Top contenders’ First Ladies of Nigeria

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This article profiles the top contenders’ wives who could become the next First Ladies of the United States as the race for the 2023 presidential election heats up with the emergence of flag bearers by political parties.
Nigerians have been presented with four leading candidates following the results of the recently completed presidential primaries, from which the nation’s next leader is likely to emerge.
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State, are the top four candidates (NNPP).

Should one of the aforementioned candidates win the presidency, his or her spouse immediately assumes the role of First Lady of the nation.

Although the Nigerian constitution does not establish a position for the First Lady of the country, wives of presidents have historically held significant power that extended beyond managing the home lives of the first families. These wives have been instrumental in determining who received political appointments and other significant decisions made by their husbands.

A few of them started side projects that mainly centred on the empowerment of women, girls, and kids. The first ladies also had personal assistants and housekeepers working for them.

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There have been 15 first ladies in Nigeria since the First Republic. Flora Azikiwe, Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, Victoria Gowon, Ajoke Muhammad, Esther Oluremi Obasanjo, Hadiza Shagari, Safinatu Buhari, Maryam Babangida, Margaret Shonekan, Maryam Abacha, Fati Lami Abubakar, Stella Obasanjo, Turai Yar’adua, and Aisha Buhari are among them.

It looked at the profiles of the wives of presidential candidates who might succeed their husbands as First Ladies if their husbands win the election.

Amina Titilayo Atiku Abubakar, Chief

Amina Titilayo, one of Atiku Abubakar’s wives and the PDP’s nominee for president in the 2023 elections, is a former vice president.

She is not a newcomer to Aso Villa politics; during the time that her husband served as vice president, she ruled as the recognised wife.

Amina was born in Lagos but is from Ilesa in Osun State.

Before enrolling in Kaduna Polytechnic in 1971, she married Atiku Abubakar, a young customs officer at the time.

She attended St. Mary’s Catholic Grammar School, Iwo in Osun State for her secondary education after completing her primary education in Lagos.

In 1983, she graduated from Kaduna Polytechnic with an HND in Catering and Hotel Management.

She was automatically hired as a lecturer at the same institution as a result of her outstanding performance, where she worked for ten years as a teacher.

The University of Abuja has awarded Mrs. Abubakar both a postgraduate diploma and a master’s degree in business administration.

Under the sponsorship of the World Tourism Organization and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she enrolled in a specialised course in hotel management at the Scuola International de Science Turistiche Roma, Italy.

She first observed women, particularly young Nigerian women, abusing their bodies through prostitution while she was in Italy.

She began advocating for the abolition of forced prostitution and other forms of human trafficking in 1999, when her husband was elected vice president of Nigeria.

First, she established the Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) and sponsored a private bill to establish the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), which will be in charge of combating human trafficking in Nigeria.

She used the WOTCLEF platform to educate Nigerians about the harm that human trafficking causes, including to its victims as well as to the safety and reputation of the nation.

She also led educational programmes aimed at integrating and rehabilitating girls who had been repatriated to Nigeria from other nations.

Numerous honours and titles have been bestowed upon Chief Mrs. Abubakar. She was designated as a partner in the fight against child illiteracy by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2003.

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Other honours include the Woman of Excellence Award 2003 from Dublin, Republic of Ireland, the Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, the Merit Award from the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), and more.

She received several awards in 2002, including the Nigerian Woman of the Year honour from Dame International.

Educating the Nigerian Child, Empower Law to Fight Child Slavery is one of the books written by Amina Titi Abubakar. Let Us Celebrate Humanity: A Collection of Speeches on Human Trafficking and Women’s Rights

Tinubu, a senator

She is the spouse of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC’s presidential hopeful. She is from Ogun State and was born on September 21, 1960. Currently serving as a senator for Lagos Central, the former first lady of Lagos State. She belongs to the APC.

At Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School in Ijebu-Ode, Pastor Oluremi Tinubu began her academic career and graduated in 1979 with a West African School Certificate (WASC). In 2010, she also earned a graduate degree from The Redeemed Christian Bible College.

She also earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Ife and a national certificate in zoology and botany education from Adeyemi College of Education.

When her husband, Bola Tinubu, was elected governor, she was named the First Lady of Lagos State.

She founded the New Era Foundation while serving as First Lady, which is committed to creating centres for “all-around development of young ones and promoting public awareness on environmental health and community service.”

In 2015’s 8th Assembly, more than 100 senators, including Senator Tinubu, were chosen. Women made up six of these.

She was re-elected to the Senate in 2019 to continue representing Lagos Central, beginning her third term.

For the 2019 Eko Excellence Awards, she was listed alongside Tony Elumelu, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and other well-known individuals.

She advocated for the establishment of state police in 2020 as a means of combating the nation’s increasing levels of insecurity.

Senator Tinubu put forth a bill in March 2021 to modernise and strengthen the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

Oluremi Tinubu has carried out numerous charitable deeds to improve the plight of the poor, particularly women and girls.

She has also authored a number of books, including The Journey of Grace: My Faith Walk, an autobiography.

At the 2021 International Women’s Day Summit, which was organised by The Guardian, Mrs. Tinubu was given the prize for being the most influential female senator.

She also received numerous honours and awards, including the Gambian Diamond Award for Immense Contribution to the Emancipation of People from Poverty and the National Award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). She is also a member of the board of trustees at Kings’ University in Ode-Omu (2005).

She is a Redeemed Christian Church of God ordained pastor. In 2018, the church held its 66th annual convention, titled Dominion, at its Old Arena on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, where she was ordained.

She also serves as the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials’ Grand Matron (COWLSO)

Margaret Obi, a (Margaret Brownson Usen)

Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra and a Labour Party candidate for president, is married to Margaret Obi, also known as Margaret Brownson Usen.

She is a native of Cross River State’s Calabar.

Margaret Brownson Usen and Obi were wed in 1992, and they have two kids together.

In order to guarantee that women held at least half of the cabinet seats while Obi was the governor of Anambra, Margaret spearheaded her husband’s National Gender Affirmative Action.

Despite her intelligence, which she concealed while working tirelessly and covertly to increase support for her husband’s administration, Margaret is known for her humility.

She is renowned for her unwavering dedication to the welfare of children and women’s empowerment.

While her husband served as governor of Anambra, she oversaw the distribution of grants for dry-season farming equipment to women cooperatives.

Additionally, she worked with the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (MWAPD) to set up Family Courts to handle cases of child abuse and violations of women’s rights, such as widows’ inheritance rights.

Greetings, Musa Kwankwaso

Salamatu Hajiya Musa Kwankwaso is the spouse of Musa Kwankwaso, the NNPP’s presidential candidate and a former governor of Kano State.

A significant portion of her profile and pictures are private.

She maintained a very low profile throughout her husband’s two terms as governor of Kano State because the position of first lady was not recognised in the state during the Kwankwaso administration.

While her husband was in office, she focused more on managing the first family’s domestic affairs and was hardly ever seen participating in political events or official engagements.

It is unclear whether Hajiya Salamatu will keep a low profile if her husband is elected as the next president or if she will become more active like other wives of previous Nigerian presidents.

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