. However, a few of us were privileged to have parents who were enlightened enough to appreciate the fact that every child in the home should be allowed to acquire western education in addition to Islamic education.

How Dad & Mum influenced my childhood
Hajia Khadija Buka Ibrahim....Husband's conduct brings shame to her exalted office
My parents had a great influence on me certainly because my mother who is a disciplinarian made sure we adhered strictly to our religion and culture.
Though we eventually went abroad to study, she made sure we could speak our language (Kanuri) very well and would only communicate with us anywhere in our mother tongue. She also made sure we were home sewing, at least at weekends in England. That was her own little way of empowering us with a skill for living. She also made sure we knew how to cook because I could remember she would ask the cook not to come on weekends so that we would go into the kitchen, clean and cook.
My father who was a business man and politician then made sure we imbibed our culture and tradition first before sending us abroad. He always say to us that ‘as a girl, education is our best weapon’, with that in hand we can conquer the world. He wanted us to be independent hence he gave us the best education no matter what it took.
I must say my parents indeed had a strong influence on me because they didn't differentiate between us whether one is a boy or a girl, because they gave us all equal opportunities and did not favor one over the other.

Memories of Early Years
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajiya Khadija Abba Ibrahim
I have great memories of growing up in Northern Nigeria especially in Kaduna. We were free to go out on our bikes to see our friends down the road. The gates were always left open and the fences were not blocked walls but see through fences with lovely bougainvillea flowers growing against them. It was so safe because in those days armed robbers or kidnappers were unheard of.
So the lasting memory I have is that of peace, serenity and all round contentment. 
Born with a Silver Spoon   
I was born into the family of the legendary Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim the proponent of "Politics without Bitterness" of blessed memory. There is no doubt with the fact that I was born in a comfortable environment but it was an environment where you were constantly reminded that your father made a success out of dint of hard work; that unless one was prepared to work hard in life, one would be a failure and eat with the wooden spoon. That reminder had always been my guide. In my father’s world, his children must share and do the house chores with the domestic assistants and in that kind of environment you hardly can make a distinction between my father’s children and his domestic assistants. And of course, needless to remind us, oftentimes, we see some of the proverbial “born with silver spoons” getting confined to the “wooden spoon” class at the later part of life because they had allowed themselves to be duped by the mentality of “born with silver spoon”.

Who made the strongest influence on you, mum or dad?
Khadija Buka Abba Ibrahim...The Minister whose husband was caught pant down with prostitutes...
They both did because whilst my mother instilled discipline and ensured a good upbringing for us in the home front, going out to the whole wide world, my father equipped us with the best education which ensured our independence.

 Childhood Ambition
Imagining becoming a politician someday? (She asked rhetorically with a moment silence before talking further) Well, one had grown up in a world where one’s father formed a political party (the GNPP) and contested to be the President of Nigeria and where one’s father’s homestead and environment had always been a beehive of political activities. In that environment too, one had seen one’s parent carry out acts of philanthropy to the less privileged and communities. Yes, naturally, one was not surprised to see oneself partaking in topnotch political activities. Although, I had dreamt of acquiring education, getting into the private sector and growing up to become a big time player in the sector and being a model for not only younger women in my community but for the younger generation. Besides, I would have preferred and will love to retire into life endeavors that will encourage, strengthen and empower the womenfolk. I accept that one can do these from any walk of life.

What was your biggest motivation for politics?
A very pretty Hajiya Khadija Buka Abba Ibrahim
My motivation and journey into politics is an offshoot and still remains a continuation of my father’s vision and life philosophy which is essentially rooted in the service of God Almighty and humanity. It all began in 1998 whilst I was on normal visits to various communities in Yobe, my state, to attend to the sick, the poor and needy with Medicare, food items and clothing. Then, people would come to me for a representation of their interests at various levels – community, local government, state, etc. But at that time, I did represent them in personal, non-governmental capacities. Then came 2004, when out of the people’s pressure, the government of Yobe State under the stewardship of the then Governor, now Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim appointed me as Commissioner for Transport and Energy. Thereafter, the pressure for me to represent my people at the federal level became so huge that I had to vie for this seat (She was still in the house at the time of granting this interview) and, here we are now. So my motivation and journey into politics began as, and remains, a journey of service to the people.

Earlier on in the interview, you told us how you were able to study abroad, how did that exposure influence you?
Hajia Buka Abba Ibrahim at a Ministerial Conference
Unlike now, during my time, there was nothing unique in studying abroad because Nigerian students experienced regular sessions then. Unlike now academic sessions were fairly regular in Nigeria. However, overseas training exposes one to practical knowledge and experience available outside one’s traditional environment. And for those of us who had overseas industry experience immediately after graduation, you have the advantage of being constantly reminded of how better our own environment and affairs can be managed.

My experience as commissioner under my husband
Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim, First Civilian Governor of Yobe State
 
My family knew my husband way back when he was in University. He was a friend and colleague to one of my senior brothers. During the time I wanted to venture into politics, I consulted him as the then Governor of Yobe state. He advised me to assimilate myself with the demands and challenges of the people so that they would know me and get used to me first. That I did for a long while and that led to my appointment as Commissioner which gave me an opportunity to get closer to the people at the grass root and the choice was left to them. My constituents actually met my husband and told him they wanted me to represent them. So I can actually tell you that Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim as well as being my husband actually paved the way for me to enter the political arena.

So, what was the experience like working as a ‘staff’ under your husband?
Her Husband brought Sharia to Yobe State but....
Given our own environment where, in some cases, merit is never considered whilst government appointments are being made, a wife serving in the husband’s administration as a Commissioner may present an unfair assessment of either the Commissioner (wife) or the Governor (husband). But luckily for me, two things worked in my favor. I had said that I gained recognition by continuing my father’s philanthropy through community services. And for that, many had always advocated that I represent my people in government so as to attract development to their communities. This is simply because they recognized my passion in advancing the cause of humanity and also the fact that, in terms of finance, there is a limit to which an individual could go in assisting her people. Secondly, the appointment came at a time when there was urgent need for the development of the rural areas with roads and electricity and people thought that I had the passion and zeal to sincerely and seriously execute that mandate. I thank God that in the end, I never disappointed our people.
The experience was essentially unique except for the pressure that went with it. Because one had to be early in office or meetings, say the right things and do the right things. You must be a positive example and signpost of the people and government. When others know that the Commissioner who is the Governor’s wife is usually the first to attend to duties, then, they take the whole concept of governance more seriously. And my husband believed in due process. He can never allow you bend the rules no matter who you are. In fact, he is a different man at work; once you leave the gate of the house and you enter that of the secretariat, you are under another atmosphere entirely. The experience put you on your toes and at the same time helped to simplify that “unique” position and in the end a success was made to the benefit of our people and that indeed made a case for my higher appointment in political service.
Can you recall your worst experience in politics?
The politics associated with the emergency of Boko Haram and its adverse effect on my people. The sad memory hunts me till this moment and it is not what I will like to remember or even talk about.
How do you face the challenge of running a home as a politician and woman leader in your zone?
Khadija Abba Buka, will her husband's act cause her her high profile job?
The challenges are enormous but not insurmountable. First, unknown to people, the bar is sometimes raised whenever a woman is involved. How do I mean? Anywhere you see a woman is adjudged as “capable,” that woman must have performed better than normal whereas, an average performance is enough for her male counterpart to be taken as “suitable.” Secondly, you are confronted with effective management of the home and state / national assignment. Thirdly, most political affairs – meetings, scheming – in fact, real politicking, are usually night / evening affairs. So in the case of a nursing woman-politician, you can imagine what level of resilience that is required of her. But as I usually advice the younger generation of women, try to acquire sufficient education first, by going to school and obtaining knowledge, which I did. With that, a woman can effectively maximize her home front, office management and make the best out of both.
What would you consider as your greatest achievement in politics?
APC National Chairman, Chief Oyegun...Very Surprised at Mrs. Khadija Buka's Predicament?
I am still in politics, so, there is still room for more achievements. But I can say my greatest achievement thus far is that I have not disappointed those who insisted that “Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim’s daughter should represent us.” I have given them voice in the National Assembly, executed numerous projects – electricity, provision of water, healthcare, schools/education, etc to them at my own expense. In fact, literally speaking, I have shared whatever I earned here (National Assembly) with them. Besides, I have attracted federal government funds and numerous federal projects to their benefit.
You are known to always dress in a conservative way, what is your Fashion sense like?
The Very Pretty Hajiya Buka Abba Ibrahim
I am a firm believer that a woman should be a decent dresser. That is to say she should not dress to appear in a way that cheapens her or gives her away as desperate. Again, I believe that in dressing, we should see ourselves as role models to others. And please, don’t be mistaken. This has nothing to do with religion. In all communities anywhere in Nigeria, we all know what amounts to indecent dressing. Even in the urban areas where some of us live, when you appear indecently, people around you will know. So my fashion psyche is that I should always appear and be seen as a role model for the younger generation.
So, what do you hate in people?
Honesty they say is the best policy. I hate dishonesty. As a leader, I have learnt how to tolerate and use the goodness in me to change the character ills of others. I don’t hate people; I only hate dishonesty in people.
If given another chance to live your life as the daughter of the great politician, Waziri Ibrahim, what would you do differently?
Hajiya Khadija Buka Abba Ibrahim (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs)
As human beings, we cannot be perfect like God is. But we should always strive to be. If given another chance and the circumstances do not remain the same, of course, one would approach certain issues and course of action differently. For example, if Boko Haram disappears now, our assistance will be more enduring as it used to be before Boko Haram came. It will be about durable infrastructure, intensive education and skills acquisition based policy as opposed to now that it is consumptive due to the displacement of our people from their homes as a result of insecurity.
 Do you think the North East where you hail from is ready to tackle the crisis of girl child education which is a horrible blight in that part of Nigeria?
Yes, I do, because until the advent of Boko Haram, awareness for the education of the girl-child in the North East had grown tremendously. But with a misguided ideology hiding behind religion, education of the girl-child in the North East was adversely affected. But as I said, with effective leadership, insecurity will be drastically reduced, families will return to their homes and every child including the girl-child will go back to school. Additionally, we shall ensure that donor funds for the training and security of the girl-child in the North East will be judiciously utilized.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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