Mrs Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril is one of those strong women voices whose credible track records has broken the wings of female stereotypes and has tilted a new path for women to own their voices and be their dreams.
The veteran Nigerian politician was born in March 1945 and hails from Kwara State, she is the first child to her late parents. Sarah Jibril is a widow of Brigadier General Jibril, blessed with four children and grandchildren.
Jubril gained a wide range of experience as a teacher, housewife, sportswoman, and counselor. The one time Commissioner for Social Development, Youths and Sports in Kwara State and former assistant athletics coach, Kaduna Sports Council, also taught at the Advanced Teachers College, Kano.
She attended Dartford College of Education, London, and Kansas University, USA, where she graduated with a B.Sc. in Education among others. In addition, she bagged a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Lagos and specialised in Educational, Social, and Family Psychology.
However, Sarah Jubril is known as the only woman standing having stood to contest for Presidency, four times. Despite not having her dreams fulfilled, the female role model is yet to give up the fight of having a better Nigeria.
Jibril’s quest for public office began in 1983, when she contested to be a senator in Kwara State. According to her, the desire to reorient the mindset of Nigerians on politics was what prompted her to go into it.
Jibril was also appointed Commissioner for Social Development, Youth, and Sport in Kwara State, and has served on various sporting positions including Kaduna State sports council. In 1992, she contested to be president under the Social Democratic Party but was placed fourth in the primary election, although she won the presidential nomination for her state, Kwara.
She re-contested to be president in 1998, under the platform of People’s Democratic Party, but lost to Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2003, she defected from PDP to Progressive Action Congress to become the first woman to represent a registered party and be a presidential candidate but lost to Obasanjo again
After losing out in the 2011 presidential elections primaries to the eventual president, Goodluck Jonathan, notably getting only a single vote, she was appointed Special Adviser on ethics and values to the president.
As Special Adviser, she advocated for a national curriculum that would ensure Nigerian was free of corruption at all levels and founding values are maintained.
Sarah Jubril is known for her unshakable loyalty spirit and this was made known during her refusal to join her counterparts to defect to the All Progressives Congress after President Buhari won the presidency.
In an interview with Punch correspondent, the daughter , Asibi Agbeyo consented to her act of loyalty by stating that the female role model is a woman who is not easily swayed to follow the bandwagon, emphasizing the fact that she sticks to her convictions.
” When she decides to be part of something, she stays in all the way. She didn’t have the conviction to defect even though she was pressured by some of her supporters and friends.”
She also gave a hint of why her mother ventured into politics, noting that the mother’s compassion towards the plight of her people is her driving force to lead the nation.
She added ” The need to make a difference in her society has always been a strong part of her personality. She is not into politics for personal gains or what she can make, rather she desires to help people in any way possible, so they could have a better life.”
Years have crept by and Sarah Jubril is still seen as a woman who has stood tall despite all odds. Her life is a symbol of strength, courage and brevity, that why Voice Your Stories team honours her with the Personality of the Week.