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Meet the Women Contesting in The Forthcoming Elections

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We have less than 7 days to the 2023 elections. As Nigerians prepare to cast their vote, we cannot help but ask some questions: Who will be our next president, governor, senator, or members of the House of Representatives? And then the salient questions: how many women candidates will be voted for and will occupy political positions for, at the very least, the next four years?

Voting right comes with awareness and knowledge. Who are the candidates? What positions do they currently occupy? What precedence have they set? What achievements have they made? How have they responded to national issues and crisis through the years? Are they aware of global advancement around the world and adopted measures to make the economy better? Perhaps we might not have all the answers to these questions, but as part of BellaNaija and UN Women‘s commitment to women’s active participation in politics and government, we have curated a list of some of the female candidates in the forthcoming elections.

Presidential Candidate

Ojei Princess Chichi – APM (Allied Peoples Movement)

Ojei Princess Chichi is the only female presidential candidate, out of 18, in the forthcoming elections. The 44-year-old Delta State indigene has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University and an MBA from Regents Business School.

Senatorial Candidates

Nwagba Blessing Okuwchi – APC, Abia South

Nwagba Blessing Okwuchi currently serves as a member of the Abia State House of Assembly as the committee chairman on women’s affairs, social welfare and health representing Aba North Constituency. In the forthcoming elections, she is contesting under the All Progressives Congress as a senatorial candidate of Abia South.

Anazonwu Ifeyinwa – APC, Anambra North

Anazonwu Ifeyinwa, under the All Progressives Congress, is contesting for Anambra North’s senatorial district in the forthcoming elections. The 67-year-old legal practitioner and politician has held various positions including being the Executive Director and Founder of Type Technologies Limited, a prestigious desktop publishing firm. She was a Consultant on Welfare Development with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF (1989–1991). 

Obiano Ebelechukwu Vickie – APGA, Anambra North

Obiano Ebelechukwu Vickie is 59-year-old Nigerian politician. She was the first lady of the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano. In 2016, she was awarded Excellence Award by the Nigerian Women of Atlanta. Under the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ebelechukwu Vickie is contesting for Anambra North’s senatorial seat in the forthcoming elections.

Oduah Stella Adaeze – PDP, Anambra North

Oduah Stella Adaeze was a former Minster of Aviation during President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan‘s term. In 2015,  she was elected to represent Anambra North Senatorial District and was reelected in 2019. In the forthcoming elections, Stella Adaeze is contesting to be reelected under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Ekwunife Lilian Uche – PDP, Anambra Central

Ekwunife Lilian Uche was a member of the Nigerian house of representatives between 2007 to 2015. In 2015, she was elected as a senator representing Anambra Central under the All Progressives Grand Alliance. In 2019, she was reelected under the Peoples Democratic Party and will be contesting in the forthcoming elections.

Olujimi ‘Biodun Christine – PDP, Ekiti South

Olujimi ‘Biodun Christine was a former deputy governor of Ekiti State. She is currently a member of the senate representing Ekiti South and also a minority leader of the Nigerian Senate. In the forthcoming elections, Olujimi ‘Biodun is contesting to be reelected under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Banigo Ipalibo – PDP, Rivers West

Ipalibo Gogo Banigo is a Nigerian medical doctor and the first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State. She has held various important offices at the Rivers State Ministry of Health. Banigo Ipalibo is vying to become a senator in the forthcoming elections for  Rivers West senatorial district under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Natasha Akpoti – PDP, Kogi Central

Natasha Hadiza Akpoti is a lawyer, social entrepreneur and politician. She contested in the 2019 Kogi State gubernatorial election and will be contesting under the Peoples Democratic Party for Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Adebule Idiat Oluranti – APC, Lagos West

Adebulu Idiat Oluranti is a member of the All Progressives Congress. She was a former Lagos state Deputy Governor between 2015 and 2019, and she’s also a lecturer at Lagos State University. She’s contesting for Lagos West senatorial district in the forthcoming elections.

Kingibe Ireti Heebah – LP, FCT

Ireti Kingibe is the wife of Amb. Babagana Kingibe – a former Secretary to the Federal Government. Ireti Kingibe once worked at the New Nigeria Construction Company. In the forthcoming elections, she’s contesting for Federal Capital Territory’s senatorial district under the Labour Party.

Grace Ezra – NRM (National Rescue Movement), Adamawa North

Grace Ezra is a 39-year-old Nigerian politician and member of the National Rescue Movement. In the forthcoming election, Grace is contesting as a senatorial candidate, Adamawa North, under NRM.

Umoh Blessing Umoh – AA (Action Alliance), Akwa-Ibom South

Umoh Blessing Umoh, 38, is contesting to become a senator in Akwa-Ibom South senatorial district under Action Alliance.

Ugana Esther Arthur – Accord, Akwa-Ibom South

Ugana Esther Arthur is a 43-year-old woman and member of Accord. In the forthcoming elections, she is contesting for Akwa-Ibom South senatorial district.

Ibokette Princess Victoria Matadi – ADC, Akwa-Ibom North East

Ibokette Princess Victoria Matadi is the founder of Princess Victoria Ibokette Foundation, a faith-based non-governmental organisation in Uyo. The 45-year-old is a member of the African Democratic Congress and contest for Akwa-Ibom North East senatorial candidate in the forthcoming elections.

Suoteigha Nimiye George – Accord, Bayelsa Central

Suoteigha Nimiye George is a 42-year-old Nigerian politician. In the forthcoming elections, she contests as a senatorial candidate for Bayelsa Central under Accord.

Orok Gloria Odidi – APM, Cross River South

Orok Gloria Odidi is a 35-year-old member of the Allied People’s Movement. Under this party, she is contesting as a senatorial candidate in Cross River South in the forthcoming elections.

Gubernatorial Candidates

Dahiru Ahmed Aishatu – APC, Adamawa

Dahiru Ahmed Aishatu, also known as Binani, is a current sitting senator representing Adamawa Central senatorial district under the All Progressives Congress. She was formerly a member of the House of Representatives representing the Yola North/Yola South/Girei federal constituency as a member of the People’s Democratic Party between 2011–2015. Aishatu runs for the governorship in the forthcoming elections.

Chenge Roseline Ada – ADP, Benue State

Chenge Roseline Ada was a Benue gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007, and the All Progressives Congress in 2015. She’s the first female Managing Director of Benue State Water Board and the first female Managing Director of the 12 River Basins in the country. In the forthcoming elections, she is contesting to be Benue State’s first female governor under the Action Democratic Party.

Itubo Beatrice – Labour Party, Rivers State

Itubo Beatrice is the chairman of the Rivers State council of the Nigerian Labour Congress and runs as Labour Party’s governorship candidate in Rivers state.

Deputy Governorship Candidates

Akara Gloria Nanya – APC, Abia State

Akara Gloria Nanya is a lawyer, pastor, writer, administrator and social activist. She runs for the position of deputy governor under the All Progressives Congress.

Farauta George Kaletapwa – PDP, Adamawa

Farauta George Kaletapwa is a professor and former Commissioner of Education in Adamawa State. She is currently the Vice Chancellor of Adamawa State University. In the forthcoming elections, Kaletapwa contests as Peoples Democratic Party’s deputy governorship candidate in Adamawa.

Eyakenyi Akon Etim – PDP, Akwa-Ibom

Eyakenyi Akon Etim is currently the senator representing Akwa Ibom south district. In the forthcoming elections, Akon Etim runs alongside the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate as a deputy governor candidate.

Ambrose-Amawhe Emana – PDP, Cross River

Ambrose-Amawhe Emana is a former Channels TV broadcaster. She’s a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria and a Fellow of The Institute of Management Specialists, UK. She is contesting to be Cross River’s Deputy Governor under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Umukoro Julie Nwabogo Efemena – LP, Cross River

Umukoro Julie Nwabogo Efemena is a professor of Semiotic and Performance Studies at the University of Port Harcourt. She’s vying for Cross River State’s deputy governorship seat in the forthcoming elections under Labour Party.

Salako Oyedele Noimot Olurotimi – APC, Ogun

Salako Oyedele Noimot Olurotimi is the current deputy governor of Ogun State. She’s a vibrant real estate manager and was the Chief Executive Officer at Glenwood Property Development Company Limited, a real estate company. She’s contesting to be reelected into office  under the All Progressives Congress.

Ayandele Abiodun Ayanfemi – ADG (Accord Deputy Governorship Candidate), Oyo

Ayandele Abiodun Ayanfemi is a professor at the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Ladoke Akintola University. In the forthcoming elections, Abiodun contests as Accord’s deputy governor in Oyo state.

Piyo Josephine Chundung – PDP, Plateau

Piyo Josephine Chundung is a former member of the State House of Assembly in Plateau. She is contesting as Plateau State’s Deputy Governor in the forthcoming elections under the Peoples Democratic Party.

Odu Ngozi – PDP, Rivers

Ngozi Odu is a Senior Lecturer of Food Microbiology and Public Health in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, College of Natural & Applied Sciences. She was a former Rivers State Commissioner for Education and her role at Rivers State Ministry of Health as the permanent secretary between 1999-2006 made her the longest-serving permanent secretary in that position. In the forthcoming elections, she’s the People’s Democratic Party’s deputy governorship candidate in Rivers state.

Funke Akindele – PDP, Lagos State

Funke Akindele is an award-winning actress. In the forthcoming elections, she is vying for the position of Lagos State’s Deputy Governor, under the People’s Democratic Party.

Mojisola Afolayan – Accord, Lagos State

Mojisola Afolayan is an associate member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and a member of the Women in Management Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ). Mojisola is the founder of Mojisola Afolayan Estates, a real estate firm and also the director of CDRE DEVELOPMENTS Limited, a Lagos-based property development company. In the forthcoming elections, Mojisola Afolayan is contesting as Lagos State’s deputy governorship candidate under Accord.

Caroline Uduak Danjuma – AAC, Akwa-Ibom

Hutchings Uduak Caroline is a Nollywood actress. In the forthcoming elections, she is contesting as a deputy governorship candidate under African Action Congress in Akwa-Ibom.

Tonto Dikeh – ADP, Rivers State

In 2022, Tonto Dikeh was unveiled as the running mate of Rivers State governorship candidate, Tonte Ibraye, under the umbrella of the African Democratic Party (ADP). She is vying for the position of state’s Deputy Governor.

See the full list of women contesting in the forthcoming elections HERE.

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