As the country witnesses a new era, the changes have taken place in most states of the federation too. ENCOMIUM Weekly present profiles of our new first ladies…
BOLANLE AMBODE, Lagos State
Bolanle Ambode is the very industrious first lady of Lagos state. She is a new addition to the noble list of the first ladies of Grace? She has been a huge inspiration, motivation and the force behind Mr. Ambode’s undying strive towards excellence.
Born into the Odukomaiya family in Epe, Lagos, on February 15, 1964, Mrs. Ambode had her secondary education at St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan, Oyo state, before proceeding to the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Lagos to study Physics/Mathematics. Her zeal for excellence through improving the intellect spurred her to pursue a higher degree as she applied and earned a Masters (M Sc) in Public Administration in 1994.
She met and fell in love with Mr. Ambode who was then working with the Ojo Local Government Council while she was an undergraduate at LASU. They got married in 1991 and the union is blessed with a set of twins – a boy and a girl.
Her rich resumé reveals her career exploits, having worked with firms like the People’s Bank of Nigeria (now defunct), Instant Finance Nigeria Limited and Aguagem Consulting before starting her confectionery business which required her to attend short courses in Bakery Technology in Israel. She is presently the MD/CEO of Rehoboth Chops and Confectioneries Limited.
JUSTICE EBERECHI WIKE, Rivers State
Born on 24 May, 1972, she is wife to Rivers State governor. She holds a Masters degree in Law from University of Sussex, United Kingdom by virtue of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship.
Between 1998 to 2001, she was a legal counsel litigant with E.C. Ukala and Co and later appointed a Magistrate. Her last appointment being Chief Magistrate Grade 11 in 2009, until her present appointment as a judge of the High Court of Rivers State on February 14, 2012.
She enjoys travelling, cooking, reading, and listening to classic music.
MRS. EUNICE ORTOM, Benue State
The first lady of Benue State was born in 1972. The mother of five children was awarded a second degree from the Benue State University (Masters Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies) in 2004.
Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate degree in Political Science with and specialising in Industrial Development in same university. She works as a public servant in the Office of the Head of Civil Service.
She was ordained a Child Evangelist in 1997 with Children Evangelist Ministries (CEM) and today is a worker in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
HADIZA EL-RUFAI, Kaduna State
Born in Kano and raised in Kaduna, Mrs. Hadiza El-Rufai is a graduate of Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State. Two years ago, she bagged an MA in Creative Writing in the United Kingdom.
CHIEF RACHEL UMAHI, Ebonyi State
Born 23 March, 1972, in Umuobuna Uburu in Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State, Mrs. Umahi is a graduate of Rivers State University of Science and Technology from 2001 to 2004. The mother of seven children has been active in orphanage and less-privileged schemes and with widows. Her hobbies are travelling and reading novels.
DAME EDITH OKOWA, Delta State
This career teacher and mother of four children rose through the ranks, until a couple of years back when she was appointed as Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Basic and Seconary Education.
Mrs. Okowa has committed herself to public service in her ministry and her devotion to divine service to God at the Master Care Fellowship, where she serves behind the former first lady and wife of the former Delta State governor, Deaconess Roli Uduaghan.
ZAINAB SHINKAFI-BAGUDU, Kebbi State
Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu is a Consultant Pediatrician and doubles as both the Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of Medicaid Radio-Diagnostics, Abuja. She has also worked at the Garki Hospital as a Consultant Paediatrician. She is one of the children of Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, who was the head of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO) during former President Shehu Shagari’s administration in the 1980s. She describes herself as someone who is politically aware.
HAFSATU UMAR GANDUJE, Kano State
The wife of Kano State Governor is not well-known in public. An indigene of Malam Madori local government area of Jigawa State, she was born 57 years ago, and blessed with seven children. Until recently, she was a principal at a school in the Federal Capital Territory. She took a leave of absence to pursue a PhD degree programme in Education Psychology at Bayero University, Kano (BUK), a programme she has since completed. If her husband follows the path of the outgoing governor, Dr. Hafsatu, who is a director in the Ganduje Foundation, a philanthropic organisation in the state, may not be seen in public throughout her husband’s tenure.
REGINA LALONG, Plateau State
The daughter of Mr. Waklem, a former Accountant-General in Plateau State, Mrs. Regina Lalong has HND in Public Administration from Plateau State Polytechnic. She is described as either a housewife or a businesswoman.
LINDA UGWUYE AYADE, Cross River State
She is the wife of the newly elected governor of Cross River State. She was born on December 23 and hails from Obudu LGA of Cross River State. They are blessed with three children. She holds an MBBS from the University of Port Harcourt and an MPH from University of Wolverhampton, majoring in Health Improvement and Health Promotion. She is also a member of Nigeria Medical Association and General Medical Council of United Kingdom. Until 2014, she worked with the National Health Society in the UK.
MARIYA AMINU TAMBUWAL, Sokoto State
Mariya Aminu Tambuwal is a younger sister to Senator Abdallah Wali, immediate-past Nigerian Ambassador to Morocco, who was also the opposition candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against her husband in the just-concluded governorship race. She hails from Sanyinna District in Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
HAJIYA MARYAM JIBRILLA, Adamawa state
This Katsina born lady is wife to Adamawa State Governor. She attended Kaduna Capital School and Federal Government College, Bakori before proceeding to Bayero University, Kano where she obtained BSc. in Political Science. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration and a diploma in Computer and Graphic Design from a British university.
HAJIA HADIZA ABUBAKAR, Bauchi State
Though her father was from Katsina State, Hajia Hadiza was born on December 11, 1958 in Kano State. She attended Government Girls College, Dala, Kano and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, where she obtained M.A in Public Administration and B.A (Hons.) Literature. She retired as a director in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after 21 years and also worked in NTA for 10 years. She got married to the governor in 1979 and they are blessed with five children.
HAJIYA BINTA MASARI, Katsina State
The governor of Katsina State, Bello Masari, has three wives, Hajiya Binta, Hajiya Hadiza and Hajiya Sakiya. Hajiya Binta was the most visible during campaigns and hails from Kofar Soro in Katsina local government, while Hajiya Sakiya is from Kofar Bai of the same state. All the wives are into business.