International Women's Day 8 Influential women in Nigerian politics

On international women's day, we celebrate some of Nigeria's most influential governance personalities.

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Nigerian women play

Nigerian women

(Punch)
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Today is International Women's Day (IWD).

According to the United Nations, it's “a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

"It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women.”

The first IWD was celebrated in New York on February 28, 1909.

The protesters said they were marching against domestic violence, mistreatment of women in maternity hospitals and bullying in the armed forces play Women on IWD (AFP)

 

However, it was not until five years later--March 8, 1914--that the second IWD was marked.

On IWD, we commemorate the struggle for women's rights and celebrate the female gender--that embodiment of mankind and virtue.

On IWD, we celebrate our mothers, girlfriends, sisters, nieces and aunts.

We also celebrate their role in governance and politics. 

This year's IWD theme is: 'Be Bold for Change'.

Below, we run the rule on eight of the most influential ladies in the Nigerian politics and governance terrain at the moment; in no particular order.

1. Abike Dabiri-Erewa

President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, sauntered into the political space after a glorious career in the media, and hasn't looked back since.

play Abike Dabiri (left) (Punch)

 

Dabiri-Erewa has served in Nigeria's parliament and continues to lend her voice to issues of immigration and development in our world.

ALSO READ: Here's why Abike Dabiri and Geoffrey Onyeama are fighting

We salute her today.

2. Stella Oduah

A serving Senator, Princess Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi  is as vocal on bills on the floor of parliament as she was as Minister during the Goodluck Jonathan era.

Stella Oduah play Stella Oduah (Adelove)

 

An ill-advised procurement of bullet-proof cars while she was Aviation minister may have smeared Stella and threatened her rise up the political ladder, but she doesn't seem to care as she trudges on.

3. Onyeka Onwenu

The 'elegant stallion' swims in and out of politics and music like it's nothing.

Onyeka Onwenu play Onyeka Onwenu (Rotor Concepts)

 

We grew up on Onwenu's melodious voice on the stereo and she's still here.

Staying power, grace and agelessness...this former top ranking official in the Presidency has them all.

4. Obiageli Ezekwesili

The co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group continues to redefine civic engagement and the role of the office of the citizen, one tweet at a time.

play Obiageli Ezekwesili (The Nation)

 

Oby will continue to be a factor in our politics and governance for a long time to come.

ALSO READ: Oby Ezekwesili is Pulse person of the year

There's no doubt about that.

5. Aisha Buhari

The President's wife may have been shoved to the 'other room', but she took her influence on policies and politics with her.

First Lady Aisha Buhari enjoys a night of laughter play Aisha Buhari (Presidency)

 

Mrs Buhari is fearless and unnerved, as Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose would attest.

6. Remi Tinubu

Having a spouse with plenty of name recognition could be a yoke for some, as that could mean operating from under the shadows.

Senator Remi Tinubu play Remi Tinubu (The Light News)

 

Not Remi.

Mrs Tinubu has carved her own political niche from the Bola Tinubu school of politics and her delivery on the floor of the Senate has mightily improved.

Shout out to her.

7. Amina Mohammed

Nigeria's former Environment minister just bagged a job at the UN.

She told Pulse that she wouldn't be leaving Nigeria for good.

Nigeria's Minister of Environment Amina Mohammed has been appointed as the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde play Amina Mohammed (UN)

 

And just as well.

She's a strong and tough one and we love her.

8. Aisha Alhassan

'Mama Taraba' is beauty, brains and persistence.

She's as formidable an opposition as they come.

Taraba Election: S/Court gives reasons for dismissing Alhassan's appeal play Aisha Alhassan (African Examiner)

 

She's also an astute political player.

Some day, we'll realise how good a race she ran during the Taraba governorship election and emulate her strategy.

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