Zainab Abubakar’s impact on Tinubu’s victory

As the nation continues to celebrate the electoral victory of the President-elect Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, it is important we put the record straight on some of the foremost heroes and heroines, who worked tirelessly and assiduously to make this very important victory possible. One of the very names first on this list is the Deputy National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Hajiya Zainab Abubakar  Ibrahim.

For those who do not know Hajiya Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim in person or read about her life and political trajectory, a brief introduction of this woman of political timber and calibre would suffice. Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim was born on 3rd August 1972 into the famous family of Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar (OON) Sarki Ayyuka, a second republic political icon in the old Gongola state, present Taraba state. He was a founding member and state leader of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the aborted third republic. 

The family has produced two senators, the late Abdulaziz Ibrahim, and the late Senator Aisha Alhassan, a former Minister of the Federal Republic and the scion of the Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim political dynasty. Fondly called MAMA TARABA by her admirers, Aisha Alhassan had remained a strong voice not only on women advocacy but also on major political issues of national importance towards the political evolution of the country.

Seventh in the family of 24, young Zainab caught attended LEA Government Primary School Kaduna in 1979 and acquired her First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1984. Thereafter, she proceeding to Government Secondary School, Barnawa, Kaduna state where she obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1990. Zainab’s unquenchable appetite for knowledge, which she strongly believed is the only weapon that would break the shade of ignorance and entrench economic emancipation, further propelled her to seek higher learning at the prestigious Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, where she obtained  the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in accounting. Though by no means a small feat at that time, but young Zainab would not settle for less when more is within reach. She proceeded to the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi where she obtained the Higher National Diploma (HND) in accounting.

Driven by the quest for professionalism and financial transparency she uped the ante and proceeded to the National Open University (NOU) and acquired the Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Financial Management.

Hajiya Zainab became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) 2014, Certified National Accountant (CPA), Association of National Accountant (ANAN) 2016.

Her professional experience is huge as she is a certified accountant with over 17 years working experience on the field with professional experience in both the public and private sectors. She has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Never settling for mediocrity, innovative excellent service delivery has not only remained the  core of Zainab’s values but has also shaped her model in the provision of value added service, which effectively contributes to nation building. As a patriotic citizen, having completed her tertiary education, she was called to serve in the one year compulsory service known as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 2001-2002.

Angered by the despicable retrogression and wanton deprivation occasioned by leadership failures and poor leadership choice in Nigeria, with its resultant excruciating economic consequences on the hapless masses, Dr. Zainab could not but throw her hat into the political arena, choosing the democratic route as a more viable platform through which she could contribute her quota in effecting the model of economic rebirth of her dream for our country.

Guided by her global outlook and personal philosophy in life as captured in her Islamic faith, which is further espoused in her maxim of ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE, Zainab is fondly called A TEE ZEE (ANTIN TARABA). As an African woman, who appreciates the dynamics of family tradition and norms, she deploys a high level of pragmatism in strategic advocacy and governance. She has mentored and set the pace for others to follow as her name and image are always ingrained in the hearts of aspiring young leaders.

Zainab’s political trajectory has indeed been momentous as they say, a gold fish has no hiding place. Her sterling leadership qualities have, indeed, catapulted her to the national stage. She has held many positions of importance, which cannot be exhaustively mentioned here.  She is currently the deputy national women leader of the ruling APC, given her political pedigree and commitment/devotion towards the party. 

Her election as the deputy national women leader during the 27th March 2022 National Convention did not come to keen political observers and stakeholder as a surprise. Zainab has received several encomiums for her pet project, AUNTY ZEES FOUNDATION, which cardinal objective is the economic emancipation of the downtrodden in the society, especially the women folk, through skill acquisition.

Rising on the crest of a well engineered political structure as represented by her family, Dr. Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim obviously has carved a niche for herself which has continued to resonate in the entire political spectrum which she deposited to make the victory of the APC presidential candidate, now president-elect, Tinubu, a reality.

As the saying goes “no good deed goes unrewarded either now or in the hereafter”. These words would be emblazoned on Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim’s for standing by the Nigerian people on the issue of recruiting a competent, capable and reliable leader to renew the hope for a peaceful, united and a developed country. Truth must be told because of all those instrumental to Tinubu’s victory, Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim is one of the most recognised women in the entire North. In many ways, she paved the way for Tinubu’s victory in her area of influence, She was John the Baptist to Tinubu.

Zainab broke with tradition during the campaign for the 2023 general elections by building what she called the northern state campaign strategy. Instead of concentrating resources to help galvanise groups to reach out to voters, she personally travelled to all the nooks and crannies of her area of influence which is the northern states and led campaign organisers made of the womenfolk in every northern state for Tinubu. For the first time, she opened field offices in places where they had never been seen before, and she visited each of them to propagate the message of the APC and its candidate, Tinubu.

Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim prepared for it during the campaigns as she was during the APC primaries one of Tinubu’s acclaimed  delegate hunters. Her efforts to the victory of Tinubu in the election have come back in full force, and people see how the mechanics of the process can really determine the outcome of the election in her own area of influence for Tinubu. She did this through a combination of strategic choices and powerful on-the-ground organisation that took Tinubu to victory at her political domain.

To many political analysts and watchers, it seems crazy at the time because they thought the APC could count on an existing political base in every northern state but she is a woman who does not take political chances because nobody took advantage of unreached and undecided voters better than her for  victory. She decided rather on improving on the APC reach by building campaign operation in every state, targeting hamlets and villages because when the campaign train of the candidate visited those states, he found an existing political operation already on ground for him in those state.

Without a doubt, Hajiya Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim has paid her dues in ensuring that Tinubu got the victory he deserved and she has written her name in gold as one of the unsung heroines of that victory. Posterity will be kind to her for her contributions to the recruitment of the best man for the job as the President of Nigeria during the 2023 election.

Now analysts trying to explain the fall of the opposition in the North tend to point to the big picture: Hajia Zainab Abubakar Ibrahim’s inspirational messages for Tinubu during the campaigns, the past and the future development plans of the candidate that had worked and would work for Nigeria. But at the heart of Tinubu’s victory has been the technical and tactical support employed by Zainab Ibrahim to the frustration and disbelief of the opposition’s inner circle.

Wada writes from Abuja via 08035937424