Sarah Jibril, the political Amazon who smashed the
African traditional notion of the role of women in the
society started out in her political odyssey, what she
got from people was mostly jeers and mockery. But she
didn't care. Her hunger to contribute to Nigeria's
development, and also serve as a trailblazer for women
was intense. In 1983, she contested to be a senator in
Kwara State. Though that quest did not yield result, but
it made her realise she could reach and rand range - in
And she did reach and range, shattered stereotypes by
standing with the men and being counted worthy. Sarah
Jibril made history as Nigeria's first female
presidential candidate both at the primaries and main
elections, having contested to be president on four
Perhaps, her denouement came in 2011, during the PDP
presidential primaries where she contested with former
President Goodluck Jonathan. Sarah was that figure who
made a statement . She was that stoic figure who did not
give up. Nobody voted for her. She voted for herself.
She had just one vote.
According to her that vote means. “ I believed in myself
because that is the most important thing in life, and
because I believed in myself, I blazed that difficult
trail, I endured the ridicule, that night I stood alone
so that other women will not stand alone. The results
are coming in today. We have women who want to become
For the woman who wanted
to make history as Nigeria’s first female president, has
the dream died?
Sarah Jibril says she’s done aspiring for elective
posts. At 73, she wants to leave the Front Row for
“My job now is to push them. My job now is to make sure
that the best man, the best woman gets the job. Not
achieving the dream of becoming Nigeria’s president is
not so important to m, the significant thing is that I
showed other women that it is possible.
Women are coming up today. A young girl I met recently
said to me, ‘ Mummy, you are my role model, I became the
president of the student union of my university because
of you.’ I have had uncountable people tell me that.
This is my legacy. I have shown women like Oby
Ezekwesili that a woman can aspire to the highest office
I showed up because I wanted to show women it is
possible. I have no regrets. You see, I was not just
contesting for the sake of contesting. It was a burden.
I have a passion for this nation. I have a passion for
women. You know women are peculiar. They are
compassionate, they listen more than men, and they are
more caring. A home without a woman cannot make
Sarah Jibril talks passionately about ethics and values.
According to her, it is the moral fabric that guides a
nation. “This is why I accepted to serve the Goodluck
Jonathan administration as Special Adviser on Ethics and
Values. May God bless Jonathan for realising that Ethics
and Values are important for the well-being of the
nation. He was the first to recognise my message, my
hear tcry. He was the first to create an office for
that. This was my part of my vision. Nigeria needs a
moral background. We lost it somewhere.
The loss of ethics is what gave room for corruption. If
we get our ethics and values right, Nigeria will be a
wonderful place to live in. America thrives on ethics.
You cannot lie under oath. It’s called perjury. Do we
have anything like that in Nigeria?
But I am happy that we have started something. My voice
is being heard. The Senate recently passed a Bill
establishing the Agency For Ethics And Values. Who says
I am not fulfilled? Now talking of fulfillment, my joy
again will be for an Ibo man to emerge as Nigeria’s
President in 2019. This will really buttress that famous
No Victor No vanquished which was propounded after the
civil war. The Igbos deserve it. The Wrong of the civil
war should be righted. It is a divine instruction.”