Meet the five Nigerian women that are more powerful than Goodluck Jonathan!!!

Powerful women in Jonathan administrationI found this interesting article in Punch and decided to share, enjoy!

inception, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has been
accused of impunity, usually caused by decisions and actions of the
President, including those of his ministers and close associates.
Most of the glaring cases of abuse of
power including reckless spending of taxpayers’ money have been carried
out by the women in Jonathan’s cabinet. These women have proven to be
more powerful than the number one citizen of Nigeria because despite
public outcries that greet some of their decisions, they go scot-free.
Those who fall in this seemingly
untouchable category are the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan; the
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala; the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani
Alison-Madueke; the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange
Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh; and the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella
These powerful women have some things in
common. They are all from the South-East and South-South geopolitical
zones. Four of them had their higher education in the United States and
two of them are daughters of traditional rulers. Needless to say they
occupy some of the most strategic and ‘lucrative’ positions in the
Federal Government.

In Nigeria’s history, Patience Jonathan
is believed to be the most powerful First Lady in terms of the amount of
influence she has over her husband and his cabinet.
Mrs. Jonathan first gave a glimpse into
the enormous power she wields in 2011 when she traversed the country,
campaigning for her husband in a way that irked many Nigerians.
Several calls by individuals and groups to the President to restrain his wife yielded no result.
Also, in June this year, in apparent
violation of the electoral act, Mrs. Jonathan reportedly started
campaigning for her husband ahead of the 2015 elections.
Another show of impunity by the
President’s wife is the way she cripples any town or city she visits
with her long motorcade, including bulletproof limousines and scores of
armed policemen.
She grounded Lagos in 2012 when she visited to say “thank you” to some women groups for their support in electing her husband.
Despite the protest by several
Nigerians, who felt that their right to move freely in their country was
violated by the movement of an unelected individual, the President’s
wife was never cautioned, at least not publicly.
Instead, the Presidency rose to her
defence, giving her the liberty to do more in other cities. Her visits
and grounding of traffic in Port Harcourt and Warri were also greeted
with wide condemnations.
To show how powerful she is, Mrs.
Jonathan publicly admitted making attempts to dictate to the Governor of
Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, a move that largely precipitated the
ongoing political crisis in the state.
In Aso Rock, where she resides with her
husband, the fear of Mrs. Jonathan is the beginning of wisdom as she
leaves no one in doubt that she is in charge. There is always a retinue
of favour seekers waiting to see her daily.
Mrs. Jonathan, a native of Bayelsa
State, was born in Port Harcourt on October 25, 1957 and holds National
Certificate of Education in Mathematics and Biology from the Rivers
State College of Arts and Science, and a Bachelor of Education degree in
biology and psychology from the University of Port Harcourt.
Right from when the negotiation to bring
her from the World Bank started, it was obvious that Dr. Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala was bound to wield so much power in Jonathan’s government.
With her position as the coordinating
minister for the economy (a new position created for her) and Finance
Minister, Okonjo-Iweala, who is currently 83rd on Forbes’ global list of
powerful women, calls the shots as far as Nigeria’s economy is
While doing that, she has called the bluff of many including state governors and the National Assembly without any consequence.
The state governors, who have complained
about the shabby way the minister treat them, have called for her
removal while the Academic Staff Union of Universities has called her a
‘dictator.’ But no matter the protest, Okonjo-Iweala remains a darling
of the President.
The sacking of Mr. Shuaib Yushau as the
Head, Media and Information Unit of the National Emergency Management
Agency, after he wrote what was considered a critical article against
Okonjo-Iweala, further showed that the minister was not to be messed
The article entitled ‘Still on
Okonjo-Iweala over Controversial Appointments’, published on March 6,
called on the minister “to ensure that appointments into important
positions should be done in credible and transparent manner that can
withstand public scrutiny.”
Similarly, Mr. Lawrence Ani, was
reportedly suspended indefinitely from his job as Saturday Editor of
Thisday Newspaper for publishing a story that cited data that indicated a
drop in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch.
In 2011, against the opinion of the
majority of Nigerians, Okonjo-Iweala and the  Minister of Petroleum
Resources,  Diezani Alison-Madueke, insisted on the removal of fuel
subsidy, and literally ordered it on the outset of 2012, resulting in
the Occupy Nigeria protest.
Okonjo-Iweala, who also served as
finance minister and foreign minister under President Olusegun Obansanjo
and as a Managing Director at the World Bank, was born on June 13, 1954
to Professor Chukuka Okonjo, who is the Obi (traditional ruler) of
She graduated from Harvard University in
1977, and earned her Ph.D. in regional economic development from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.
She is married to Ikemba Iweala from Abia State.
Virtually all sections of the Nigerian
society have called for the resignation of the Petroleum Resources
Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, all to no avail.
Most of those who sought her removal had
cited several allegations of corrupt practices under her watch as
reasons for their demand.
After the revelation of massive fraud in
the fuel subsidy administration to the tune of N1.7trn, many had
thought that heads would roll, including that of Alison-Madueke, who
supervised the rot.
Some heads did roll, but not that of the queen of the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
Till date, the Presidency has not
queried or probed Diezani over allegations against her and the
indictment of departments under her by several panels, including those
headed by Nuhu Ribadu, Farouk Lawan, and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede as well
as the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
Diezani has also not explained to
Nigeria, whom she was appointed to serve, what role she played in the
massive corruption that led to the loss of huge amounts of public fund.
Apart from the demands for the
Alison-Madueke’s resignation and prosecution by civil society groups,
who led the Occupy Nigeria protest, the House of Representatives also
demanded her removal as minister.
Despite this, the President did not suspend her, and gave no explanation for that. This shows how powerful she is.
Alison-Madueke is the first woman to
hold the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria, and in
October 2010 she became the first woman to head a country’s delegation
at the annual OPEC conference.
She was also the first female Minister
of Transportation, and the first woman to be appointed to the board of
Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria.
Alison-Madueke was born on December 6, 1960 in Port Harcourt.
She graduated from Howard University in
1992, with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture and returned to Nigeria
to join Shell Petroleum Development Corporation.
About 10 years later, she earned an MBA
from Cambridge University and was appointed as the first female
executive director of Shell Nigeria.
In 1999, she got married to Admiral
Alison Madueke (retd), one-time Chief of Naval Staff who was at
different times military governor of Imo and Anambra states.
Not many are aware of the tremendous power of the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, in Jonathan’s government.
For her role in Jonathan’s 2011
campaign, she was reportedly rewarded with a ministerial appointment to
the aviation ministry, even though she had no prior training in the
field of aviation.
Many believe that the President feels
indebted to her for her role as the Director of Finance and
Administration of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation and in the
establishment of Neighbour-to-Neighbour outfit, which reportedly spent
billions of naira on adverts and media propaganda in favour of Jonathan,
especially while the Occupy Nigeria protest lasted.
Considering this relationship with
Jonathan, it should not be a surprise that Oduah’s response to critics
after the Dana and Associated Airlines crashes reeked of arrogance.
The latest revelation that she forced
the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to buy her bulletproof vehicles
has again elicited calls for her removal and prosecution but considering
the way the President has treated public outcries against these
powerful women, Oduah is likely to remain minister till the end of
Jonathan’s administration.
Princess Stella Oduah was born on January 5, 1962 to Igwe D.O. Oduah of Akili-Ozizor in Anambra State on January 5, 1962.
She got her Bachelor’s degree in accounting and MBA from American universities.
Oduah joined the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation in 1983 and in 1992, she established a petroleum
products marketing company, Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Limited.
She was married to the former Minister for Works, Chris Ogiemwonyi.
Through her battles, the
Director-General of the Securities Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh,
has sufficiently earned the name ‘Iron lady’ even beyond her official
sphere of influence.
When she clashed with the House of
Representatives Committee on the Capital Market, it was the chairman of
the committee, Mr. Herman Hembe, that got hurt.
The committee had accused Oteh of fraud
and misappropriation of funds. She fired back, accusing Hembe of
demanding bribe from SEC.
The SEC board suspended Oteh in order to
investigate the findings of the lawmakers, who probed the capital
market and indicted her. She immediately petitioned the President and
After two months, the President returned
Oteh to her position, following the auditor’s report that said her
offence amounted only to ‘administrative lapses.’ The directors and
staff of the commission, who had protested Oteh’s alleged
high-handedness, were advised to calm down and obey their boss.
On the other hand, Hembe was arraigned
by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and also stepped down as
chairman of the committee.
The crisis led to an intense battle
between President Jonathan and the House of Representatives. The House
demanded the sacking of Oteh but Jonathan refused.
The passage of the 2013 budget was
delayed because of the fight. Eventually, the lawmakers insisted on zero
budget for SEC to force the President’s hand, but he did not budge.
Calls for her removal by civil society groups also fell on deaf ears.
Oteh, who is an indigene of Abia State, is also a British citizen.
She graduated with first-class degree in
computer sciences from the University of Nigeria in Nsukka and earned
her MBA from Harvard Business School.
LASU gives update on unfortunate exam stampede and how the hospitalized students are faring

Tireni Adebayo

Tireni Adebayo is the Editor of Kemi Filani News. She has BSC in Mass Communication from the Redeemer's University and M.A in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (2014 - 2015) where she majored in Public Relations and Advertising and Digital Media.  When she is not writing, she is either listening to music or reading her favorite books. Tel: +2348000000901 Address: Herbert Macaulay, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria Email: [email protected]


  1. Yoruba busy bodies and their jealousy of Igbos, and now directing this in full force at our beautiful, brilliant, highly educated and high profiled Igbo women. Today is Stella Oduah, tomorrow is Oby Ezekwesili, next week it's Dora Akunyili, a week before was Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke, few months ago was Joy Ogwu. Ungrateful people…these smart Igbo women are magnanimously running this country for the benefit of all; including you…Yorubas. What are you people contributing to this enterprise called Nigeria? Absolutely nothing. The Igbos, South-South and Hausas are running the show today in every level of the federal government….PRESIDENT, VICE-PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT, DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT, SPEAKER, DEPUTY SPEAKER, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE FEDERATION…NO YORUBA ANYWHERE IN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA THAT THEY CLAIM TO BE A MAJOR PART OF…VERY FOOLISH, WEAK, DECREPIT, FEAR-STRICKEN PEOPLE WITH LOW IQ. You all are not ashamed that you can't produce brilliant women of the caliber of Igbo women to contribute to the growth and development of this country. They will come up with the same ONE person Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. That's all they got? Nuisance.

    1. You r mentally derailed. U r in urgent need of a psychatrist. Obviously u a a medical condition that is brain related. What r YOUR own achievemeents in life hun? U this depressed fool

    2. Oga anonymous, pls there is no need taking this via tribalism, we are one Nigeria, and Mr or Mrs A's achievement is not more important than others, I feel the writer was only elucidating the Power of Women in Nigeria, in a bid to make stagnant the rights of women..Take am easy o…

  2. Sorry who is this tribalist? Igbo this, igbo that…Name one thing u feel is wrong abt d article and I will tell ten things you ve been blinded with due to ur inexposureor lack of insight….this same people irrespective of their origin may seem to be working but have also put this country in one of d hardest times…..they introduced subsidy we ve nt seen d impact of dt policy, plan crashes every where, increased corruption in every sector, we recently heard we have gone bankrupt and u come here to make it a tribal issue? knowing fully well dat this same issues which I listed are affecting you and your so called tribe… come here to list offices with which tribe isn't occupying dem or are occupying dem…..U need to examined because if u re sane you would cry to God help so he will fill this same offices with individuals that are willing to make things work for this country irrespective of their tribe or where dey originate from….instead of this so called "igbo" tribe you are so proud of but yet has brought shame upon ur clan…..but of course u re obviously blind or ur suffering needs 2 increase for you 2 realise dt it isn't abt tribe but NIGERIA

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