Opinion: Why Natasha Deserves Senate Seat.-Anyigbaleft

We have heard and read tales and stories about great women and queens that fought the cause of their people in Africa and Nigeria. I woul...

We have heard and read tales and stories about great women and queens that fought the cause of their people in Africa and Nigeria. I would like to tell about yet another great heroine of Africa of the 21st century, Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti from Okehi local government area of Kogi state and a native Ebira from Ihima. She was the senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2019 general election.


Her method is different from that of Queen Amina of Zazzau, Amanishakheto of Nubia, Nzingha of Angola, Ranavalona of Madagascar among others. Her method of warfare is intellectual. This is because she believes that the best freedom is freedom of the mind. This is equipping and empowering the people with knowledge and skills needed to be self-reliant.


I first came in contact with Natasha, as she popularly called, in August, 2017, during the Ebira Day celebration at Kaduna Polytechnic, held in Kaduna. I attended the event as one of the photo journalists invited to give publicity to the events.

She was a guest speaker at the event and delivered a lecture on the importance of Ajaokuta Steel Company to Nigerian economy and its potential to create jobs for the army of unemployed youths in Kogi central and Nigeria at large.


Since then, I have been following her activities because I discovered we share the same vision and passion, which is to liberate the people of Kogi central from the shackles of poverty orchestrated by long years of misrule.  


Interestingly, Natasha is the first woman from Kogi central that dared to contest for a senatorial seat that was hitherto dominated by men. And there is no doubt if given the opportunity she would do better that than her male counterpart.


Similarly, it is unfortunate that all the senators that have represented Kogi central in the red chambers in the past did little or nothing to improve the lives of the suffering people of Kogi central. Some of them include Senator Isa Abonyi Obaro, Lasis Pius Jimoh, Otaru Salihu Ohize, Ogembe Salawu.

However, I must state that Senator Ahmed Tijanni Ahmed, Mohammed Ohiare and Nurudeen Usman Abatemi make a little impact as far as the welfare of Ebira people is concerned.

Also, all the senators mentioned are mostly from Okene and Adavi, while Okehi has never produced a senator since the creation of Kogi state. This is, therefore, an opportunity to break the vicious circle of marginalisation against the good people of Okehi and the women of Kogi central.


Consequently, this ultimately presents Natasha Hadiza Akpoti as the best candidate to represent Kogi central in the 9th senate. However, she deserves the seat not because she is from Okehi or because she is a woman but for her pedigree, capacity and undying passion to serve her people.


With a manifesto, which main thrust is “Let’s fix the future with the power of our voices and the courage of our hearts, a new Nigeria is possible,” we saw how she changed the narrative of politics in Kogi central senatorial district.


She ran issue based campaign devoid of character assassination despite glaring provocation from her opponents. This show of maturity is unprecedented in the history of politics in Kogi central.

Natasha displayed the Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim’s brand of politics without bitterness. She interacted with her opponents freely because she saw politics as a game where there must be a winner and a loser.


Furthermore, her in-depth knowledge of the state of the Ajaokuta steel and passion for its revitalisation stands her out as the best to represent the area. During her campaign, she presented facts backed with documents detailing the ‘politics’ behind the monumental corruption and cabals responsible for the moribund state of the company capable of stimulating the economy of Nigeria in a positive trajectory. 

Let’s not forget that on the March 1, 2018, her three-year long advocacy for the revival of the Nigerian steel sector peaked when she held the country spell bound at the National Assembly’s sectorial debate where she exposed factual controversies surrounding Ajaokuta Steel Complex (ASC) which lays moribund. So powerful was her presentation that legislative reforms were immediately set to: 1. Stop the unjust concession of ASC 2. Create a $1 Billion resuscitation lifeline.


For women, there is no doubt that an average Nigerian woman is hardworking and Ebira women are no exception. She has organised empowerment programmes for women where they are taught different vocational skills so as to be economically independent.


Similarly, in her quest to harness the raw sporting talent that abounds in Kogi state, the Natasha Akpoti foundation in partnership with other stakeholders organised a soccer tournament where talented soccer players at the grassroots who lacked opportunity to harness their talents for national development were given a platform to showcase their talent.


Consequently, three players from the soccer talent hunt were selected to join Nigeria under-20 national team. The players are Yahaya Abdulrauf Amoto from Adavi local, Muhammed Ibrahim Onogu from Okene local government and Usman Faruk from Ida local government.


Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the Kogi central senatorial seat in what has been described as daylight robbery, because the election was marred by violence, intimidation of voters by thugs, security agents, multiple voting, etc.


As an enlightened candidate, who believes in the judiciary, she chooses to go to the tribunal rather than engage in violence. With over 145 witnesses and evidences, the highest ever in the history of election tribunal in Nigeria who are eager to testify with concrete evidence, by the grace of God the mandate would be reclaim.


– Raji Onipson writes from Kaduna
[email protected]

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ANYIGBALEFT: Opinion: Why Natasha Deserves Senate Seat.-Anyigbaleft
Opinion: Why Natasha Deserves Senate Seat.-Anyigbaleft
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