On the 15th of May, 2015, www.opinionnigeria.com published an article with the title above, authored by one Ralph Ugbelu. The article was an analogy between petroleum minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke and Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman, a foremost activist, intellectual and respected politician. The two characters are worlds apart. The article was clearly sponsored with the intention to vilify and mudsling the reputation of one of 21st century most illustrious Nigerian women.
Diezani Alison-Madueke was once described by former president Olusegun Obasanjo as one of five de-facto presidents of Nigeria. A very powerful cabinet member of President Goodluck Jonathan, she is seen by many as one of the most corrupt elements of the president’s administration.
She may not be a household name in Nigeria. Her name might not ring a bell as loud as that of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Grace Williams or Dora NkemAkunyili. Yet, Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman is one of the most outstanding women produced in Nigeria. A scion of the erudite scholar and unrivalled historian Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman of blessed memory, she no doubt drank from the fountain of her imperishable father.
The name, Yusuf Bala Usman resonates with a vibrating sound whenever it is uttered in both the academic and political spheres of this country. He was a mentor whose scholarly works during his lifetime are still living after his demise. Some of his great works are; ”For the Liberation of Nigeria”, ”Beyond Fairy Tales”, ”Manipulation of Religion in Nigeria”, ”Misrepresentation of Nigeria”, to name but a few. He produced and mentored a group of intellectuals in the academia, political activism, trade unionism and the media, known as BBU s, (Bala Brought Ups). He shares in the posthumous credit of the democracy we are enjoying today.
A fearless amazon, Mrs Hadiza Bala is clearly an aberration of the sad experience that the offspring of great intellectual men and women hardly inherit their parents. She is indeed her father’s daughter!
It was obviously her indefatigable energy that shoots her to limelight and prominence. Without mincing words, her resilient spirit, mental and creative energy and ability to get things done that endeared her to the leadership of the APC, her political party. It was her involvement with the BBOG (Bring Back Our Girls) campaign and other patriotic campaigns behind the scenes that practically set her apart culminating into her winning the CNN’s Most Inspiring Women Award of 2014.
In an era of anything goes politics, it is no easy task for a woman to distinguish herself to the point of earning the trust Nigeria’s most prominent and respected politicians and leaders. She had not only set herself apart through tireless commitment, but had also carved a niche for herself by virtue of her excellence in getting sensitive works executed with the highest level of efficiency. It is therefore not surprising that any chief executive looking for efficiency for sensitive work would inevitably refer to her.
The assertion that a Diezani will be reborn into the incoming administration of president-elect Muhammadu Buhari is a direct attack on the integrity and moral standing of the man himself. First, Buhari is not Jonathan, while the latter has been considered as clueless the former is seen as a firm believer in the rule of law and due process, and, Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman is a proud protégé of the ideology that is today known as Buharism. Under no circumstances can a cabinet member in the incoming Buhari administration wield such unchecked power as Diezani’s under Jonathan’s administration. The Buharism in her will not just allow for that to happen.
Therefore, Mr. Ugbelu and his sponsors who are clearly out to cast aspersions on the integrity and moral character of Buhari have failed. They should device another infamous strategy but not this one because it is clearly disingenuous for them to draw a plausible comparison between Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke and Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman.
Musa Azare, wrote in from Abuja