By Pembi David-Stephen
The National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), will on Thursday, May 23, 2019, induct Distinguished Senator Binta Masi-Garba (APC, Adamawa North Senatorial District), into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame.
Senator Garba, a politician, businessman, philanthropist, administrator and a gender equity advocate, joins a league of few eminent stateswomen of the country whose footprints dot the globe.
A native of Bazza – a town in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State – she exemplifies perseverance, courage and hope while maintaining its own unique style and rhythm. Garba, the only female Senator elected in the entire 19 Northern states of Nigeria in the 2015 elections, displays all these qualities.
Currently representing Adamawa North Senatorial District of Adamawa State in the 8th Assembly, Garba, who is the first female state chairperson of a registered major political party in Nigeria (the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adamawa) has broken several gender moulds.
She served in the Federal House of Representatives thrice (from 1999 to 2011) and is the first politician to represent two different Federal constituencies (1999 to 2007, Kaduna South, Kaduna State; 2007 to 2011, Madagali/Michika, Adamawa State).
Garba was elected as the first Vice President of the African Region’s Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), under the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Cameroon in 2009. Her proposal for a national women’s anthem was adopted by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs. Also, Garba was the only female delegate from Adamawa State to the National Conference in Abuja in 2014.
Tracking back, between 1975 and 1981, she attended Army Children School, New Cantonment D, Hayin Banki, Kaduna, Kaduna State. Having completed her primary education, Garba proceeded to Government Day Secondary School, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna, for her secondary school education between 1981 and 1986, where she obtained her Second Scholl Leaving Certificate.
Garba holds an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) from the prestigious Kaduna Polytechnic, majoring in Marketing (1990) and a Higher National Diploma (HND, 1997), from the same institute in the same course. Armed with a desire to acquire more knowledge, in 2004, she attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and became a Certified Public Financial Manager. She holds two diplomas in Theology from the Bible School of Church Growth and Practical Ministry, from the Matthew Owojaiye Ministry, Kaduna and is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Theology from the Smith Christian University, Miami, Florida.
Garba’s political career began in Kaduna, in 1997. Before that, she worked for the New Nigeria Newspapers as an advert officer with her progression delayed, due to administrative gender bias. She eventually quit to begin her political career same year, as a member of the National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN). She later moved to the All People’s Party (APP) on whose platform she contested the 1999 elections and was elected a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Kaduna South Federal Constituency.
Garba has lived up to her reputation by justifying the trust the people have in her. By dint of hard work and perseverance, she has gone beyond politics to focus on promoting the welfare of her constituency through concrete and verifiable initiatives and interventions in the social, economic, and cultural lives of her people.
She has steadily but surely embarked on initiatives which have gone a long way to better the lot of her people, irrespective of social status, political or religious differences.
It is the view of the wide spectrum of the society that Garba has brought to the political environment something novel, so far unseen in representation and what has come to be called “purposeful representations”.
In the course of her political career, Garba has been exposed to the socio-cultural and economic variables of the 36 states (including Abuja) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as those of countries like USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland, Switzerland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Tunisia, Gambia, Senegal, Mexico and Benin-Republic among others.
Garba is a recipient of several national and international awards in recognition of her service to humanity and the society. Also, she has won several awards that indicate recognition for her work by a grateful society as an amazon in the arena of leadership and selfless service to humanity.