2018 Zik’s Prize Award: Hajiya Hadiza And The Reward of Excellence

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It is a long-held belief that behind every successful man, there stands tall and towering, a dedicated woman of character and great conviction. A woman who can go to every length to help her husband achieve his dreams, especially if they involve community service and prudent and transparent leadership.

It is only natural for these great women to be also singled out for commendation and recognition for they could easily have chosen like others to derail their husband and lead them to the path of destruction, corruption and eventually, failure. It is base on this conviction that I want to offer this hearty congratulation on behalf of the entire good people of Bauchi state to Her Excellency, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar for bagging the prestigious Zik Prize Award for Humanitarian Leadership.

There’s no question that awards of recognition especially those organised and presented by reputable organisations are not given to just everyone. To be considered and eventually bestowed with an award in the class of the Zik Prize Award, it must be seen that the recipient has worked diligently in their chosen area of impact to contribute to the growth of society and the welfare of its people. This is why Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar who has traversed the entire length and breadth of Bauchi to touch the lives of the indigent, the women folk and the internally displaced persons is without doubt deserving of the award of Humanitarian Services as bestowed on her by the organisers of the Zik Prize Awards.

Anyone who is familiar with the ground-breaking achievements of her excellency, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar through her; Bauchi-Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment and Peace Initiative (B-SWEEP) initiative will nurture no doubt whatsoever about her suitability for this award. The Bauchi state first lady has been a towering figure behind her husband who interestingly is also the recipient of the Vanguard governor of the year award for 2017 at weekend and all happening. She has been complementing the efforts of her husband’s government in the area of maternal and child health, girl-child education, capacity development, women and youth empowerment, educating Internally Displace Persons’ children and helping to reintegrate them into the Bauchi society etc.

The impact of B-SWEEP in raising awareness for the use of non-violent strategies as a proactive tool and response to conflict, through peace education and sport programmes is legendary. And these programmes are designed for young people in and out of school in communities in northern Nigeria, and they promote harmony and the peaceful coexistence of people from different backgrounds.

Another of her novel ideas that has attracted wide commendation, seeks to bring women into conflict resolution discursions and considering the company of children who are the real victims of conflicts, the idea is timely and highly welcomed. Her excellency longs for a society where Women will not be excluded from participating in conflict management, mediation or inter-group negotiations.

It is perhaps in recognition of her giant strides that B-SWEEP was invited as a critical stakeholder to the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) implementation of the ECOWAS Counter Terrorism Initiative, as well as organized strategy action plan which was adopted by Head of States and Governments of West African Countries, as one of the priorities in tackling violent extremisms for which Bauchi State was selected amongst the pilot states.

The teamwork between the governor, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar and his wife which has culminated into his award as Vanguard 2017 Governor of the Year and Her Excellency’s Zik Prize Award is anchored on mutual trust but above all, love; love for the people and for the job that the people have entrusted to them in 2015.

It will interest everybody to know that H.E Hajiya Hadiza is for the first time taking very seriously the celebratory title of the “Mother of the State” attributed to the wives of sitting governors for her role in the education of children, especially those facing challenges and those at the motherless homes. This gesture without question is one of the qualities that will surely have brought her under the radar of reputable organisations like the organisers of the Zik Awards.

The story of her excellency’s commitment to bettering the lives of the people considering she could easily have settled for the life of affluence that comes with being the first lady, far way from the drudgery that characterise the lot of the masses is exemplary. It is no wonder, that the emir of Ningi, His Royal Highness Mohammed Yunusa Danyaya recently saw it fit to bestow the title of Uwar Matan Ningi on her. This is no mean feat as the Emir is known for his hard stance against sycophancy and institutional ego massaging.

It is important that her excellency realises that this Zik Prize award is more than anything a demonstration of the confidence that not just the people of Bauchi have on her ability not just as the wife of the governor, but as a person whose passion for excellence is yet to be matched, is uncommon and can’t be attributed to any woman from Bauchi state.

Undoubtedly, this brings your husband into a new light for supporting all your programmes and initiatives.
Indeed, this well-deserved award is an achievement that the entire people of Bauchi state should take pride in celebrating. I am particularly elated because the award has brought recognition to the people of Bauchi for begetting such a hardworking African amazon whose commitment to humanity is being celebrated beyond the shores of the state.

Let me also restate the commitment of the people of Bauchi to the continuity gospel of your husband as we approach 2019. With Allah on the side of truth, you and your husband will be returned in May, 2019 where we hope you will continue with your good work. We long to see more of your dedication and services to the poor in Bauchi state; we hope to continue to be associated with only good deeds akin to the much you have given us thus far.
It is also our sincere hope that this award will serve as the necessary boost that will drive you to do more for your teeming children of Bauchi state. Do not despair from our continues request because like Oliver Twist, we will continue to return for more of your goodness and am sure that for all the good you give us, you will receive nothing but Allah’s favour and recognition from bigger organisations of the world.

Rashida is the Press Secretary to Her Excellency.

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