Ever before Nigeria attain its independence, Nigerian women through the ages have been an integral part of nation building; from the civil service to business and finance, academia to politics and from culture and arts are women of valor and grandeur who have distinguished themselves across these fields. Amongst these women of candor, wit and capacity are from KinNupe who have proved their mettle in the past and are blazing the trail and rising to national prominence through hard work and uncommon commitment to excellence despite discriminations and gender disparities against the girl child in a typical African society.

These groups of women belong to different generations but they all have one thing in common; thirst for success which pushed those in the first two generations to have achieved success in academia, businesses, politics, community development advocacy and girl child education. The later generations of women in KinNupe have taken a cue from the older folks who have set the good precedence for inclusive growth and participation in societal growth and development. The women under consideration have participated more recently in engendering a truly democratic, just and egalitarian society, giving more voice to the women folks and setting in motion the quest to achieve a modern and compassionate society devoid of all sorts of gender inequalities. 

This piece tagged the fifty (50) most influential women in KinNupe seeks to extol the virtues of our women across all ages and generations, salute their sterling capabilities and immense contributions to their immediate communities, KinNupe and the nation at large. This will also bring to the fore the uncelebrated exploits and proven pedigrees of these women who against all odds have risen through the rough tides of our educational system to become leaders and opinion molders. This will inspire the younger generation to aim for nothing but excellence in a more competitive environment like the present. The article will be in phases.

1. Hajiya Amina Kere Ahmed

Hajiya Amina Kere Ahmed belongs to the earliest educated group of Northern Nigerian women. Born in the late 1940s, she has been in the forefront of girl child education and other social services and issues affecting the womenfolk. She is a serial volunteer.

Focused in her academic pursuit, the young Amina enrolled at the famous Queen Elizabeth School in Ilorin where she took her Cambridge certified A-Levels with good grades in what would culminate in an exceedingly successful career spanning well over three decades of progressive working experience for the unerringly and highly cerebral Kere Ahmed. With determination and courage, she rose through the ranks from a classroom teacher to the top echelon of the teaching profession as a school Principal. 

She has served in different capacities at national and international reputable organizations such as, National Mass Literacy Commission, Universal Basic Education, UNDP, UNICEF and DFID where she has brought to bear her experience in the service of humanity. A consummate teacher, her passion as an educationist was duly recognized when she was appointed as Commissioner for Education during Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s military administration in Niger state.

In her journey of life, Hajiya Amina Kere Ahmed has proved her mettle as a distinguished administrator, an exemplary leader and mentor, a helpful and charitable personality. Her achievements before drawing the curtains on a largely successful career has become an important reference point for the younger generations of women across KinNupe and even beyond. KinNupe is very proud of the milestones she has achieved over the years. 

2. Dr. Mrs. Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril

Jakidayan Nupe, the traditional title conferred her person can hardly fit a more passionate person than the amazon herself whose concern about the emancipation of the Nupe race takes precedence over other priorities. Suffice to say that only a few numbers of women in KinNupe have been more consistent, keeping afloat on both the home front and on the national scene than Mrs. Sarah Jibril in the last three decades if any, considering her influence and reach amongst her women colleagues beyond the shores of KinNupe. 

She holds the enviable record of being the first woman in the annals of Nigerian political history since Independence to contest for the presidential seat when she indicated interest under the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992. The University of Lagos master’s degree graduate has since been an active participant in the democratic process, contesting for the presidential seat in three other elections. Although she lost to the eventual winners but her courageous and unflappable demeanor has instilled confidence in women, today there are more women who are aspiring for different elective positions across the country beyond the confines of her native KinNupe. Her reach and influence has reawakened the hope of the girl child that she can aspire to be anything in life.

Mrs. Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril, Jakadiyan Nupe

A former Commissioner and later Special Adviser to the President, she has held a couple of prominent positions on different fronts of development in KinNupe and at the national level. She has continuously worked with various community development groups in KinNupe that will set in motion the actualization of a modern and compassionate society. 

An accommodating mother and exemplary leader and mentor, Mrs. Sarah Nnadzwa is one of the most committed people to the Nupe cause, playing a prominent role in the actualization of the Baro port project that is expected to open up KinNupe for massive economic growth and development.

3. Hajiya (Dr.) Amina Ndalolo

A fourth republic Minister of State for Health, Dr. Amina Ndalolo rightly earned her place in the list of the fifty most influential women in KinNupe in recognition of many of her philanthropic gestures and kind-hearted personality using her good office for the greater good of her people, with little or no regard for where you are from in KinNupe. She was a unifying factor during her stint as a Minister of the Federal Republic.

The first generations of women in KinNupe by virtue of their backgrounds and dictates of their times were teachers by training. It was therefore no coincidence when the former local government administrator found herself in the league of professionally trained teachers in Northern Nigeria and took up teaching as her first call to serving humanity. Little did she know that this would lead her to national prominence? To have risen through the political space that is dominated by men to become the then ruling party’s leader in her home state of Kwara during the fourth republic was no mean feat where you had an array of more than capable political gladiators. She proved her worth when she led the party with remarkable feats and unblemished records to her name, paving the path for other women to participate in the democratic process. 

Hajiya (Dr.) Amina Ndalolo, Former Minister of State for Health

For the better part of three decades, Hajiya Amina Ndalolo served in the civil service in the old Kwara state, becoming a local government chairperson through diligence and hard work. She served in different capacities in the Civil Service in Kwara state, her consistency to women rights advocacy and girl child education during this time validated her commitment to setting a new path forward for the next generation of women in KinNupe; to dream and aspire and to equally match their counterparts from all parts of the country and even beyond.

A silent achiever, her unassuming mien belies her God-given wit and unerring capacity to lead from the front and in so doing has through hard work written her name in gold.

4. Hajiya Zainab AbdulKadir Kure

Ya’Abu as she is fondly called by admirers and followers through the political influence and reach of her late husband and former governor of Niger state, Engr. AbdulKadir Kure became the first woman in KinNupe to become a senator of the Federal Republic when she joined an increasing number of women politicians from across different parts of the country filling up both elective and appointive positions. 

A two term First Lady in Niger state between 1999-2007 during Engr. AbdulKadir Kure’s tenure as governor, Hajiya Zainab Kure having been in government and with an understanding of the rudiments of governance took a shot at the senatorial seat of the largest zone in the state; Zone A with the aim of advancing the cause of her people. She recorded a resounding victory at the polls and gave a good account of herself at the Red Chambers of the National Assembly as she contributed in no small measure to many burning national issues despite the usual preponderance of opinions from her male counterparts. In her capacity as the First Lady, her pet project, Project Youths Empowerment and Support which was targeted at giving succor to the downtrodden was a life changing grace for many of the beneficiaries whose lives have never been the same since then.

A graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria continued to offer herself whenever and wherever needed, although she lost at the polls in her bid to return to the senate during the 2015 general elections, she remains a shining light and an influential figure amongst the women folks in KinNupe and even beyond. Her political experience, exposure and achievements will always be a reference point for the younger generations of women who have shown similar interests and capacities in taking up leadership positions

5. Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi

Hajiya Zainab Kuchi belongs to the group of women politicians who over the years have proven their mettle in different areas of human endeavor after a successful career in the nation’s apex bank for close to two decades. 

A lawyer by professional training, she launched her career with the Niger state Judiciary and garnered progressive working experience for about eight years before taking the next huge step of a promising future when she joined the legal department of the Central Bank of Nigeria where she brought bear her capacity, competence and experience to bear in public service to the administration of colleagues and associates. 

Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, Former Minister of Power

She joins the growing number of women politicians in KinNupe who are changing the narrative through capacity building for the women folk and philanthropic gestures geared towards empowering the girl child. Education and vocational training have become more important in the 21st century where skills acquisition and small and medium scale enterprises have been figured to be an important part of economic stability, especially for women and girls.

6. Hajiya Aisha Ahmad Ndanusa 

The Bida born banker occupies the most influential position by any woman in KinNupe as of today. Appointed Deputy Governor of the apex financial institution in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ndanusa is an Amazon of some sorts amongst the women folk in KinNupe having risen through the ranks in the banking sector to become Head, Consumer & Investment at the now defunct Diamond Bank.

The manager partner has worked with some international financial firms and a host of first generation banks in the country and has come out with an unblemished track record in management. Her financial prudence, managerial skills and leadership capacity is unrivaled. Hajiya Ahmad Ndanusa is a household name amongst her female colleagues as she takes into philanthropy; helping vulnerable children and advocating for the rights of the girl child. 

Hajiya Aisha Ndanusa, CBN Deputy Governor

A trailblazer and an inspiration to every girl child who’s struggling to make her mark in a society that’s mostly driven by individual readiness to adapt to changes, one’s intellectual firepower and the determination to take on opportunities that present themselves, her phenomenal accomplishments has renewed the hope of the girl child to aspire for greatness. 

7. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu

Hajiya Ramatu Tijani Aliyu is a Nigerian politician whose political prowess and influence has seen her represent the women’s wing in the defunct All Nigerian Peoples’ Party (ANPP) and later All Progressives Congress after the merger in 2014.

In recognition of her contributions to the growth of the party which has seen improved participation of women in politics considering the number of women in elective positions in the last two general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari in his second term return to office appointed Kogi born woman politician as the Minister of State for FCT where she has done excellently well.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister of State, FCT

The Ahmadu Bello University graduate of Urban and Regional Planning has lend her voice to the liberation and rights of the girl child, a strong advocate of inclusive women participation in the democratic process, she has used her influence on several occasions to advance the cause of women and that came into the fore when she was first appointed as Special Adviser on Women Affairs to Gwagwalada Area Council Chairman in 2004 after which she contested the Kwali/Abaji Federal Constituency seat, although unsuccessful but that shot her into national prominence with her election as the National Vice Chairman (North Central) of the ANPP, the major opposition party as at 2008.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has a Master’s degree from Nassarawa State University, Keffi where she majored Public Administration and was conferred with a honorary doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Public Administration by the Commonwealth University, London having earned a certificate in Leadership Skills from the Abbey College, London. 

8. Prof. Rebecca W. Ndana

A successful career in academics is no mean feat for a woman who had a humble beginning growing up and had to deal with the challenge of working and attending to family needs. 

Mrs. Rebecca Ndana, wife to equally successful lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Abuja defied all the stereotypes and stumbling blocks that usually kill dreams of especially women rising through the ranks to attain the pinnacle of any academic career; the professorship but not without a dint of hard work. 

Prof. Rebecca Ndana, Faculty of Science, University of Abuja

Once appointed as Acting Director, of the highly demanding School of Remedial Studies, where the University community prepared young people for undergraduate studies, being a thoroughly bred Nupe ambassador, she used her influence to facilitate admission for students of Nupe extraction seeking admission into the school of remedial studies regardless of their creed or where they come from.

Like water finding its levels, the Kpada born professor of nematology was sooner than later appointed as the Dean, Faculty of Science at the prestigious University of Abuja where she did excellently well in capacity as the head of the science faculty. She demonstrated leadership ability and in the process earned her place in the annals of the university as a committed teacher, mother and a successful administrator.

9.        Hajiya Aisha Ndayako

A Princess should at all times distinguish herself in character and this exactly who Hajiya Aisha Ndayako has been over the years. Born of blue birth, she has had a glittering career in the federal civil service where leveraging on her networks to influence developmental projects to her native Bida and elsewhere in KinNupe has become a chosen path to impact on the lives of her people while keeping a low profile despite her numerous act of benevolence.

Hajiya Aisha Ndayako, Director, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing

She was recently asked to speak to some burning issues bordering on community development in relation to the many intervention projects she has facilitated, she out rightly declined choosing not to be in the spotlight but would rather remain behind the scene to continue pulling the strings for the greater good of her people. Humility personified!

10.      Hajiya Rahmatu Yar’adua

Hajiya Rahmatu Yar’adau first came into limelight when she was appointed by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello as a Commissioner where she proved her mettle beyond all reasonable doubt. Extraordinarily talented, the blonde granddaughter of late business tycoon and philantropist, Alhaji Bagudu BCC has been deployed to different ministries since 2015 and has had remarkable impact leaving  indelible footprints on the minds of virtually all the people that have crossed paths with her.

Hajiya Rahmatu Yar’adua, Niger State Commissioner for Transport

A grassroots mobiliser, community development advocate, girl child education advocate and a staunch Nupe ambassador; she is very popular amongst the locals in her native Enagi majorly because of her compassion and people-centric initiatives. Her influence on the home front and elsewhere in KinNupe especially on issues affecting the women folk cannot be overstated.




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