Culled from Sunday Trust
The list of female deputy governors is likely to increase after the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, thanks to the decision of some political parties, especially the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to field female deputy governors in next month’s elections. In this year’s elections, more female deputy governors are likely to emerge from Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Enugu states.
The motive, no doubt, is to secure the votes from the Nigerian women. But the emergence of new female deputy governors will surely add to the ranks of the first female deputy governor in Nigeria, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, who spent three years as the deputy governor of Lagos State before she fell out with former Governor Bola Tinubu.
She was followed by Mrs Dame Virginia Ngozi Etiaba, who resigned in March 2006 to assume the position of the Deputy Governor of Anambra State. From November 2006 to February 2007, she became the first female governor in Nigeria’s history after former Governor Peter Obi was impeached by the state legislature for alleged gross misconduct. The next former female Deputy Governor was Mrs Pauline Tallen, who worked with Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State between 2007 and 2011.
This report tries to look at the profiles, popularity, political experience and the sponsors of the new set of would-be female deputy governors in Nigeria across the states.
LAGOS: APC, PDP pick female deputy governors
Both the Lagos State chapters of the APC and PDP appeared to be on the same page on the permutations that led to the emergence of their deputy governorship candidates. While the APC settled for a female deputy governorship candidate, the PDP also did same. Both candidates are Muslims from the same political axis – Badagry/Ojo area of Lagos West Senatorial District.
The APC settled for Mrs Oluranti Adebule, the current Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Adebule was said to have been unanimously endorsed for gender and religious balance.
She is known as a prominent member of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), who hails from Idowu-Esho of Ojo Alaworo in Ojo Local Government Area.
Adebule holds a Doctorate Degree. She lectured at the Lagos State University (LASU) before her appointment as the SSG.
She began her early education at Awori College, Ojo before proceeding on admission to the Lagos State University, Ojo where she bagged her Bachelor of Art in Education (B.A.Ed) degree in Islamic Studies in 1992. She also has a Master’s Degree (M.Ed) in Curriculum Studies, graduating in 1997. She then bagged a certificate in Early Childhood Development Curriculum and School Administration and Assessment from the Nigeria Institute of International Education Association in 2006.
She, thereafter, enrolled and completed her Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Curriculum Studies in 2012 also in LASU.
On the other hand, the Lagos state PDP chose to settle for a former school teacher and accountant, Alhaja Safurat Olayinka Abdulkarim, who was once a deputy governorship candidate to the late PDP governorship candidate in the 2003 gubernatorial election, Engr. Fusnho Williams.
Safurat, wife of a retired Air Force officer, holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Ado-Ekiti in 2007. Born on June 23, 1961 to the Muslim family of Mr. Mofolorunsho Layode and Mrs. Risikat Ayinke Layode, Safurat has her roots in the indigenous Egun and Awori extractions of Lagos. Her father hailed from Layode compound in Awhonjigoh Quarters, Badagry, while her mother came from the famous Akibon family, a lineage of warriors from Akogun Compound in Iba Town, in present day Ojo Local Government.
Between 1998 and 1999, Safurat, who is a staunch member of the Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), was appointed Vice Chairman and Supervisory Councillor in the Caretaker Committee of Badagry Local Government.
Safurat was said to have begun her educational life in Ansar-ud-Deen Primary School, Badagry, Lagos, between 1966 and 1972. From 1975 to 1980, she attended Government Teachers’ College, Badagry, where she obtained a Teacher’s Grade II Certificate. She, thereafter, proceeded to the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, from 1985 to 1987 for an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Accounting, followed by a Higher National Diploma (HND) from the Kano State Polytechnic (1990). In 2006, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management from the University of Ado-Ekiti.
OGUN: APC, UPN settle for females
In Ogun state, Mrs Yetunde Abosede Onanuga was nominated Governor Ibikunle Amosun as his running mate ahead of the governorship election on February 28. The APC deputy governorship candidate is a seasoned bureaucrat, politician and princess from Aparaki in Ijebu North Local Government Area.
Mrs. Onanuga (nee Fabanwo), 54, was presented to party leaders at the ultra-modern MTR Hall inside Ibara GRA by the state party Chairman, Chief Roqeeb Adeniji on December 22, 2014.
She was accompanied to the venue by her husband, Otunba Abiodun Onanuga, the Giwa Bobakeye Akile Ijebu, who is also Managing Director of NUGACON Group of Companies.
The running mate was a grand-daughter of the late Oba of Akaka in Remo North Local Government Area, Oba Oye Sofodu.
Analysts believe that her emergence on the APC gubernatorial ticket provides a perfect balance in terms of geo-political consideration, gender and religion.
While Governor Amosun comes from Ogun Central Senatorial District, the party zones the deputy governor’s slot to Ogun East Senatorial District. The Speaker of the State House of Assembly is zoned to Ogun West Senatorial District.
According to the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyoni, “Ogun East Senatorial District has two sections – Ijebu and Remo. The Remo wing has produced the party’s senatorial candidate, Chief Dapo Abiodun, Managing Director of Hayden Petroleum who is from Iperu Remo.
“The Deputy Governor is expected to come from Ijebuland. Coincidentally, Mrs Onanuga is not only from the two largest LGAs in Ijebuland by origin and marriage, she also has a link to the Remo area. She is by origin from Ijebu North LGA and her husband is a ranking member of the royal court of the Awujale of Ijebuland in Ijebu Ode LGA. Her mother is also a princess of the Akaka town in Remo area. Therefore, she has a link with all the sections of the Ogun East Senatorial District,” Olaniyonu hinted.
The commissioner also noted that as “a devout Christian and mother, Mrs Onanuga is expected to complement and provide support for the energetic and progressive Governor Amosun as the administration moves into the critical stage in the implementation of its mission to rebuild Ogun State”.
Onanuga was educated at the Lagos State College of Science and Technology (LACOSTEC), now Lagos State Polytechnic, and Ogun State University, now known as Olabisi Onabanjo University. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
As an experienced public servant, having risen to become a Director of Finance and Administration in the Lagos State public service, she is expected to deploy her experience in public administration for the benefit of the Ogun State government when elected.
Another political party with a female deputy governorship candidate is the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Alhaja Olamide Olatunbosun.
Mrs Olatunbosun, a businesswoman, was a graduate of Mass Communication from the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. She is nominated by the UPN candidate, Prince Rotimi Paseda.
RIVERS: Wike picks woman to appease Kalabari
Dr Ipalibo Banigo is the Rivers State PDP deputy governorship candidate. Dr Banigo was born on December 20, 1952 to the Harry family of Obuama in Degema LGA of Rivers State. She attended Queens college Yaba , Lagos between 1964 and 1968 and returned to the same institution from 1969 to 1970 for higher school. She obtained division one in her West African School Certificate Examination in 1968 and distinction in the higher school result in 1970. She attended University of Ibadan University College Hospital where she obtained the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and thus qualified as a medical doctor in June 1976.
She also attended high rate institutions in all her professional career. She was appointed honorary consultant dermatologist, University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt.
She became acting Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare between December 1996 and June 1997. She was once the Director-General (DG), Rivers State Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and eventually became Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in April 2, 1998.
She was board member, governing council, University of Calabar, board member, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. She was a Project Director, United Nations Fund for Population activities . She was appointed the Secretary to the Rivers State Government from October 5, 1995 to July 5, 1999. She was also appointed public health adviser to Shell petroleum development company of Nigeria, East in 2000 and was also executive Director National primary Health care development agency and later the secretary to the board of the agency. Dr Banigo is a grandmother.
Her choice as the PDP running mate, our correspondent gathered, was to appease the Kalabari part of the State, who had been agitating for power shift from the upland to the riverine part of the State.
Apart from that, the choice of Banigo is also strategic to the plans of the PDP to get the sympathy of the teeming population of Rivers’ women.
The Kalabari elites had been at the forefront of the agitation that power must rotate from the upland to the riverine. The Kalabari leaders had argued that since Governor Rotimi Amaechi, hailed from the same senatorial district and the Ikwerre ethnic nationality with the PDP governorship candidate, Barrister Nyesom Wike, another ethnic bloc from the state should produce the next governor in the spirit of justice, fairness and equity.
Some of the elders from the Kalabari ethnic nationality had, in the past, given the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan a seven-day ultimatum within which to either withdraw the PDP governorship ticket from Wike or lose a greater percentage of Kalabari votes to the APC in the 2015 election.
ENUGU: PDP, APC struggle for women’s votes
For the first time since the creation of Enugu State, the people of the state may also have their first female deputy governor. The governorship candidates, of the two major political parties in the state – Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP and Chief Okechukwu Ezea of the APC – chose women as their running mates.
Though it is still not quite clear why the two major parties decide to pick females as running mates, pundits believe that it is a way of giving women a sense of belonging and as “ a political strategy” to win women’s votes because of their population.
Barrister Lolo Cicilia Ezeilo, who is representing Eziagu state constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, is the running mate to the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Ugwuanyi while Barrister Juliet Ibekaku is the running mate to the APC governorship candidate, Chief Ezea.
Elected into the state legislature through the ticket of the PDP, Mrs Lolo Ezeilo is the deputy Chief Whip of the House and also Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges . She was born in 1965 and married to the immediate past traditional ruler of Aguobu-Owa Autonomous Community in Eziagu Local Government Area of the state, the late Igwe Malachi Ezeilo. She has a LL.B degree from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and a Diploma in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Before her election into the House, she had worked as a journalist with the state radio and television stations, Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS).
The running mate to the APC gubernatorial candidate, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku is also an international criminal lawyer and development expert with 22 years post-graduate experience. Ibekaku was called to the Nigerian Bar as a barrister and solicitor in 1993, and has a Masters degree in International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Criminal Law and a postgraduate certificate in anti-corruption studies. She hails from Egede, Udi Local Government Area. She is married with two children.
Through her work on governance, she had made useful contributions to the review of laws, regulations and procedures to strengthen anti-corruption institutions and legal measures in Nigeria and internationally. She is an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Lagos, the Nigeria Law School, Hague Academy of International Law, Netherlands, and the University of Hong Kong Program on Anti-corruption, among others. Her choice as running mate to Ezea was reportedly done single-handedly by Ezea himself, a development that has raised some dust in the Enugu chapter of the APC.