Nigeria: Presidential Hopefuls – the Women Behind Them

The three frontliners in the 2023 general election have been chosen.

The big battle ahead is likely to define one of the most competitive political races yet in the nation’s history.

Rooting for them are the women in their lives whose strengths and weaknesses will be brought to bear on their respective spouses.

Margaret Obi

Though not that much of a newcomer, Labour Party’s presidential candidate and former governor of Anambra State has managed to drum up the support and admiration of change seekers; so much so as to raise curiosity about his better half.

She is none other than Margaret Obi, who came into public reckoning outside of Anambra State in 2017 when she had to emerge from her very private personal life to debunk very rife rumours of her own divorce.

Gender Profile

Nee Brownson Usen, she has shown much commitment to gender matters. For instance, she’s said to be the brain behind her husband’s National Gender Affirmative Action which had at least 50% of positions given to women under her husband’s administration.

As Anambra First Lady, she also facilitated the establishment of family courts in the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to deal with issues of child abuse and violations of women’s rights, especially as pertaining to the rights of widows to inherit property.

The Cross River native is also a businesswoman.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, OON

Former governor of Lagos State and veteran political strategist and philanthropist, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has always been clear about his family affiliations and his better half. She is a successful politician, has always been well known to the public.

Oluremi Tinubu, a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is one of just seven female senators in the 9th Assembly, having represented Lagos Central Senatorial District since 2011. Tinubu, who chairs the Senate Committee on Communications, has sponsored bills like Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Programme (Establishment) Bill, 2019.

Gender Profile

The university of Ife alumnus is well known for her New Era Foundation, dedicated to establishing centres for “all round development of young ones and promoting public awareness on environmental health and community service.”

Amina Titi Atiku-Abubakar

One of Nigeria’s most formidable politicians and former Nigerian Vice- President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is well known for marrying from different parts of the country. His best known wife, Amina Titi Abubakar is no stranger to the limelight, having served as the official wife during his stint as vice- president.

Gender Profile

Unknown to many, the former lecturer has been an advocate of women and child rights, bringing the plight of trafficked persons to the fore at a time when it wasn’t popular.

Titi Abubakar in 1999, when her husband became Nigeria’s vice- president, started an advocacy to end forced prostitution and other forms of human trafficking.

First, she founded Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation, WOTCLEF, and then sponsored a private bill for strict punishment for traffickers and for the establishment of a federal agency, the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, responsible for fighting trafficking of persons in Nigeria. She also ran education courses focused on welcoming and rehabilitating girls repatriated from different countries back home to Nigeria.

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