ElectionsFact CheckMedia Literacy

If elected, Aisha Binani will not become first female governor of Nigeria

Claim: Bashir Ahmad, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, claims Senator Aisha Binani will become the first female governor in Nigeria if she is voted in as the next governor of Adamawa State.

If elected, Aisha Binani will not become first female governor of Nigeria

Verdict: FALSE. Ms Virginia Etiaba is the first female governor in Nigeria, having served the people of Anambra in 2006 during the impeachment period of Peter Obi, which lasted for three months.

Full Text

As Nigerians prepare for the presidential elections next month, the people of Adamawa are also preparing for the governorship election in the state.

One of the major candidates is Senator Aisha Binani, who resigned as Adamawa’s All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign coordinator a few months ago.

Recently, the Special Assistant to the President on digital communications, Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad), shared on his Twitter page that if Ms Binani emerges as the next governor of Adamawa State, she would be the first female governor in Nigeria.

If elected, Aisha Binani will not become first female governor of Nigeria
The screenshot of the post on Twitter.

Reacting to his post, Chima Obi (@ChimaOdo) commended APC for presenting a female candidate. He tweeted, “I applaud the APC for once in their lifetime, a woman as the guber candidate? I love that. But she will lose.”

Joseph (@Sanjos_bran) opposed the Special Assistant’s comment on the first female governor claim. He commented, “Obi had produced one before – Dame Virgy Etiaba, Nov 2006. stop this first female governor in Nigeria [sic].”

As of the time of publication, the post has attracted over 90,000 views, 150 comments, 300 retweets and 1,000 likes.

In view of conflicting comments, DUBAWA chose to fact-check this claim to set the records straight and educate Nigerians.

Verification

DUBAWA carried out a quick Google check of the first female governor in Nigeria and found a report by Voice of Nigeria where the current governor of Anambra, Prof Charles Soludo, congratulated Ms Virginia Etiaba on her 80th birthday.

“Governor Soludo Congratulates Nigeria’s First Female Governor At 80,” the headline reads.

Similarly, in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Ms Virginia Etiaba on her 77th birthday, where the president described her as “the good teacher who completely altered the history of Nigeria as first female governor between November 2006 and February 2007.”

In 2006, Sahara Reporters reported that the then-governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, had been impeached for ‘impropriety in office.’

During his impeachment period, his deputy, Ms Virginia Etiaba, became the first female governor of Nigeria. Mail and Guardian reported that the chief judge of Anambra swore in Obi’s deputy, Virginia Etiaba, to replace him even though she had refused the job, pledging loyalty to Obi.

After three months, Peter Obi was reinstated as the governor of Anambra State, Reuters reported. His return saw Ms Virginia return to her role as the deputy governor after a stint as the governor of the state for three months.

Conclusion

Due to Peter Obi’s impeachment as the governor of Anambra state, his deputy, Ms Virginia Etiaba, became the first female governor in Nigeria. Although she was not voted in directly from the polls, she served the people of Anambra in the absence of the elected governor. Hence, the claim is false.

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