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Northern Nigeria’s only female senator loses second term bid


Northern Nigeria’s only female senator loses second term bid

Yet another female senator lost her reelection bid following Saturday’s presidential and national assembly polls, as results continue to trickle in across the country. The senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Binta Garba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was defeated by her male challenger from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ishaka Abbo.

Garba’s loss follows that of the senate minority leader, Biodun Olujimi (PDP), from Ekiti state.

Backstory: Binta Garba was the only female senator from the North, a feat that was lauded and deemed timely when it happened in 2015. She however would now only spend four years.

She received 63,219 votes, while Abbo got 79,337 votes.

Garba had previously served as a member of the Federal House of Representatives three times, from 1999 to 2011 before making the move to the Upper Chamber, becoming the first politician to represent two different federal constituencies.

She also served in 2014 as the only female delegate from Adamawa state to the National Conference in Abuja.

Celebration in Abbo’s Camp: Newly elected Ishaku Abbo who only joined politics in 2014, posted a celebratory message on his Facebook page, where he wrote, “We started this journey in 2014, nobody believed. Today, the lofty dream has become a reality. Victory at last! I am now called distinguished Senator Elsha Ishaku Abbo. Thank you Jesus!”

Abbo had controversially jumped off the All Progressive Congress (APC) ship where he kicked off his career in 2015, switching over to the PDP, where he ran and won this year’s elections.

Speaking on behalf of the PDP, he said, “We promise to redeem ourselves from our mistakes of 2015 come 2019. God bless Nigeria.”

Bottom Line: Women inclusion in politics in Nigeria has always been a challenge. The current senate is not very inclusive, with only 7 of the 109 sitting senators being female. That number will most likely drop in the next senate. The situation is not much different in the executive arm where President Muhammadu Buhari is not a big proponent of women inclusion, although he has promised to ensure 30% representation of women in appointments if elected.

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