Who Are the ‘Powerful’ Women Gunning for Their Thrones in the 2023 Elections?

January 13, 2023

We are now 43 days to the start of the 2023 elections, with the buildup being mostly around the men — from the gaffes and entitlement of Tinubu to the fast-rising stardom of Peter Obi. But for once, let’s talk about women.

We only have 1,046  women running for several positions of power in Nigeria. This is less than 10% of the candidates to expect in 2023.

Despite the low numbers, there are still some women that are managing to stir drama and conversation out of their campaigns. Let’s look at some of them:  

Tonto Dikeh – Gubernatorial Running Mate, Rivers State (ADC) 

After 15 years of dedication to the Nollywood film industry, Dikeh decided to take a bow from the screen and join the African Democratic Congress (ADC) as a running mate for gubernatorial aspirant, Tonte Ibraiye in Rivers State.

But with little to no political history, and a backdrop of scandals, including a 2019 Dubai arrest, how good of a deputy governor would she be if elected? Or is this all dependent on star power?

Funke Akindele – Gubernatorial Running Mate, Lagos State (PDP)

When Dr. Olajide Adediran-Azeez, popularly known as Jandor, announced that actress and comedian, Funke Akindele, will be his running mate for the Lagos state governorship elections, a lot of Nigerians were shocked by his choice.

Here’s a tweet that clearly explains why:

https://twitter.com/maxvayshia/status/1546882417599856641?s=20&t=OsvMG-pxLF-0CafOMGosdQ

Jandor countered the criticism with the argument that she has invested in the economy with the employment of labour. However, there are varying reports that Akindele treats her staff poorly and owes salaries. 

How confident then can Lagosians be with her governance?

Aishatu Binani – Governor, Adamawa State (APC)

After fighting all the obstacles that her party rival, Nuhu Ribadu, shot against her in her Federal High Court to disqualify her as an aspirant, the Yola Court of Appeal reinstated Binani as the governorship candidate for Adamawa in the All-Progressives Congress (APC).

She is currently the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She was instrumental in the passing of many bills, especially the Modibbo Adama University Bill of 2019. This bill allowed the university to run approved academic programs like Medicine, Law amongst others. 

If she wins, Binani will be the first female governor Nigeria has ever had.

Stella Oduah – Senate, Anambra North District

After seven years of representing the region, Oduah announced in November 2022 that she will like to run for a third term as a representative for the district. This was under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

But certain groups in Anambra were not pleased with the announcement. They felt that the amount of years spent in the Senate is “fair” and that she has not done enough for the people in the years she spent as Anambra’s senator.

Their anger definitely isn’t far-fetched, as Oduah has a history of corruption behind her. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused her of alleged fraudulent cash transactions. The amount was close to N5 billion over five months in 2014.

In February 2014, she was removed as the Minister of Aviation by then-President Goodluck Jonathan. This was after a scandal over N255 million armoured cars. It was said that she made the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), an agency under her supervision, buy them for her at inflated prices.

After her removal as Minister, she was also found guilty of secretly buying London property behind an anonymous company name, according to the Pandora Paper Investigations. 

After all said and done, would you still want any of these women to be your elected leaders in the coming months?

Whether the answer is yes or no, make sure to get your Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), before January 29, 2023. Vote for the right leaders this time in February. The nation depends on you.

We write the news and track the 2023 elections for citizens, by citizens in our weekly newsletter, Game of Votes. Make the subscription of a lifetime here.

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