Natasha Akpoti and 4 Other Most Influential Nigerian Female Politicians in 2019.||Anyigbaleft

The Nigerian society is hugely patriarchal, a situation that informs why its political sector is male-dominated.

Cultural and religious beliefs are some impediments of women’s participation in the country’s political sector.

With only eight women in the Senate, Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of female representation in parliament across Africa.

In the 2019 elections, 2,970 women vied for various political positions, forming 11.36% of nominated candidates, research by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) shows.
However, after the elections, only 64 women got elected into political offices, making up just 4.17%.
Nevertheless, there are some women who defied the odds in 2019 and had a towering influence in the nation’s polity.

1. Natasha Akpoti

Natasha contested the Kogi state governorship election in 2019 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The road to emerging the party’s candidate and eventually participating in the election was very rough but Natasha defied the odds: she was harassed by political thugs, disqualified at some point but fought back to regain the ticket via a court order.

Though she didn’t win the poll, she finished in the third place but her uncommon bravery and courage in the face of numerous impediments earned her the top spot in Legit.ng‘s most influential female politicians in 2019.

Akpoti, who is a lawyer and entrepreneur, had earlier contested in the Kogi Central senatorial election in the February 2019 general elections.
Natasha Akpoti finished a stellar third place in the Kogi governorship election held on Saturday, November 16.

2. Oby Ezekwesili 

Oby Ezekwesili is a household name in the Nigerian politics. Trained as a chartered accountant with an impressive resume, Ezekwesili had served as a federal minister twice.

However, in 2019, the charismatic woman took a shot at the presidency on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

With a pledge to provide an alternative leadership that will address the critical challenges facing the country, Ezekwesili, through presidential debates and open fora, shared her plans for the country if elected.

Though she later stepped down due to a clash of interests with the leadership of the ACPN, Ezekwesili certainly challenged the patriarchy in politics and provided a flicker of hope that the goal of achieving political inclusion is indeed possible.

3. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe

Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe is the deputy governor of Kaduna state.

Ms Balarabe is not just a ceremonial deputy governor. Since the inception of the administration, she has been actively involved in the formulation and execution of key programmes and policies of the government.

For instance, serving in the acting capacity in October, Balarabe was the one who presented the Kaduna state government’s 2020 Budget of Renewal to the Kaduna state House of Assembly.
She is the first woman in Northern Nigeria to do so.

The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, once described Ms Balarabe as a superstar and someone with a great capacity for leadership.

4. Abike Dabiri

Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri-Erewa is a former member of the Federal House of Representatives from 2003 to 2015.

She is currently the pioneer chairman and chief executive officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)
She had earlier served as the senior special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and diaspora.

Though she no longer occupies an elective position, Dabiri-Erewa’s position as the chairman of the diaspora commission is still a political appointment.
She is recognised as an influential female political figure 2019 for her strides in the diaspora commission.

She is proactive and is always a tweet away to resolve any issues regarding the welfare of Nigerians in the diaspora.

5. Abiodun Olujimi 

Abiodun Christine Olujimi is a strong Nigerian female politician. She is currently representing Ekiti South constituency at the Senate.

She had earlier served as the deputy governor of Ekiti state. She was also Peoples Democratic Party’s immediate past minority leader in the 8th senate under Bukola Saraki’s leadership.

Olujimi put up a courageous effort to challenge the election of Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, her contender in the senatorial poll.

Olujimi returned to the 9th senate to increase the number of female senators to eight after Adeyeye’s election was nullified by both the Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Senator Abiodun Christine Olujimi is currently representing Ekiti South constituency at the Senate.

Credit: Legit.ng

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