No doubt, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has relegated women to the background, by not following the globally recognised 35 percent affirmation action.
As a result, Post-Nigeria has thoroughly investigated and discovered 5 female political heavy weights, who can sweep the President off his feet, with their intimidating records, if any of them indicates interest to run for the 2019 Presidency.
1. Folorunsho Alakija
She is a Nigerian businesswoman, who is the second richest African woman after Isabel Dos Santos, and also the third richest woman of African descent in the world.
She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. She is the Group Managing Director of ‘The Rose of Sharon Group’, which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions Limited, and Digital Reality Prints Limited; and she is also the Executive Vice-Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Alakija, is ranked by Forbes, as the richest woman in Nigeria, with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. As at 2015, she was listed as the Second Most Powerful Woman in Africa, after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the 87th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes.
2. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Former Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Prior to the administration of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in 1999, the Nigerian economy was lagging behind. Human development indicators were below average, compared to other developing countries. The country’s revenue was largely dependent on oil exports, and fiscal spending was high, making the economy very volatile.
Investors were also discouraged by the unfriendly business climate. The country solely relied on oil exports, as a means of generating revenue. Unemployment rate was high, while inflation was in double digits.
However, with the Economic Team of Okonjo-Iweala, the challenges were handled, making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa.
Okonjo-Iweala, was instrumental to securing debt pardon for Nigeria from the Paris Club, World Bank, and the IMF.
The international society has never failed to recognise and acknowledge Okonjo-Iweala’s efforts, and this is shown in the way she has been receiving awards on various international platforms, since she left office in 2015
3. Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili
She is a Nigerian Chartered Accountant, a co-founder of Transparency International; serving as one of the pioneer Directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. She served as Minister of Solid Minerals, and then, as Minister of Education, during the second-term Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. She also has vast knowledge in Economics and Finance.
Ezekwesili, holds a Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy, from the University of Lagos, as well as a Masters of Public Administration degree, from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Ezekwesili, started off in the Obasanjo administration, as the pioneer Head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (Due Process Unit).
It was in this position, that she earned the sobriquet of “Madam Due Process”, for the outstanding work she led a team of professionals to do, in sanitizing public procurement, or contracting at the Federal level in Nigeria.
She was the architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, the NEITI legislation, and the new Minerals and Mining legislation, during her six and a half years stint in government.
Ezekwesili, was also instrumental to the start of the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign on social media, which trended internationally.
4. Maryam Abacha
She is the widow of Late General Sani Abacha, de-facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. During her husband’s tenure, she came in with a lot of class and beauty. Following her predecessor’s footsteps, Maryam Abacha, founded National Hospital Abuja, which was originally National Hospital for Women and Children.
The Women and Children Hospital in Sokoto, was also named after her, because of her contributions to family healthcare. She was born on March 4, 1947, in Kaduna, and launched the Family Support Programme during her days in office.
Maryam Abacha Women and Children’s Hospital, was founded by the former First Lady, as the first National Hospital, specifically for women and children.
She also set up the South-East VVF Center, located in Abakaliki, the largest city in Ebonyi State. The center was fully equipped with 100 beds, one Obstetrics and Gynecology Consultant, who was also a Fistula Surgeon, and four trained Fistula Nurses. Fistula Care Support to the South-East VVF Center began in January 2009.
5. Patience Jonathan
Patience Jonathan, is the immediate past First Lady of Nigeria, and the wife of former President, Goodluck Jonathan. She has served as a Permanent Secretary, in her native Bayelsa State.
Mrs Jonathan, has been recognised Locally, Nationally and Internationally for her philanthropic work, and political pragmatism.
Commenting, a Political Analyst said, “Although she was a funny being, who was all over the place, and granted us several comic moments… Mama Peace sounded like a no-nonsense lady, a strong and courageous achiever.
“She spoke bad English confidently and with grace.
“Her underground work was the reason why Jonathan stayed in Aso Rock till 2015. I voted Buhari, because change was/is needed, but Aisha Buhari can’t be as smart as Mama Peace”. He stressed.