About three weeks ago, Hajia Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu became 50 years on earth. Although I have been to her office to congratulate her physically but I couldn’t write a piece on her birthday. My reason was partly because of the so many goodwill messages flying around and I didn’t want my message to be lost in the mix. Particularly, I want to use the occasion of her 50th birthday to relay a message to young women out there. I hope that the eloquent celebration of her on her 50th birthday will offer me the opportunity to point out to our young sisters and mothers what indeed we are celebrating her for.
She being a minister will definitely attract many goodwill messages, some from the heart and some as a means to seek patronage. Even those who once stood against her during her political struggle are now eulogizing her. That is all well and good.
Now here is my focus. I have worked closely with her for few years as a political associate. Although I have only gone to her office once since she became a minister because it is not in my nature to loiter around people in power. But I have been close enough for some years to understand some of the things that made her outstanding and those where the reasons I stood by her during the 2018 national convention of our great party despite offers from those who were considered favoured to clinch the post.
This is not to hype Dr. Ramatu but to point our sisters to those outstanding qualities that have brought her to limelight. This is especially because we live in a generation where a lot of young girls are misdirected in their quest for westernization and all the shenanigans that accrue to it and there are fewer role models. Today we hear of young mothers abandoning their family in search for what they term modern life. Some go to depraving extent in order to acquire fame. But in the end they are left in titters.
Hence, the qualities that have brought Dr. Ramatu Tijani to this point is worthy of examination.
- Let me start by mentioning that Dr. Ramatu Tijani is a woman in love with education. When I say education I am not just talking about paper qualification. A few minutes of discussion with her will tell you how knowledgeable she is. She has amassed quality information over the years such that when she stands to speak you cannot but listen. Even at the heat of APC national convention where she was contesting for a second term for the office of the national women leader she was reading for her doctorate degree. At the same time she was the chairperson of Conference Of African Political Parties, having been elected twice in Morocco in a keenly contested election in a body dominated by men. She was voted for the second time because the body knew she had a lot to offer.
This is the first thing our young sisters and those who admire her must learn from her. She did not become what she is today by wishful thinking. Her education has made her an asset to the society and the world at large. She did not depend on being a woman or offering her body. Like our revered Ngozi Okonjo Iweala she came prepared, leaving nothing to chance. In the company of educated men she stands out because she can hold an intelligent conversation.
- Dr. Ramatu Tijani’s beauty is not for sale. Her mode of dressing says a lot about what beauty means to her. Unlike what we see around today where women dress in provocative manner to attract attention or because they seek validation, Dr. Ramatu is noted for her decent dressing. And I can tell you that has earned her a lot of respect in Nigeria. At her appearance you can see maturity and seriousness. This is not to say that people should copy her style of dressing but I want to buttress the point that a lot of intelligent women today who could have been taken serious in the affairs of the nation ended up missing such opportunities because they appear as those who offer their body for things and many seem to relate with them on that face value, thereby denying themselves of their true worth. Yet a lot of young ladies think that you need to come with sexual appeal to gain an offer. At best, many of them have ended up as mistresses rather than people who can contribute meaningfully.
- Dr. Ramatu Tijani is organized. With so much to attend to everyday she has developed such an organized atmosphere for herself both at home and in her office. You could come to Dr. Ramatu’s home severely without meeting her family except your visit calls for that. Yet they are very much around. Within her home there is visitors conner and there is work space. Her home is such a functional space and it reveals her pattern of thinking. Moreover, she finds a way to give quality attention to her family within her busy schedule. I mean she makes you understand that you can be a perfect wife, mother and a career person. It requires a degree of personal organization to manage this complex life of a woman. That you don’t have to abandon any aspect of your life as a woman because you seek to excel in life. But it takes being organized to maneuver perfectly well. Give that a thought.
- Dr. Ramatu enjoys work. You can’t have her kind of sense of responsibility and not become a success. She is always looking for opportunity to serve, to offer solution or help. Recently I watched her on a national television struggling to support Abuja Environmental workers with fumigation and all I could do was to burstout in laughter. I mean, since this COVID-19 out break this woman has been everywhere trying to find solution. I see her going to remote areas of Abuja to give palliatives. Sometimes at night she will be at the warehouse supervising people who are putting palliative materials together. Rather than develop a sense of entitlement like some of our sisters, she chose to be in the forefront of duty. You can’t be that hard working and not become successful because even God rewards hard work.
- Dr. Ramatu Tijani is a giver. She may not have to give to everyone but she has shown so much kindness to poor women and widows. She has been doing this ever before becoming a minister.
I remember her days as the national women leader even when there was no budgetary allocation to her office. She may not like me to mention this to the public but I have to use it to teach our young sisters who want to become successful citizens and political leaders a lesson.
Because I worked closely with her, I took note of some of the things she did to help people. There was an occasion where Dr. Ramatu Tijjani purchased and distributed Thirty Thousand (30,000) Clothing-wrappers to about Thirty Thousand (30,000) women across Nigeria. Paid out of her pocket, running into tens of millions of Naira. She distributed Books, Stencils and School bags to Primary school pupils within the FCT and Environs in demonstration of her support for free education.
She also distribute Bags of Rice, sponsor Free Mama Kit for Pregnant women during Antenatal clinics in Abuja and environs.
Everybody knows this her 50th birthday was celebrated at the orphanage but that has been her style. Sometimes ago she completed and tiled Orphanage schools, provided food stuffs, Generator sets, Slippers, Towels, Diapers, Infant formulas, Treated Mosquito Nets, Buckets, Toothbrushes in hundreds to Motherless Babies homes and homes for the less privileged.
Before becoming a minister she has been visiting IDP Camps to donate Food items, Mattresses, Slippers, Bags of rice, Cartons of Spaghetti, Maggi cubes, Palm Oil, Groundnut Oil, Buckets, Treated Mosquito Nets in hundreds to give succor to the down trodden.
She has also been sponsoring many for Primary Common Entrance and Secondary school WAEC/ NECO and provided food for many students before social investment era.
During the Ramadan periods (even under recession) when the down-trodden felt the pain like never before, she established several feeding centers for thousands of less privileged to feed during Sahur and Iftar. Likewise to the Christian faithful, she has always played the role of a Mother and a hope for the Hopeless as she used her Charity Outreach to distribute Bags of Food stuffs, branded Cartons of Spaghetti, Dairy products, Clothes and Basic necessities to the Churches, Christian centers and Neighborhoods to put smiles on many faces and touched many lives during Christmas and New Year periods.
- Dr Ramatu Tijani is made of courage, wisdom, finesse and elegance but yet humble. At the height of the struggle for her reelection at our party’s national convention in 2018, she kept pleading with her supporters to maintain decorum. As much as it is natural for women to throw tantrums, Dr. Ramatu Tijani does not fancy that. Any wonder she has attained this level of success at 50.
I can go on and on to mention her good qualities but I don’t want to bore you with that.
So when you think of her success at 50, as a young woman, think about these attributes of her.
Once again I say happy 50th birthday to Hajia Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, Minister Of State, FCT.
From Great Imo Jonathan