On May 7, 2011, Nigeria’s political space lost one of its vibrant female politicians, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba.
Her demise is regarded as a great loss because there are very few women with the kind of grip she has on politics. S h e w a s the first w o m a n in Nigeria to be elected as a governor.
Although, the governorship election was later reversed by the Appeal Court, that short-lived victory served as a ray of hope to many women in politics in Nigeria. Before her death, Al-Hassan, a Fulani by tribe, started her career as a trained Lawyer.
She was the first female to be appointed Taraba State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice. She was also the first woman to be appointed Secretary, FCT Judicial Council and later appointed the Chief Registrar of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on 17 December 2003.
She was previously a senator, representing Taraba North senatorial district of Taraba State, which she won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She later defected to the then main opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC), where she became the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Taraba State for the 2015 general elections.
In 2015, she was appointed to the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister for Women Affairs until her resignation in July 2018.
She is widely known as “Mama Taraba”, because of her increased influence in the politics of her state.
Although, her death seem to have robbed many women the opportunity to tap from her wisdom in politics, her strides and unforgettable footprints in Nigerian politics may serve as wind beneath the wings of many women, who dream to give their best shot at politics.