The Deputy Governor of the state is the second-highest official of the Government of the state who acts as the subordinate to the Governor. The Deputy Governor is selected as a running-mate by the gubernatorial nominee of a party after the primary elections. Here is the list of 3 current Nigerian deputy governors that are women:
1. Ipalibo Banigo
Ipalibo Gogo Banigo, born 20 December 1952, is a Nigerian medical doctor, politician and the first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
Banigo was born on 20 December 1952 to the Harry family of Obuama in Degema, Rivers State. As a teenager, she earned the West African School Certificate (Division One) and the Higher School Certificate at Queens College, Lagos. She was awarded prizes for her academic excellence in Chemistry , Biology and English Literature. In 1968, she won the BBC award for Students Poetry.
Prior to graduating from high school, she was the Best All-Round Student of The Year from 1969 to 1970. She obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University College Hospital, Ibadan , and attended Harvard University School of Public Health for her master's degree. Between 1990 and 1992, Banigo received diplomas in both Tropical Hygiene and Dermatology from the University of London.
After graduating from the University of Ibadan, she moved on to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health in 1981. Between 1981 and 1984, she worked as a Senior Medical Officer in charge and the registrar of births at the Port Health Services.
Later, she became a principal at the School of Health Technology of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where she worked from 1985 until 1994. At the same time, Ipalibo attended the University of London to get her postgraduate degree in Tropical Hygiene in 1990. In 1992, she received a diploma in Dermatology from the same university.
During her time at the Rivers State Ministry of Health, she held five responsible offices including Director of Public Health Services, Acting Commissioner, Director-General and Permanent Secretary. On 5 October 1995, Banigo was appointed Secretary to the Government of Rivers State , this she would maintain until 5 July 1999. She further served for five months, from May 1998, as Head of Service of Rivers State. Around 1999 or in the early 2000s, Ipalibo made the decision to retire.
On the contrary, Banigo’s career has only begun. Apart from being appointed the Public Health Adviser at Shell Nigeria in 2000, she also served as the executive director and the secretary to the board of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Ipalibo‘s great knowledge base and years of experience in different areas make her a perfect candidate to speak at various lectures, conferences and seminars. Some of the conferences she has spoken at include World Health Assembly, World Health Regional Meeting, Sandoz Dermatology Conference and the International Summit on Health.
Up until now, she has been involved in numerous organisations and institutions. Some of them include University of Nigeria, University of Calabar, Rivers State Food and Nutrition Committee, Rivers State Hospital Management Board, UNICEF, UNFPA, Rivers State Relief Committee and the Rivers State Hospital Management Board.
In 2014, Ezenwo Wike, who ran for the position of the Rivers State Governor, chose Banigo as his running mate. In 2015, Wike became the governor, which meant that Ipalibo became the deputy governor. As we have mentioned before, she became the first woman to have this position in the history of the Rivers State Government.
While her role in the government is mostly supportive, Ipalibo represents her own ideas and values. Her main areas of interest are women rights and emancipation, education and, of course, medicine. She serves as the powerful voice for the women of Rivers State. Since her time as a deputy governor, Banigo has attended various events, where she represented the governor and the interests of Rivers State Government.
2. Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo
Lolo Cecilia Ezeilo is a Nigerian politician, lawyer, philanthropist and television presenter, who has served as Deputy Governor of Enugu State since 2015.
She was first elected to the Enugu State Assembly in 2011, representing the constituency of Ezeagu.
Born in Amokwe, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, she is described as modest, intelligent and simple.
Once married, she is now the widow of His Royal Highness, Igwe Barr. Malachy Ezeilo (Ezeanyanwu).
As a wife, she aptly fills the adage that behind every successful man is a woman. As a mother, she is loving and caring, she is blessed with children. As civil servant, her programme production and presentation of today’s woman touched the lives of many.
The deceased was the traditional Ruler of Ozom Aguobu Owa in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
A lawyer by profession, Mrs. Ezeilo worked in the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) as a programme producer and presenter.
Her journey into politics started in 2011, when she was elected into Enugu State House of Assembly to represent Ezeagu Constituency becoming the first woman from her place to represent the constituency. She also became the Deputy Chief Whip and House Committee Chairman on Judiciary, Ethics and Privilege while in the house.
With her wealth of experience, Rt Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi picked her as his running mate in the 2015 gubernatorial election.
With the two working together, there was one guarantee result and it was victory for them, thus Ezeilo got her current job.
Presently, the woman holds the title of the first Female Deputy Governor of Enugu State since its creation in 1991.
3. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe
Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe is a Nigerian politician who is currently the deputy governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria.
She is the first woman to be appointed deputy-governor in northern Nigeria; she was elected during the 2019 Nigerian general elections in February under the ruling political party in Nigeria APC.
Hadiza Balarabe was born in 1966 and hails from Gwantu.
She is a Numana by tribe, from Sanga local government which is located in the southern Kaduna senatorial district.
She studied Medicine at the University of Maiduguri and graduated in 1988.
Dr Haduza had worked as a Senior Registrar at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital before joining the services of the FCT in 2004. In the same year, she joined the services of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where she served as Director of Public Health.
She is the current executive secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, a position she has held since February 2016.
As acting Governor, she made a presentation of the Kaduna State Government's 2020 Budget of Renewal to the Kaduna State House of Assembly on 15 October 2019, thereby becoming the first woman in Northern Nigeria to do so.
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