Hussain J. Ibrahim, Amina Alhassan, Adie Vanessa Effiong, Mulkat Mukaila, Abuja & Andrew Agbese, Jos .
It used to be said that behind every successful man is a woman. It is a saying that acknowledges the fact that men are usually at the forefront while their women ride to glory behind them. But times have changed. Women are now becoming leaders in their own right, celebrated for their success on the basis of their hard work and effort. But then, the saying is just as applicable that behind every successful woman is a man. Weekly Trust goes behind the scene to investigate the profile of these men who have not just only been supportive of the aspirations and ambitions of their women but have in some ways been enablers who helped to ensure that their women flourish and do well not just for themselves but for the society at large.
Chief Mrs. Pauline Tallen was born on January 8, 1959, in Shendam LGA of Plateau State to the family of Baba Paul and Mama Elizabeth Kattiems. She attended the University of Jos where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology in 1982. She won her first political appointment to the local council in 1994 as councilor in Shendam LGA. Luckily for her, the new regime of the military government in Plateau State viewed her as an asset in her community and appointed her into the position of commissioner in the state executive council overseeing the Ministry of Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture from 1995-1999.
With the election of Tallen as Deputy Governor of Plateau State, she was the first and only female Deputy Governor in the entire northern Nigeria. A quiet personality, Miskoom John Tallen, husband of Pauline Tallen, is known for his community support efforts and acts of philanthropy. Many in the state, especially in his native Shendam remember him for encouraging farming and for the practical steps he had taken towards that by personally assisting farmers with tractors in his area.
He was a director in the old Plateau civil service where he had been in charge of cooperative shops in the 70’s. He is also known to have used his spare time to promote religious tolerance among the people in the state by organizing different forums where discussions about mutual coexistence are held. Now Chairman Board of Trustees of Shendam private school which was established around 1982, Miskoom Tallen has offered scholarships to orphans since then with over 300 university graduates among them.
He was active in partisan politics in the Second Republic but has been silent on the political scene but is believed nevertheless to have encouraged his wife to pursue a career in politics.
During the recent gubernatorial campaigns in the state where his wife contested against the incumbent governor, Jonah Jang, Miskoom Tallen stood by her and once had to defy his age by mounting the rostrum to physically stand by her to correct the impression that he was not in support of her gubernatorial ambition.
Diezani Alison-Madueke was born on December 6, 1960 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. She studied architecture in England and then at Howard University in the United States, and worked in USA for some years before returning to Nigeria, joining Shell Petroleum Development Corporation in 1992. In 2002, she attended Cambridge University for her MBA. In April 2006, Shell appointed her its first female Executive Director in Nigeria.
Allison-Madueke was appointed Transport Minister in July 2007. On December 23, 2008, she was appointed Minister of Mines and Steel Development. Since 1999 she has been married to Admiral Alison Madueke (retired), one-time Chief of Naval Staff who was at various times governor of Imo and Anambra State.
Allison-Madueke was born in 1944 in Oji River, Enugu State, and is of Igbo origin. He attended the Britannia Royal College, Dartmouth England and the School of Maritime Operations, Southwick. Madueke studied at the Nigerian Defense Academy between 1964 and 1967. He served at the Embassy of Nigeria as Naval Attaché in Washington DC, USA. After a military coup d’état overthrew civilian President Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983, as Navy Captain he was appointed governor of Anambra State from January 1984 to August 1985, and then of Imo State until 1986 during the military regimes of Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida. Promoted to Rear Admiral, from 1993-1994 he served briefly as Chief of Naval Staff under General Sani Abacha. He was sacked after a Supreme Military Council meeting in August 1994 where he supported the release of the elected civilian president Moshood Abiola, who had been imprisoned after the coup that brought Abacha to power.
Senator Grace Bent
Adamawa State’s Senator Grace Bent got elected into the National Assembly in 2007 where she served her constituency until 2011. While at the National Assembly, she was a house committee member on Ethics and Petition, Environment, Aviation and Foreign Affairs. Senator Bent has previously held positions as Assistant Producer, NTA Kaduna and Managing Director, Jack Ventures Nigeria Ltd and Gammako Nigeria Ltd.
But behind the amiable Senator is retired Major Jackson Bent who hails from Dong, Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The constituency Senator Bent represented in the National Assembly is actually the constituency she married into and not one where she was born. But probably it is a measure of the support she enjoys from her husband that she won the election in his constituency to go and represent the people of the area in the National Assembly, a position she held meritoriously and being one of the few Nigerian women who got elected at constituencies different from their states of origin.
Major Jackson Bent was born on 14th December, 1951. He attended St. Theresa Primary School, Jimeta, Yola and GSS Ganye from 1963-1967 where he proceeded to GSS Bauchi for his higher school certificate .He attended the NDA as an Officer Cadet from January 1972 to 1974, then later became Combatant Officer in 1974 as a second Lieutenant in the Nigeria Army.
Major Jackson was the ADC to the Military Governor of Kano State from 1975-1976 from where he was later transferred to Kaduna as the ADC to the then military governor in 1978, from there he proceeded to Kachia Kaduna State as Commandant of the Army Resettlement and Rehabilitation centre.
He has held positions in the Army like Military Assistant to the Adjutant General, Staff Officer to the Quarter-Master General, Directing Staff Officer at the Command and Staff College Jaji, and Acting Commanding Officer, 181 infantry Battalion, Lokoja, until his retirement.
After his retirement from the Army, he became the Executive Director /Group Executive Coordinator of Buhari Group of Companies and later formed Jack Ventures Nigeria Ltd and Jamal Nigeria Enterprise where he has since been Group Chairman /CEO till date.
The former Minister of State for Education, Hajiya Aisha Dukku, is an achiever in her own right. With an unyielding resolve to bring positive changes to her people, especially the vulnerable girl-child and women, she had tried to make positive impact through community development initiatives. After serving as minister she engaged fully in her NGO, Centre for Development and Partnership (CEDAP) activities to further achieve this goal.
She is married to Jamaluddeen Arabi, an influential community member. Her husband has been one of her major pillars of support. She said of him: “What is important is that I have a supportive husband and he gives me all the encouragement I need to discharge my duties. Where I fail he understands, because I never want to fail in whatever I do, but as a human being I am bound to make mistakes, somehow, somewhere and he understands.’’ In one of her recent interviews she was quoted as saying, “my husband remains my pillar of support”.
She thanked her husband for being supportive at all times while she tries her best to ensure that the home front does not suffer in spite of the daunting task of her public calling. “I believe Allah created me and He knows why He created me, because He created me as a woman, He has also given me the strength to do what I have to do and I have been coping successfully without any problem,” she said.
Nenadi Usman is one woman that needs no introduction. She was Minister of State for Finance during the Obasanjo administration and later rose to become the substantive Minister of Finance in the same administration. Mrs Nenadi has played a prominent role in women development and empowerment and has played a pivotal role in the formation of a Non-Governmental Organization called “Education and Empowerment for Women” with its headquarters at Jere in Kaduna State.
Nenadi Usman is married to Dr. Sa’ad Usman (the Chief of Jere). She said of him in an interview: “He is a very good father and husband and he has always been in support of me in everything I venture into. He told me that the sky was my limit and with hard work I could get there. He is a very gentle person, loving and very accommodating.”
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is known as the iconic lady of Finance. She was born June 13, 1954 and hails from Delta State. She was the first woman to hold the portfolio of the Minister of Finance when she served as the finance minister in 2006. Prior to her ministerial career, okonjo iweala was vice president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group. She is married to Dr. Iweala, a surgeon from Abia State, who works with Washington’s Province Hospital, USA.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa is the one-time anchor of NTA’s popular Sunday television show, Newsline after Frank Olize, before she contested for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives where she is currently serving her third term. Married to Segun Erewa, with four children, she describes marrying her husband as the best decision she has ever made. “I am lucky and blessed with a very understanding person and I ask where he has been all these years. He is an extremely wonderful, down to earth person, sincere and very blunt. We call him the Most Valuable addition (MVA).”
Popularly referred to as ‘Madam Due Process’ during her tenure as Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili began her career as an accountant, auditor, financial and management consultant with Deloitte &Touché where she worked as an auditor, management and financial services consultant. Thereafter, from 1994 to 1999 she served as a founding Director of Transparency International (TI) and as TI’s Director for Africa. She worked as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Program, between 2000 and 2002. About the same time she was appointed as an aide to President Obasanjo before being made Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence in 2003.
She is married to Pastor Chinedu Ezekwesili of the Redeemed Christian Church, a man who is an acknowledged religious and community leader who has touched the lives of several Nigerians by teaching positive values. It is an influence he extended to his wife who during her stint in office was one of the vocal voices against government wastage and corruption.
Priscilla Kuye is past president of the Nigerian Bar Association, past president, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, past vice-president, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Principal Consultant, Priscilla Kuye& Co (Legal Practitioners), Member, Body of Benchers and past Chairman, Human Rights Committee, NBA, and hold leadership positions at many other organisations. She is married to Chief Omowale Ajani Kuye, a former Permanent Secretary who retired from public service in 1988 after holding several key positions in the federal civil service which include Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Finance, 1979-1983; Director of Budget, Federal Ministry of Finance, 1984-85. He was also Director-General, Special Duties, Office of the President and was also Secretary, Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization of Government Companies and Parastatals, 1989-93. He has been married to Priscilla for over 45 years.
Senator Ajuji Waziri
Farida MzamberWaziri is the current chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. She was born on July 7, 1946 and raised in Gboko, Benue State. Farida Waziri enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force in 1965 and rose to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police. She also served as Commissioner of Police (special fraud unit) in which role she recorded the first conviction for Advance Fee Fraud in Nigeria. She led the West African delegation on Advance Fee Fraud to Lyons, France in 1996. She led the Nigeria delegation to Dallas, Texas for a seminar organized by the United State Secret Service in 1998.
Farida Waziri is married to Senator Ajuji Waziri, a former Senator representing Bauchi South East Senatorial District in 1983. Apart from being a member of the Constitutional Conference between 1994-95 he was Nigeria’s ambassador to the Republic of Turkey between 2004-2007. He was also elected Senator in 2010 following a by-election to fill that position.