From her party’s primaries to the day of the governorship election in Adamawa State, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani is the definition of an unrelenting fighter.
She is on the path to becoming the first elected female governor in Nigeria, especially in a region that believes that a woman should be at home playing a womanly role, showed that Senator Aishatu Binani crossed hurdles her male counterparts couldn’t.
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Contesting against an incumbent governor has always been a tough battle. But Binani took on Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, an incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Who is Senator Aishatu Binani?
- Full name: Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani
- Date of birth: August 11, 1971
- Political party: All Progressive Congress (APC)
- Senatorial District: Adamawa Central
- Education: University of Southampton
Her political career came into the limelight between 2011 to 2015 as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when she won an election into the lower legislative chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja to represent Yola North/Yola South/Girei federal constituency.
She joined the All Progressive Congress (APC) after the 2015 elections that brought in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Aishatu Binani would later become one of the strongest foot soldiers for the second term of President Buhari.
In the 2019 general elections, Hon. Binani joined the senatorial election race, winning Adamawa Central to replace Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako (son of a former governor of Adamawa) who decamped from APC to ADC to contest the governorship election.
As a senator, she became the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Asa federal lawmaker
As a federal lawmaker, some of the known bills she sponsored at the National Assembly include:
- Modibo Adama University of Technology (Establishment etc) Bill
- Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill
- Federal Medical Centre (Establishment etc) Bill and
- Fiscal Responsibility Commission (Establishment etc) Bill among others.
Aishatu Binani’s Governorship Race
Aishatu pulled a shocker in 2022 as she joined the governorship race in Adamawa. Though she was confident that she would win the election if it was free and fair, her political counterparts within the party thought she would become an easy ride.
One of the strongest members of APC who picked the governorship ticket was the pioneer Chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ruhu Ribadu.
Binani as the first female governorship aspirant in Adamawa
In a keenly contested primary election of the APC on May 27, 2022, the underrated Aishatu Binani showed five other men she was running against that women are good fighters.
The candidates she defeated in the primaries are big-time political players in Nigerian and in Adamawa. They are:
- Jibrilla Bindow (Past governor of the state)
- Abdulrazak Namdas (a House of Representatives member)
- Wafari Theman
- Umar Mustapha
The results of the APC primary election in Adamawa state was as follows:
- Binani: 430 votes
- Ribadu: 288 votes
- Jibrilla: 103 votes
- Namdas: 94 votes
- Theman: 21 votes
- Mustapha: 39 votes
By the result of the primaries, Binani became the first female governorship aspirant of a major political party in Adamawa State and also the second female flag bearer of a major party across Nigeria.
Her political battle
One would have expected those she contested against to congratulate her, but Nuhu Ribadu approached a court to challenge the victory of Binani and the Federal High Court granted the prayers of the former EFCC chairman.
The court nullified the victory of Binani in the governorship primary and declared that APC had no candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
But the resilient Senator Aishatu Binani approached an Appeal Court which ruled that the senior lawmaker was duly elected in during APC’s primaries, therefore, she’s the APC candidate for the governorship election in Adamawa State.
The court set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court that nullified her victory.
Her victory at the Appeal Court was just the beginning of another round of battle: from gender to fighting an incumbency.
Banking on the population of women in Adamawa
On March 18, 2023, after casting her ballot at Polling Unit 005, Bamboi ward, Yola south LGA, Adamawa State, the fearless female politician said she had the assurance of winning the election if women deployed their number in her favour.
Of course, the gallant female politician was correct in banking on the population of women.
Take a look at this:
In 2021, Nigeria’s female population is estimated at 105.57 million, while their male population was estimated at approximately 107.83 million, according to Statista.
In January 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that out of the 93,469,008 registered voters for the 2023 general election, 49,054,162 of them were males while 44,414,846 were females who were eligible to vote.
However, another research also showed that more women votes during an election than their male counterparts.
On this fact, Binani was quoted by TheCable as saying:
“Women virtually constitute the larger population of voters – if all the women cast their vote in my favour, certainly we will get there.”TheCable
Support from Buhari
Buhari who was on the last leg of his presidency threw his weight behind the candidacy of the 51-year-old Binani on January 9, 2023, when he said he was in the state “to ensure the election of Binani as the first female elected governor.
“We are here to ensure that Sen. Binani becomes the first female elected governor God willing. Her election will speak to Nigeria and the world through Adamawa State.”Vanguard
In the much-circulated result by insiders within APC, Aishatu Ahmed Binani was leading her rival and the incumbent Ahmadu Fintiri.
Although the result at Fufore local government area is being contested by the PDP.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)in Adamawa, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, said that the announcement of results for the controversial Fufore LG will be deferred to 12:00 noon on Monday, March 20, 2023.
Binani attended primary schools in Kaduna and Yola. She later went to the United Kingdom for her university education where she obtained a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southampton.
Who is the first female governor in Nigeria?
Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba of Anambra was the first female governor in Nigeria, but she assumed the office when her boss Peter Obi was unconstitutionally impeached by the Anambra State House of Assembly.
So, Aishatu Ahmed Binani is most likely to become the first elected female governor.
- Haslon Freedom and Emmanuel Egobiambu (May 27, 2022). “Senator Aishatu Beats Ribadu, Ex-Governor To Win APC Adamawa Guber Ticket”. channelstv.com
- Amina AbdullahiKabiru Anwar (November 24, 2022). “Appeal Court Declares Binani APC Governorship Candidate In Adamawa”. dailytrust.com