When 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 politics.

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 separate occasions.

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 Nigeria’s President.”

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 younger women.

“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 in Nigeria.

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 progress.”

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.”





(C) Planet Leadership World Resources, 2018