Mama Taraba
Mama Taraba

OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari; former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku and former senate president, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, have mourned the death of former minister of women affairs, Hajiya Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly called “Mama Taraba,” who passed away on Friday in Cairo, Egypt.

President Buhari, according to a statement from his media aide, Garba Shehu, said he is “deeply saddened” by the death of the former minister.

“The demise of the notable politician, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan has left many saddened,” Buhari said.

“Both in office and out of office, her concern for the education of the girl child, especially those of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists, shone through.

“Her death is a huge loss not only to the female gender activist community but to the country as a whole. Our condolences to her family, friends, National Assembly and government and people of Taraba State.”

Similarly, Atiku, a close associate of the former minister and prominent Taraba politician, said he is deeply grieved by her passing.

“I am grieved by the death of former Minister of Women Affairs, Sen. Aisha Alhassan. I asked about her condition this afternoon after I called her number without a response! Inna lillahi wainna Ilaihi Rajiun!” Atiku said.

“May Allah forgive her sins and grant her Aljannah Fiddausi in this holy month. Ameen. Mama Taraba as she was popularly known, was an accomplished civil servant, astute politician and patriot. She was compassionate, loyal and deeply committed to a better Nigeria. She will be sorely missed. I really have lost a sister and a loyalist.”

Also reacting to the death, Taraba State governor, Ishaku described her as a strong woman and a major stakeholder in Taraba politics.

“I am deeply saddened today by the news of the loss of Hajiya Jummai Alhassan (Mama Taraba). She was indeed a strong woman and a major stakeholder in Taraba politics,” Ishaku said.

“In this sorrowful time, on behalf of myself and the Taraba State Government, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family. I pray that God will grant the family, friends and State the fortitude to bear the loss. My most sincere condolences.”

Similarly, former senate president, Saraki, said the late minister will be remembered for her courage, tenacity and her commitment to public service.

“My sincere condolences to the family, friends and fervent supporters of Mama Taraba, Sen. Aisha Alhassan who passed away earlier today. She will be remembered for her courage, tenacity and her commitment to public service,” Saraki said.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants her a place amongst the righteous ones in Al Jannah Firdaus.”

Al-Hassan was a former Minister of Women Affairs and a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Taraba North Senatorial District.

She was also the All Progressives Congress’ Governorship Candidate for Taraba State in the 2015 general elections.

She contested for the same seat on the platform of the United Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections after resigning as a minister in Buhari’s government.

She was born on the 16th of September, 1959 in Jalingo, Taraba State, to Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, Sarkin Ayukan Muri.

She attended Muhammed Nya Primary School, Jalingo and LEA Primary School, Tudun Wada, Kaduna before proceeding to Saint Faith College (now GGSS) Kawo Kaduna where she studied between January 1973 and June 1977.

She attended the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from July 1977 to July 1979 for her preliminary studies.

Al-Hassan started work as a Magistrate Grade II in April 1988 in the Kaduna State Judiciary.

She was admitted to the Fijian Bar and enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji in 1991. While she was in Fiji, her services were transferred from Kaduna State Judiciary to FCT Judiciary in 1991 as Magistrate Grade I.

Al-Hassan was appointed the first female Attorney General of her State, Taraba in 1997.

She was appointed the first female Chief Registrar of the High Court of the FCT in December 2003. She voluntarily retired from the FCT Judiciary as Chief Registrar on the 31st of December, 2009.