24 women seeking to be state governors in Saturday’s elections

Twenty-four women are contesting in Saturday’s governorship elections being conducted in 28 states by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Eighteen parties are presenting candidates for the elections but only two women won the tickets of any of the three major parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the new sensation, Labour Party.

The low number of female candidates and the consignment of the few female candidates to the fringe parties is a testimony to the low representation of women in political offices in Nigeria.

Perhaps the most prominent among the 24 candidates running for governor on Saturday is Aishatu Dahiru, who is flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State.

Mrs Dahiru is one of the two women representing the major parties in these elections across Nigeria. A graduate of Electrical Engineering from University of Southampton, United Kingdom, Mrs Dahiru, popularly called “Binani” across the state, is a sitting senator and is expected to offer the stiffest challenge to Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday. She had defeated many prominent male politicians, including a former boss of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, to take the APC flag in the state.

Abia is one of the few states that have two female governorship candidates. The women seeking to be governor of this South-east state are Gladys Johnson-Ogbuneke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Lancaster Okoro of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

While Ms Johnson Ogbuneke is a graduate of the College of Medicine of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she obtained her MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), Ms Okoro is a chartered accountant.

There are also two women among the governorship candidates in Akwa-Ibom State. Ekanem Abasiekeme of the Action Alliance Party (AAP) is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Uyo and founder of Sengah Life Foundation, while Udoh Emem Monday of the SDP is an expert in integrated reservoir modelling and an asset development strategist, Petroleum and Technical Reservoir Simulation.


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Benue State also has two women seeking to be its first female governor on Saturday. One of them, Roseline Chenge of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has recorded many firsts in her education and professional career. According to her resume, Ms Chenge is Northern Nigeria’s first female mechanical engineer.

The fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Engineer is also the first female Managing Director of Benue State Water Board and the first female Managing Director of a River Basin Authority in the country.

Also to govern the North-central state is Aondona Dabo-Adzuana of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). The businesswoman represented Jachira Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007.

Abubakar Fatima is the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Borno State, while Action Democratic Party (ADP) handed its flag for Cross River State to Ibiang Marikana Stanley.

In Delta State, two women are also on the governorship election ballot. Accord party nominated Onokiti Helen Agboola, an entrepreneur, while Cosmas Annabel, an entrepreneur who obtained a Higher Diploma in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of Ibadan is contesting as the candidate of All People’s Party (APP) in the South-south state.

In Ebonyi State, Chinenye Igwe is contesting under the platform of Allied People’s Movement (APM), while in Enugu State, Ogochukwu Nweze, who holds an OND in Marketing from Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu is also contesting under the banner of the SDP.

The candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in Jigawa State is another woman, Umar Binta Yahaya, an entrepreneur and, founder of Mainstream Yahaya Academy. She holds a Diploma in Public Administration from Jigawa State Polytechnic,

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Two women are also in the race in Kano State. They are Yakubu Furera Ahmad, an entrepreneur who is contesting under the flag of Boot Party (BP), and Mahmud Aisha, who is contesting as the candidate of National Rescue Movement (NRM).

In Kwara State, Motunrayo Jaiyeola, an entrepreneur, is the flag bearer of APM.

Lagos State also has two female candidates. APM is presenting Funmilayo Kupoliyi, an entrepreneur and graduate of Business Administration from Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta; and Roseline Adeyemi of the All People’s Party (APP).

Ms Adeyemi is a businesswoman who holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Imo State University and Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Lagos State University.

In Nasarawa State, Action Democratic Party (ADP) is being represented by Patricia Tsakpa, who holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Jos and a Master’s degree in Administration and Planning from the National Open University of Nigeria.

Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya is the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Niger State. Ms Abdullahi-Iya is a lawyer and certified Gender-based Violence specialist, Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC), a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and founder of Beyond Mentors Inc.

Aduragbemi Euba, an entrepreneur and fashion designer, is the candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Oyo State. Ms Euba is a graduate of International Relations from Lead City University, Ibadan. She also holds a diploma in Public Relations from Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University; and Diploma in Styling and Fashion from London College of Fashion.

Beatrice Itubo is the Labour Party (LP) candidate for Rivers State. She is the Chairperson of Rivers State Council of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), former Chairperson of the Medical and Health Worker Union of Nigeria, Rivers State branch, former Treasurer of the Nigeria Labour Congress in River State and pioneer Board Member of the Primary Healthcare Management Board.

In Zamfara, the flag of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) will be flown by Hadiza Usman.

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