As 2023 presidential election draw closer, all political parties have started sourcing for which candidate is fit enough to run the race for them. INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu earlier announced that the 2023 presidential election is scheduled to hold on February 18, 2023.
The Southeast (Igbo) is staking the 2023 Nigerian presidency as a do or die, on the strength that they are the only major ethnic group that is yet to produce a democratic president. But who does the crown fit among the Igbos?
If a potential candidate is needed among the IGBOS, I think considering a female candidate is also a good idea. Though, it has been difficult for a female candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria but things have started changing because the world keep advancing everyday.
So, if the South Eastern part of Nigeria see any reason to consider using a female candidate, these two able women suggested below are fit enough to raise the flag.
1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Top of the list is Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Previously, Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011). She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born 13 June 1954) is a Nigerian-born economist and international development expert.
Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Queen’s School, Enugu, St. Anne’s School, Molete, Ibadan, and the International School Ibadan. She arrived in the US in 1973 as a teenager to study at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an AB in Economics in 1976.
In 1981, she earned her Ph.D in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a thesis titled Credit policy, rural financial markets, and Nigeria’s agricultural development.
Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Since 2019, Okonjo-Iweala has been part of UNESCO’s International Commission on the Futures of Education, chaired by Sahle-Work Zewde. In 2020, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva appointed her to an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges. Also in 2020, she was appointed by the African Union (AU) as special envoy to solicit international support to help the continent deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria nominated Okonjo-Iweala as the country’s candidate to be director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She later advanced to the final round of the director-general selection candidacy of the World Trade Organization. She then thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for their support for being in the final round of the candidacy.
2. Oby Ezekwesili
Obiageli Ezekwesili (born 28 April 1963), also popularly known as Oby Ezekwesili, is a Nigerian chartered accountant from Anambra state. She was born to father Benjamin Ujubuonu who died in 1988 and mother Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu who died on 21 st June, 2020.
She served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and later as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Subsequently, she served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012, later replaced by Makhtar Diop. Ezekwesili was a 2018 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in transparency in the extractive sector.
Ezekwesili holds a Master degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She trained with the firm of Deloitte and Touche and qualified as a chartered accountant.
Prior to working for the Government of Nigeria, Ezekwesiili was working with Professor Jeffrey Sachs at the Center for International Development at Harvard.
In March 2007, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, announced the appointment of Ezekwesili as Vice-President for the Africa Region starting on 1 May 2007.
In 2012, she successfully completed her stint as the World Bank Vice-President (Africa Division).
Ezekwesili contested for the office of the president of Nigeria on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria. The former minister had hinted at contesting for the office of the president. At an event commemorating the 58th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, Pastor Tunde Bakare announced that she would be running for the office of the president. One of her campaign promises was to lift 80 million Nigerians out of poverty.
On 24 January 2019, Oby stepped down from the presidential race owing to a divergence of values and visions with her political party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). However, later in the day, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)said it was too late for anyone to withdraw from the race because the ballot materials had already been prepared. For that reason, the crest of the party would still appear.