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Lucky women favoured for Tinubu’s cabinet



Over the years, women have clamoured for a fair share of representation in leadership positions in the country. Though the positions occupied by the men outnumber that of the women, it is quite encouraging that the voices of women are being heard. President Bola Tinubu recently sent his list of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly, and it features a number of women. BLESSING ENENAITE takes a look at them

Hannatu Musawa

Forty three-year-old Hannatu Musawa is a lawyer, politician and author. She is beautiful, and also has impressive academic qualifications. Aside from being a graduate of Law from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom, she also has a Master’s degree in the Legal Aspect of Marine Affairs from the University of Cardiff, Wales; and another Master’s degree in Oil and Gas Law from the University of Aberdeen, UK.

She was the secretary, screening committee of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 presidential aspirants. Also, she was the deputy spokesperson and the deputy director, public affairs, of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. In addition, she was the Secretary General, Katsina Campaign Council. She was appointed as Special Adviser, Culture and Entertainment Economy, to Tinubu in June 2023.

Musawa, who hails from Katsina State, is the daughter of a late veteran politician, Alhaji Musa Musawa. In the lead up to the elections, she actively supported Tinubu’s candidacy. In December 2022, she had written on Instagram, “Nigeria will be great! Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is perhaps gearing to be the best president Nigeria will ever have.”

Betta Edu

Born on October 27, 1986, Dr Betta Edu hails from Ibalebo village in Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State. She is the youngest of the ministerial nominees. An alumnus of the Federal Government Girls College, Calabar, Cross River State, she also bagged a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Calabar in 2009.

In March 2022, she emerged as the youngest female to become the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress. In 2020, she was made the Chairman, Cross River State COVID-19 Taskforce. She was also the National Chairman of the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum in August 2020.

Prior to that, she was made a Special Adviser to the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, in 2015. Her concentration was on Community and Primary Healthcare.

She delivered on the mandate she was given, and was appointed as Cross River State’s Commissioner for Health in 2019, until she resigned in 2022. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, United Kingdom; and African Institute of Public Health Professionals.

Edu’s efforts in public office have been well recognised, as she bagged the Award of Excellence in Leadership for Gender Inclusion and Women Empowerment in July 2023 by the Federal Government through the Maryam Babangida National Centre for Women Development, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

In 2020, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development awarded Edu the Nigeria Quintessential Woman Award.

Young, beautiful and vibrant, Edu is proof that being a young woman is not a hindrance to political excellence.

Her fashion sense is also top-notch. Sharing some of her beautiful pictures on Instagram in March 2023, Edu had written, “The woman with an uncommon grace. The queen Jesus is crazily in love with. (I am) God’s masterpiece and His most valued asset on earth. God was honestly showing off when he created Betta.”

In another post on June 6, 2023, the politician prayed that the emergence of her principal, Tinubu, as the country’s leader, would ‘mark the beginning of prosperity for the people of Nigeria’.

Doris Uzoka-Anite

Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite was born on October 16, 1981. A medical doctor, banker, financial expert and politician from Oguta LGA, Imo State, she studied Medicine and Surgery at the University of Benin, Edo State.

In 2021, she became the Commissioner for Finance and Coordinating Economy in Imo State. This position made her the youngest commissioner in the cabinet of the Governor, Hope Uzodinma.

She is also a former General Manager of Zenith Bank Plc. She is a certified financial analyst as well, with a Master of Business Administration from the London School of Economics, United Kingdom. She also has certifications from Oxford University, UK; New York University Stern School of Business, United States of America; and training programmes at Goldman Sachs, USA; and CitiBank London, United Kingdom.

In her role as Commissioner for Finance, she executed quite a number of projects. She was also among the Presidential Policy Advisory Council (National Economy) to Tinubu.

She loves to dress simply and classy. She is a fan of silver earrings and necklaces.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha was born on November 23, 1969. She became a member of the House of Representatives in 2007 under the Peoples Democratic Party, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State. She has served four terms, making her one of the longest-serving lawmakers in the National Assembly.

She was raised by her grandmother after her mother passed away and her dad remarried. She is a graduate of Religious studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the Imo State University, Imo State; and another Master’s degree in Shipping from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

She is beautiful and does not go any extra length to maintain class as she exudes it without stress.

She was the Executive Transition Chairman of Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State in 2002. In 2003, she served as Commissioner for Resource Management and Manpower Development in Abia State. During the seventh assembly, she was awarded the most vibrant female legislator in Nigeria by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.

Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim

Though she was born in Jos, Plateau State, Sulaiman-Ibrahim is a native of Keffi, Nasarawa State. She is a graduate of Sociology from the University of Abuja. She also bagged an Master of Business Administration and Master of Art from Webster University, USA.

She attended Aruwa Nursery School, Abuja; and Jabi Primary School, (now, LEA Primary School, Jabi), Abuja, for her nursery and primary education. Afterwards, she proceeded to Federal Government Girls College, Bwari, Abuja, for her secondary education.

From December, 1, 2020 to May 27, 2021, she was the Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons. Thereafter, she became the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Office, on June 4, 2021.

So far, she has played a tangible role in giving support and relief to internally displaced persons, refugees and migrants. In September 2019, she was appointed as a member of the Nasarawa State Economic Advisory Council by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule. Among her other achievements include serving as a special adviser on strategic communication to the former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

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Her contributions to nation building have been recognised by some groups in the country. In July 2023, she noted that she was named ‘An Icon of National Integration’ by the National Association of Polytechnic Students, led by Agada Noah.

She wrote on Instagram, “In my acceptance speech, I expressed gratitude and encouraged the students to prioritise patriotism, personal growth and advocacies that positively represent the country. I emphasised the importance of unity and inclusivity, urging the students to actively contribute to the betterment of society and take on responsibilities with dedication and passion.”

A day later, on July 12, 2023, the Northern Youth Association of Nigeria awarded her as ‘Jakadiyan Matasan Arewa.’ On July 14, 2023, she was named ‘grand matron’ by the Southern Youth Congress.

Acknowledging her nomination as a minister, she wrote on Instagram during the week, “It was an immense honour to stand before our distinguished senators for the ministerial nominee screening of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This unique opportunity fills me with gratitude as I embark on a significant journey to fulfill President Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda. Together, we shall strive to create a brighter and prosperous future for our beloved nation.”

Her nomination as a minister in the Tinubu administration is an opportunity for her to serve the nation with her wealth of knowledge.

Stella Okotete

Stella Okotete was born on April 20, 1984, in Delta State, where she also hails from. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the Benson Idahosa University, Edo State. She also has a Diploma in Law from the Rivers State College of Arts and Sciences, Rivers State. She is the co-founder of the E ‘Girls Right Foundation.

Some of the certifications she has bagged over the years include the Harvard Kennedy School Certificate Programme for Emerging Leaders, United States of America; and the Entrepreneurial Management programme at the Lagos Business School, Lagos State.

She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, the Institute of Management Consultants, and is a honourary senior member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

In April 2017, she was appointed as the Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Export-Import Bank. Between 2011 and 2015, she served as the Special Assistant and Adviser to the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, on the Millennium Development Goals. In 2020, she was appointed as the National Women Leader of the APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee.

After she made the list of ministerial nominees, she wrote on Instagram on August 1, 2023, “I am an evidence of God’s grace. What the enemies meant for evil, God turned it around. Their lies were exposed and God’s glory was revealed. In all, let the name of Jesus be praised.”

Some of the notable personalities who have congratulated her so far include popular comedian, Anita Asuoha, aka Real Warri Pikin; gospel singer, Joe Ebhodaghe, aka Joepraize; and cleric and lead pastor of The Transforming Church, Reverend Sam Oye.

Uju Ohanenye

Uju Ohanenye is one politician who does not feel intimidated in a male-dominated sector. She proved that much by being the only female to contest the APC’s presidential primary in June 2022. She later stepped down her desire to become the country’s president and threw her weight behind Tinubu.

Ohanenye is one woman who thrives beyond politics. She is a lawyer and philanthropist, who is also involved in business.

She was born on December 23, 1973, and is from Anambra State. Her decision to step down for Tinubu at the party primary has apparently paid off, as the president did not forget her gesture.

Her nomination as a minister will be an avenue for her to make further impact.

Mariya Mahmoud

Dr Mariya Mahmoud was born in Bunkure Local Government Area of Kano State, in 1976.

She studied Medicine at Bayero University, Kano; and has experience as a medical doctor and public servant. She later became a consultant in family medicine at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.

She has over 20 years experience in the medical field, and is a member of the National Postgraduate Medical College, as well as the West African College of Physicians.

Her works include advocacy for women empowerment and girl-child education.

In 2019, the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, appointed her as the Commissioner for Higher Education.

Following the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown in the country, Mahmoud announced the reopening of the state-owned tertiary education institutions on October 26, 2020, after seven months of closure.

When it comes to fashion, she dresses simply.

Lola John

Lola John is a native of Lagos State and has a laudable track record in the banking and technology sectors.

A graduate of Computer Science from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, she previously worked as a System Analyst at The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited for seven years and three months. Thereafter, she joined Magnum Trust Bank Ltd (now part of Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc).

She moved on to Access Bank Plc as the Group Head of Support Services and Technology in June 1998. Her next career sojourn, also in the banking sector, was at United Bank for Africa, where she served as the Head of Applications; before moving to Ecobank Nigeria, where she held different senior managerial roles.

In 2014, she founded Novateur Business Technology Consultants, a firm which majors in providing technical management and consulting services to both private and public sector clients.

With a career spanning about 30 years, it is expected that her experience will come in handy in discharging her duties as a minister in President Tinubu’s administration.

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