The military is one of the institutions that women have been excluded from and discouraged to join for centuries. It was only recently in history that women were allowed to be soldiers. Many people still believe that women should not be a part of it, seeing as it requires great discipline and strength to be a part of. Qualities that are not attributed to women.
Jamila Abubakar Sadiq Malafa. Is the first woman in Northern Nigeria to become an army general. An international maritime lawyer and the first northern female Commodore in the history of the Nigerian Navy. She joined the Nigerian Navy in 1988 and was commissioned as a midshipman in 1990.
Her Journey into the Navy started while she awaited admission into the nursing profession. After all her Educational achievements she she mentioned that her dream to join the army was not supported by her father so she had to go behind his back. She become the first lawyer of any gender from her village. After obtaining two master’s degree in Constitution and Criminal law and International Maritime Law from University of Lagos in 2004 and Maritime institute university in Malta in 2009 respectively. When she returned from Malta, she was among those selected to tour some Northern states which include Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara and other core northern states to encourage young women to join the profession. She equally solicited the help of the Sultan and the office of the state’s Commissioner of Information for their support for the initiative to yield fruit but it did not. Commodore Malafa, who is presently the Director of the Nigerian Navy Legal, holds the position of Deputy Director Civil-Military Relations (Law Support) making her in charge of the law department of the Nigeria Navy at the headquarters .
Malafa was decorated with the rank of commodore which is equivalent to the rank of a brigadier-general in the Nigeria Army. In December 2017 . Henry Babalola, chief of policy and plans (COPP) at the naval headquarters in Abuja, said the attainment was a thing of joy.He said there were a few women who had achieved such height in the nation’s armed forces, adding that her success was as a result of training exposures afforded her by the Nigerian Navy.
He expressed hope that her historical elevation will serve as an inspiration to women in the folk of the armed forces and ensure that there is no limit to the heights they can achieve in their chosen careers.
“I am the first female of northern extraction to be promoted to the rank of a General in the Nigerian Navy,” Malafa said
“The promotion will inspire me to be more loyal and dedicated in my duties to the Navy and Nigeria.”