By: Temitope Muhideen (Convydence)
An average Ilorin man will be familiar with the name above, she is popularly known as GRS. She is a woman with seven lives, a political mentor said during our chit-chat about the developments of Kwara and the contributions from the major stakeholders.
Like the Amazons of the Greek extraction, GRS is a true definition of a strong, brilliant, beautiful, and accessible woman which are the common features of an Amazon lady. I am not a fan of the Sarakite, I have established this many times, in words, writings and character, but I am a fan of a visionary leader, one who has excellent track records, input and verifiable results wherever they find themselves, no doubt GRS is a visionary leader.
In J. Cole’s theory, he put “I have an impact and people look up to me now, it’s more than money”. In his theory, Cole submitted that as a leader you must be able to touch the lives of those who believe in your ideologies, those who trust you, regardless of the situation, and most importantly those whose interest you represent. GRS is a graduate of Sussex University, From a sterling academic foundation which saw her traverse the length and breathe of the world in pursuit of academic laurels to a rich background in the private sector as a banker and expert in insurance brokerage, Gbemi has carved a niche for herself as a technocrat of repute in Nigeria before venturing into full-time politics in 1999.
At a separate time, she was the Representative of the good people of Asa/IlorinWestt Federal Constituency and later a senator representing Kwara Central Senatoria lDistrict where she set a new record in the history of Nigeria politics, she emerged as the best female legislator in Nigeria with the highest numbers of bills sponsored and pass into law by any female politician in our political history as a nation, exceptional stint it was at the National Assembly for GRS. Looking at her political life, you will come to the conclusion that, she has written her name in the hearts of the people she served at different times.
Like an Amazon with a strong conviction, in 2007 she wrote her name in the heart of Nigerians when she stood and championed the struggle against the political manipulation of extending the tenure of president Olusegun Obasanjo, this was at a time when some of her colleagues already negotiated the request from the presidency with personal demand. She left a legacy in the National Assembly before her sojourn to become the governor of Kwara state, a journey many said she lost to gender inequalities, let us leave the rest to the pages of history.
In 2019, against all odds, she emerged as one of the two ministers from Kwara state, attempts were made to stop her but antecedents and track records vindicated her, she was appointed as the minister for state transportation where she served diligently in accordance to the laws of our land. Like the Amazon that she is, she continues to impact the lives of Nigerians, Majorly the people from her immediate community. From education sponsorships to jobs creation that has been one of her greatest weapons in fighting poverty, to silent empowerment and impact with no noise, GRS is no doubt one of the blessings from the emirate.
Recently She was moved from the transportation ministry to the ministry of mining, where her collective contribution has given birth to the over two decades Ajaokuta Steel mill in Kogi State. GRS is not only the face of Nigeria’s female politicians , she is arguably the most successful female politician in the North Central. GRS is an Amazon, may the sun not set now.
Temitope Muhideen is a member of Greenfield Library Limited, Atlanta Georgia USA .