Remi And Nana, The Women Behind Nigeria’s Presidency

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When new leaders are sworn in, especially in this part of the world, the spotlight, as expected, is always on the men. But looking back at history and in contemporary times, women have played important roles in their husband’s administration.

In Nigeria, the wives of the president and the vice president are people whose actions or inactions rub off on their husbands.

While there may be controversies over their constitutional roles, one can’t wish away how important they are to the new administration.

Remi Tinubu has largely been in the public eye and Nana Shettima is also not new to the spotlight. But how much do Nigerians really know about them?

Here’s a snapshot of the women behind the Nigerian presidency!

Remi Tinubu

Remi Tinubu, Nigeria’s first lady
Remi Tinubu, Nigeria’s first lady

Born on September 21, 1960, the wife of the President grew up in Ogun State in Nigeria’s South-West region, the youngest of 12 children.

Remi was first a teacher before venturing into politics. She obtained her National Certificate in Education (NCE) at the Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo State and proceeded to the University of Ife in Osun State (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where she bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Education (Biology).

Since tying the knot with Tinubu in 1987, she has been ordained as a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The author of ‘The Journey of Grace – My Faith Walk’ also served as the First Lady of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.

An advocate of state police, she got into the National Assembly in 2011. Representing Lagos Central in the Senate, she remains one of the few women in the red chamber until the Ninth National Assembly ends its run next month.

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Incidentally, her new role as First Lady further tips the scales in favour of the men of the Senate, a fact the president re-echoed at a public event.“To my lovely wife, Oluremi Tinubu, you the senators don’t expect her back, she’s going to be my housewife and the First Lady,” the president said earlier in the year.

Her marriage to the President is blessed with children.

Nana Shettima

Nana Shettima, Nigeria’s second lady
Nana Shettima, Nigeria’s second lady

Nigeria’s second lady is a Kanuri native born in Kano State on July 22, 1975.

Having participated in outreach programmes as the First Lady of Borno State from 2011 to 2019, she serves as the CEO of the Support for Widows, Orphans and Tsangaya Foundation and Model Orphanage Integrated School, Maiduguri in her husband’s home state of Borno.

Married to Shettima in 1988, Nana earned a degree in English and Literature from the University of Maiduguri.

She is best known for her humanitarian works which have earned her a series of accolades.

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