Nigeria is yet to have a female president but that has not stopped women from making an impact on the country.
Every Nigeria president's wife has contributed to the success of her husband while in the highly esteemed and exalted office. While their husbands are in office, the first ladies play very supportive roles with some of them having pet projects. Aside that some of them have even dictated fashion trend during the tenure of their husbands. Legit.ng brings you a comprehensive list of Nigeria first ladies.
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Flora Azkiwe was the wife of the first indigenous president of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, who led the country between October 1, 1960 - January 15, 1966. Flora was very supportive of her husband, following him around the country during election campaigns.
The first Nigeria military head of state was General J.T. U Aguiyi Ironsi who ruled the country for six months, January 15 to July 29, 1966. While in office, he was ably supported by his beautiful wife, Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi.
Ajoke Mohammed is the third first lady of Nigeria as her husband General Murtala Mohammed was the third military head of state between July 29, 1975 and February 13, 1976.
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Esther Oluremi Obasanjo
General Olusegun Obasanjo was the fourth military head of state between 1976 and 1979. While in office Esther Oluremi Obasanjo was his first lady and together they worked towards a better Nigeria. Obasanjo handed over power to a civilian president in 1979.
No first lady for Shehu Shagari
Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the first executive president of Nigeria. He was a civilian president between October 1, 1979 and December 3, 1983. During his tenure he did not introduce any lady as his wife while in office.
The military took over power from Shagari and General Muhammadu Buhari ruled the country with the support of his beautiful wife Safinatu. Buhari’s first tenure was between 1983 and 1985.
She was the first lady of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) who reigned from August 27, 1985 to August 26, 1993. IBB was the first military president and his beautiful wife, Mariam supported him during his reign. Mariam was the first wife of a a Nigerian president to officially take on the role of a first lady. She promoted the Better Life for Rural Women as her pet project. Mariam was known as a fashionista, setting trends in fashion that was copied by women across the country.
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Her husband, Chief Ernest Shonekan, was the interim head of state from August 26, 1993 to November 17, 1993.
Her husband, General Sani Abacha, seized power from Shonekan in 1993 and remained there till he died in 1998. Maryam's pet project was the Family Support Programme.
Justice Fatimah Abubakar
Her husband, General Abdusalam Abubakar came to power after the death of Abacha in 1998. A justice of the High Court, Fati, although a first lady, still went about her duties as a justice thus did not have time for a pet project.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had the opportunity of ruling Nigeria a second time but this time as a civilian president. During his civilian rule, he had Stella Obasanjo as first lady. Her pet project was Child Care Trust. Stella died in 2005, while her husband was still in power, after an unsuccessful liposuction surgery.
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She was wife of Alhaji Musa Yar’adua. She served as the first lady of Kebbi state when her husband was the governor. Yar’adua became Nigerian president on May 29, 2007 but his tenure was cut short when he died in office on May 5, 2010. Before her husband's death and as the first lady of Nigeria, she had a pet project called Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation.
She, like Turai Yar’adua was the first lady of Bayelsa state before she became the first lady when her husband came to power after the death of Yar’adua. Her husband was Yar’adua vice president. As the first lady, Patience had a pet project called Women For Change Initiative. Her husband was president from May 5, 2010 to May 29, 2015.
Her husband President Muhammadu Buhari like Obasanjo is on the exalted seat of the president a second time. Though her husband is a second time ruler of Nigeria, she is the first lady for the first time. She is yet to come up with a pet project.