Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Was Hadiza Balarabe Nigeria’s first female deputy governor? No! El-Rufai goofed

Seven days ago, Bello El-Rufai, the lawmaker representing Kaduna North federal constituency in the house of representatives, and son of Nasir El-Rufai, ex-governor of Kaduna State claimed that his father’s deputy Hadiza Balarabe was Nigeria’s first elected female deputy governor.

He made this claim during his appearance on a podcast hosted by Seun Okinbaloye, a broadcast journalist with Channels Television.

The podcast, with 16.3k subscribers, has 94,760 views, 602 comments and 2.9k likes.

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Speaking on how his father, through Balarabe, revamped all the 255 primary healthcare centres in the state, he said: “one of the things my father did with his deputy governor, Dr Hadiza (Balarabe), who was the first female elected deputy governor in Nigeria, was to revamp the 255 healthcare primary centres in Kaduna.”

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While El-Rufai in 2018 picked Balarabe as his running mate for the 2019 governorship election in Kaduna, there had been several elected female deputy governors in different states before her. 

During a short civilian rule in 1992, Micheal Otedola was elected governor of Lagos state under the National Republic Convention (NRC) with Sinatu Ojikutu, a female, as his running mate. She served in that capacity till November 1993 when the military took over.

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In 1999, Bola Tinubu, who emerged as Lagos governor under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) party chose Kofoworola Akerele-Bucknor, a female, as his deputy. 

Other women who had served as deputy governors of different states before Balarabe include Adebisi Sosan, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Oluranti Adebule, Abiodun Olujimi, Funmilayo Olayinka, Modupe Adelabu, Salimat Badru, Yetunde Onanuga, Olusola Obada, Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, Pauline Tallen, Ipalibo Banigo, and Cecilia Ezeilo.


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