How Binani pulled a surprise to pick Adamawa guber ticket | Dailytrust

How Binani pulled a surprise to pick Adamawa guber ticket

   Aishatu Dahiru Binani
Aishatu Dahiru Binani

The news that a female politician has clinched the gubernatorial ticket of her party in Adamawa State set the media space agog few days ago. 

In a keenly contested primary with powerful men like a former governor of Adamawa State, Muhammadu Jibrilla Bindow; the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Nuhu Ribadu; and one of the vibrant Federal legislators and chairman House Committee on Army, Abdurrazaq Namdas, Aishatu Dahiru Binani, to the disbelief of many, was declared winner of the election and is now the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial flagbearer for Adamawa State. 

Male faces turned in disbelief when the election committee chairman, Malam Gambo Lawal, announced the results thus: “Wafari Theman 21; Umar Mustapha (Otumba) 39; Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas 94, His Excellency, Sen. Bindow Jibrilla 103; Mal. Nuhu Ribadu 288, Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Binani 430.”

She defeated five male aspirants to clinch the APC ticket, a feat pundits and political commentators failed to foresee.

Her popularity in the Central Senatorial Zone especially among the womenfolk was never in doubt but her opponents, pundits and politicians had underrated her ability to defeat some of the strongest politicians in Adamawa.

Some of her supporters had thought that at some point, she would withdraw from the governorship race and seek to retain her senatorial seat. 

Salihu Baba Ahmed, Binani’s Director for Media and Communication, said the result of the governorship primary election showed that politicians must have good legacy and record of achievement to win elections. 

“Being a man does not mean having a penis, no. It means to be strong. Now, Binani is the man and all her opponents are the women. She has always been there for the people and many of the delegates benefitted from her generosity in the past,” he stated.

Until the announcement of results, the lady had been eclipsed by the perceived political might of her five male opponents who had been more conspicuous in the electioneering activities leading up to the primary election, with campaign trains moving from one local area to the next amid fun fair and show of popularity for meetings with delegates.

The strategy 

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that apart from the sustained capacity building workshops and donation of vocational equipment and seed capital to women and youths from across the 21 local government areas in the state, Binani courted female delegates with a special empowerment before the primaries. 

Binani therefore focused on establishing a bond of trust with delegates and winning their confidence when her male counterparts toured the state in long convoys and heavy entourage of aides and associates. 

Although vote buying and camping of delegates characterised the election including reported arrest of Binani’s suspected agents with cash by the police, her strategy is believed to have given her an edge over the rest of the aspirants.

A source close to her told our correspondent that prior to the election, the candidate had distributed refrigerators to female delegates with no string attached, telling the beneficiaries that the gift had nothing to do with the upcoming primary election and they were free to vote for any candidate of their choice.

“She told the female delegates that the gift was not meant to buy their votes or influence them during the primaries. They could vote whichever candidate they wanted. The refrigerators were given to them free, just out of her care and love for the womenfolk. This happened when other aspirants reserved their money for the election day,” the source revealed. 

Shekarau Yarima, a journalist and anchor for a popular Hausa political programme, –‘Dimokradiyya a Yau’ (Democracy Today) on Radio Gotel described Binani’s victory as unforeseen and a shocker, saying analysts were beclouded by her gender and failed to reckon with her long time and strategic connection with voters, especially the women. 

“This is a woman who delivered on her constituency projects to the people right from the time she was elected member of the House of Representatives. People believe she injected her personal money into projects. She sometimes moves from house to house in her constituency to meet with widows and orphans in need and provide them food on monthly basis. Her activities go beyond her constituency to cover the whole state. Recently, she distributed computers to individuals and organizations that the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) got 30 units, she also installed solar streetlights in all nooks and crannies of her constituency and provided vocational training, machines and cash to women,” he said.

Profile 

Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, the senator representing Adamawa Central Zone, popularly known by her nick name Binani, has been a house hold name since her days as legislator for Yola North/Yola South/ Gombi Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015. Her famous distribution of school bags to 75,000 school children was unprecedented.

As member of the 9th Senate and chairperson, Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Aisha sustained her intervention programme which cut across education, health care, capacity building, rural development to cut for herself a big image of a sympathetic and generous politician who wanted food on the table of every family in her constituency and the state in general. This earned her the love of people beyond her constituency. 

Ever busy connecting with her people, almost all the time, Binani is either distributing vocational tools to women, school bags for pupils or running a computer literacy program for unemployed young people. 

She tried to become senator in 2015 under the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) where her husband flew the governorship flag and the duo lost to the APC candidates. Binani lost to Abdulaziz Nyako while her husband was defeated by Bindow at the 2015 general election.

Speaking during one of the events for the distribution of fertilizer and grinding machines in September 2011, Binani expressed her uncommon empathy for the poor and less privileged, saying the purpose of the donation was to provide a source of income for the beneficiaries.

“It gives me joy and uttermost pleasure this morning of Saturday, 11th September 2021, to once again present to our teeming peasant population of Adamawa State, but especially in Adamawa Central Senatorial Zone, free distribution of a total of 6,000 bags of fertilisers at the height of the farming season.

“This will no doubt improve both quality and quantity of agricultural products, especially food supply which is crucial to us all.

“In a similar vein, we are also distributing 500 grinding machines to youths and women in order to empower them towards self-sustenance.

“I urge you to please use these machines yourselves without accepting to sell them out to vendors and middlemen for a token amount.”

An engineer by profession, Binani was born in August 1971 in Kaduna, to the family of Dahiru Ahmed Chiroma, the son of Ahmadu Malabu, Chiroma Adamawa and an elder brother to Ahmadu Ribadu, the First Republic Defence Minister. She had her early education in Kano and completed her primary education at Gwadabawa Primary School before attending Government Secondary School Yola. 

She obtained an Ordinary National Diploma and then Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 1993 from the Federal Polytechnic Mubi before participating in the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Borno State where she won the state merit award for outstanding performance. 

The senator obtained a certificate in Rural Radio Systems from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, a postgraduate diploma in Business Management from Nasarawa State University, Keffi and a certificate in Data Processing. She ventured into the world of entrepreneurship starting with a registered company – Binani Nigeria Limited, then Triangular Communications and Binani Edu Consulting Services before joining politics.

She is married to Professor Ahmad Moddibo, a former Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) who is believed to be one of the richest men in the state, and who has always stood by her in her political pursuits.

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