It can be counted in hours; the moment Nigerians and indeed, the whole world have waited for albeit for different reasons.
Top on this list of the women that have and may be finding favour in the eyes of President-elect, and are expected to be influential in the new government is the wife of Muhammadu Buhari himself. Aisha, from Adamawa state by birth and Katsina state by marriage, holds a Bachelor of Art degree and is currently running a Masters in International affairs and strategic planning. She was largely silent until the General became the Presidential Candidate of the APC. She brought a different perception to the carriage of a first lady with her gentleness and focus. She has a passion for girl child education. It is left to be seen how she can function in the dispensation where the President-elect had said he will not recognise the office of the First Lady.
Dolapo Osinbajo is the wife of the Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. She is a grand-daughter of the man who defined Yoruba Politics, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Her role as the wife of the Vice President will be enhanced by the experience she gathered in her social service among street boys in Lagos. The grace she carries herself with may not be unconnected with years of working as the wife of a Pastor and leading the women in the church.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa is the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs in the 7th National Assembly. The Lagos state federal legislator stepped down from contesting for a 4th tenure in the assembly in order to accommodate other political interests in her constituency. While she served in that capacity, the plight of Nigerians in Diaspora remained in the front burner. But for the limitations of her office, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa was committed to securing the freedom of Nigerians unlawfully held behind bars in many countries of the world particularly in South Africa. Before joining politics, Abike Dabiri as she was known then was an advocate of the masses through her brand of electronic journalism. NTA’s popular Sunday Night tonic, News Line will attest to that. Though from the South, the “silent activist’s” fan base and acceptance cuts accross all parts of the country.
Hadiza Bala Usman became a national figure through her leadership of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Married to a former economic adviser to late President Umar Musa Yar’adua, Tanimu Yakubu, the 39 year old Pharmacist worked as Special Assistance to Nasir El-Rufai and Aliyu Modibo at different times as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. Her political voyage took off with her membership of the CPC where she contested for the House of Representatives in 2011. Hadiza has shown her resilience and determination through the pressure mounted by her group on government to secure the release of the over 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok in April 2014.
Sharon Ikeazor was the first Women Leader of the APC, an office she occupied in the CPC. She is from the South East state of Anambra and a lawyer by training. Her late father, Chimezie Ikeazor (SAN), facilitated the creation of the Legal Aid Association which later evolved to the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria. The soft spoken Sharon is known for her firmness concealed in a likeable personality.
Aisha Jumai al-Hassan also known as Mama Taraba had been around for a while in politics but was not known my half the people who took notice of her exploits during the last general elections when she became the governorship candidate to beat in Taraba State. She was not declared winner of the polls but certainly won the hearts of many. She rose in the legal profession to become Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Taraba State before becoming a member of the 7th Senate. She will be building on the goodwill she won in the last election to perform if President-elect Buhari finds her worthy of being in his cabinet.
Other women that may be key in this new government may include Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the current APC women leader and Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education