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Senator Khairat Gwadabe: Outstanding among her equals

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It was late last year when the federal government mooted the idea of a National Conference which would afford Nigerians the opportunity to come together and discuss their future after some  100 years of existence occasioned by the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914. To achieve this aim, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee, led by Dr. Femi Okurounmu, to prepare the blueprint for a National Conference within one month after which the government would determine how the talk shop would be conducted.

The presidency chose Dr. Okurounmu, an engineer and a former university lecturer who was also a senator of the federal republic between 1999 and 2003. Dr. Akilu Indabawa was named to serve as the secretary of the committee. The other members of the committee, according to a statement by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyiam Pius Anyiam were Prof. George Obiozor and Prof. Ben Nwabueze. Sen. Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe, a former member of the National Assembly also featured prominently on the list.

For this elegant amazon, it is a true story of ‘who the cap fits’, not just because of the beautiful niche she has carved for herself with her unique fashion statement but because of her innumerable achievements in the many endeavours of life she has found herself. 

Born in 1962 and married to a handsome former military officer, Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe was elected Senator for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja constituency, at the on-set of the Fourth Republic in 1999. She ran on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), defeating many opponents to clinch the position. At the National Assembly on the floor of the red chamber, Senator Gwadabe distinguished herself as a vocal voice for the helpless and sponsored many bills. She successfully held that office spanning from May 1999 to May 2003. 

Senator Khairat Gwadabe is a woman of distinction indeed. Born in Ilorin in April 1962, she studied law at the University of Lagos and became a legal practitioner. Her election into the senate in 1999 was her first venture into politics. Having taken her seat in the Senate, she was appointed to committees on the Environment, Health, Women Affairs (chairman), Federal Character, Tourism and Culture and Federal Capital Territory. She was a member of the Panel of Review of Nigeria Customs and Excise. 

Khairat, an outstanding woman among her peers, was once again a contender to regain her Senatorial seat. In 2003, she contested a senatorial seat on the platform of the PDP but lost in the primaries but was not given the ticket. Some people believe that this may not have been unconnected to her previous support for a move to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo. But in such a swift move that dazzled her political supporters and opponents, in January 2003 she announced that she was moving to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) due to what she termed as unfair treatment by the PDP. 

In August 2005, after about some six years into her marriage, Senator Abdulrazak-Gwadabe made her husband proud when she gave birth to her first child, a boy, at a hospital in Miami, Florida in USA. She was aged 46. The father of the new baby, Colonel Lawan Gwadabe, was former military governor of Niger State. As of December 2011, Senator Abdulrazak-Gwadabe was the Chairman of the Senators Forum, through which former and serving senators shared their knowledge and experience. 

Her wealth of experience propelled President Goodluck Jonathan to name her among the prominent persons who would prepare the blue print needed to   start the national dialogue for the unity of this country.  At the National Conference, Senator Gwadabe is making her mark as a resounding legal luminary as well as leaving her foot prints on the indelible sands of time.

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