In what can be described as a historic feat, Rukayat Shittu, a 26-year-old woman, has emerged victorious in the just-concluded state assembly election in Kwara state, Nigeria. Shittu, who hails from Manyan village of Alapa/Onire/Odegiwa ward of Kwara state, defeated her closest opponent, Abdullah Magaji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to become the representative of the Owode/Onire state constituency in the Kwara state house of assembly.
Her victory is no doubt a great achievement for the young politician who has shown that age is not a barrier to political success. Her election to the state house of assembly has made her the youngest lawmaker in the country, a feat that is worthy of celebration. She has also broken the glass ceiling in a society where women are often marginalized in politics.
Her academic background is quite impressive, having attended Baptist Primary School LGEA in Ilorin, and Government Girls Day Secondary School, Oko Erin, before obtaining her Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) in 2011. She later proceeded to the Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, where she obtained a diploma certificate in Mass Communication and Islamic Studies in 2015. In 2022, she was employed as the head of the news department at Just Event Online, a Kwara-based online newspaper, after graduating from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) the same year.
Shittu’s journey to the state assembly was not without challenges. She faced stiff opposition from Ayinde Alajere, another aspirant, who challenged her victory in court. However, the court of appeal eventually dismissed Alajere’s case for lack of merit and declared Shittu as the legitimate candidate of the APC for the state House of Assembly poll. This victory is a testament to Shittu’s resilience and determination to succeed in the face of adversity.
In an interview after the court ruling, Shittu urged everyone to come together to deliver victory for the APC across all levels. Her call for unity and togetherness is a clear indication of her readiness to work with other lawmakers in the state assembly to bring about meaningful development to the people of Kwara state.
Rukayat’s victory in the Kwara state assembly election is a shining example of what can be achieved when young people are given the opportunity to participate in the political process. It is also a clear indication that age and gender should not be a barrier to political success. As she prepares to assume office on May 29, we can only hope that Shittu will use her position to make a positive impact in the lives of the people of Kwara state.