Nigeria: Women Behind Nigeria’s Most Powerful Politicians

Paul Chiama, Chikelu Chinelo and Adah Abah – All Africa – Thursday, 05 August 2013 (originally published 30 Aug)

collection of photographs
Women behind powerful politicians in Nigeria. Photo: Leadership

As often said, beside every successful man, there is a woman. It has just come to the fore that every successful politician has a woman of great influence who plays along with him. If it was the man’s spouse, it is considered better because courage and support are brood right from home. This is more so, considering the fact that no woman will watch her husband record a public and documented failure during his stay in office.

As it stands now the biggest influence on the Nigerian political landscape is undoubtedly President Goodluck Jonathan. President Jonathan’s ascending political profile since the advent of this democratic dispensation is a feat that is rarely achieved. Yet one cannot glorify him and underestimate the role played by his spouse, Dame Patience Jonathan. It is believed that Patience wields much influence on Jonathan’s political decisions.

For instance, it was rumoured recently in some quarters and carried by some media that Lady Jonathan, who is known to be a strong advocate of women rights and growth, might have influenced the expulsion of the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Chibuike Ameachi, by the State chapter of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as there has been a face-off between her and the Governor who are both indigenes of the State. Dame Patience pursues the course for the empowerment and respect for the rights of women with unprecedented zeal. She was known for this course even right from when her husband was Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State . . .

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