Mrs Precious Barnabas, a successful business woman was an aspirant for the ticket of the Kajuru State constituency ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kaduna State House of Assembly in 2019. While most women are shying away from partisan politics, the wife of a Clergyman is among the few women from Maro Ward in Kajuru Local Government Area that has shown courage and interest in active politics since 1998. The woman politician is a devote Christian, who is happily married to Pastor Barnabas Zakaria and blessed with four children. In this interview with LOLA SERIKI IDAHOSA of TRACE REPORTERS in Kaduna, Mrs Barnabas said that as an Adara woman, she is desirous to serve her people who have invested so much on her education to afford her the opportunity to contribute her quota to the growth of her community through legislative representation. Excerpts:
Passion and Commitment
Being involved actively in politics is something my people are aware of and I have the blessings of Adara people. I am also happy to say that I have the full support of my husband. In 2019 I met the Ago of Adara to seek his blessings, the first thing he said was, ‘I thought River has swept away women from Kajuru Local Government’, he then blessed me and assured me of his support.
I actually started politics in 1998 with Zero Party, but presently I am in the PDP and determined to serve my people. I am in politics to serve my people. I contested for the House of Assembly in 2019 and lost to the incumbent. Women in my area are not been encourage to actively get involved in politics. I am advising women to be fully involved. If am given the opportunity to represent my people at the State House of Assembly, I will bring to Adara an all-Inclusive governance to my Adara people that are peaceful, loving people and peace makers.
The time is ripe for women to know that they are politically relevant. I appreciate my husband, Pastor Barnabas Zakaria, for his support, even as a clergy, he allowed me to participate in politics.
My Desire To Serve
If given the opportunity to serve my people, I will advocate and bring the demands of those without voices to the fore. The interaction with policy makers and understudying what the missing link is for those in office and the beneficiaries, and also interacting with people from both my locality, having seen the lack of communication and the attention given to the led and the citizens.
What I will do differently
I am in this to serve the people. Their needs and their voices are my core mandate. I have dedicated my life to reach out to those who have no strength, voice or not ably represented, to help bring solutions to the desperate needs of my people. I will be that leader who is reachable, available and hands on, that creates synergy between the people and the action plans, as they will be part of the major decision processes that concern them across board.
Being devoted to the grassroots has been my key focus because, for me, leadership should start from the bottom up. Those at rural areas are key stakeholders to the economy and the development of Nigeria. I will dialogue with a view to look at issues bothering on the minds of the youth, work towards quality education and most importantly employment. I have also seen from the interactions and the interventions that the level of orientation and self-development especially knowing who they are, is key, living a purpose driven life, having a core mandate to reach out to those around them.
Women And Children
This issue is very close to my heart because it is a need that urges me to keep advocating for mainstreaming women into governance. Over the years, the most intense part of my life was looking at issues bordering on women and the girl child, especially in giving voice to the varied problems bedeviling women especially at the grassroots.
I found that there is a huge disconnect between women and leadership, a disconnect between the policies and the key issues at the core, a lack of representation at the lowest level thereby disenfranchising women at the bottom from being part of the decision making. Policy development, social innovation and mentorship is quite lacking amongst the three levels of governance amongst women.
My Resolve To Run For The State Assembly Seat
Basically, it is to bring about new innovation that will open up the space for women in decision making and literacy.
Youths in Kaduna State
For the youths in Kaduna State the issue has never been lack of energy or willingness, but rather the energy for the right things and the right way, the willingness to unlearn the stereotypes embedded in understanding of leadership. There’s a lot of work to be done as I am already doing especially in the areas of social and mental reorientation.
Leadership has failed in putting the right footsteps in the sand. The exemplary template for what should become the normal has been confused. So, the first point for me is social reorientation, self-discovery and self-development. When we have qualitative human capacity, development is more impactful. When we have youths who are a brand for honesty and integrity, then we are able to develop and sustain development.
Women Attitude Towards Politics
I always feel bad over the lukewarm attitude of our women to politics. Our women, understand politics better because politics starts from the home but they shy away from the main politics. Women should not be intimidated, rather they should come out with plans that will make them saleable to the electorate. As An Adara Woman
I am an Adara woman, who wants to serve my people that invested so much on my education.
I advised women to know their purpose in seeking elective position and in governance. They should mentor other women and expand the space for women to become part of the decision-making population in the country, so as to enhance development in all spheres.
Women for women, we can only be strong together. We have the population, we have capacity and we have the drive. Every woman should decide that, at every election, only political parties who have women as part of their agenda and at least one woman who emerges at the primaries would have the vote of the Nigerian women.
Killings in Southern Kaduna
The unwarranted attacks and killings of innocent people in Southern Kaduna is an act from the devil. The crises in Southern Kaduna is unfortunate with so many lives being lost on daily basis. We call for vigilance and prayers as the attacks is the handiworks of the devil.
I urge my people to cooperate with the government and security agencies in their bid to proffer solutions to the killings.