In Akure, the capital Ondo State, many believe that only men have upper hands in the running of the affairs of state or holding political office across all tiers of government from federal, state and local council levels. But City People has found out that no fewer than 50 women play big in the affairs of the state and they are influential.
Below City People’s Adeola Shittu brings you the list of women who had been playing big since 1999, till date.
ARABINRIN BETTY ANYANWU-AKEREDOLU
Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN. She hails from Emeabiam in Owerri-West Local Government of Imo State. A breast cancer survivor, she is the founder and president of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), an organisation she founded in October 1997. She is a graduate of Zoology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Master’s degree holder in Fisheries (major in Agriculture) from University of the Philippines. She is the chief executive officer/owner of Aquatek Farms Ventures. She is one of the influential female politicians in the sunshine state and she has used her office as the first lady to touch lives within a space of one year and few months through her various programme. Mama digit as she is fondly called once contested for house of reps in her constituency.
HON JUNMOKE AKINDELE
She is an icon, who has in the last few years pitched her tent in the state politics. She emerged the first female Speaker of the state House of Assembly. This princess of Ikaleland a lawyer-cum-politician has not only broken the record to be the first Princess of Ikale kingdom to hold the number 3rd position in the state. She had since step down from the speakers seat, but she is today one of the influential politicians in the state.
PRINCESS OLADUNNI ODU
This Ikale lawyer cum politician is one of the most influential female politicians in ondo state, who has pitch tent for herself both at the state and federal level. She was once Chairman, Ondo State Universal Basic Education Board and a two-term commissioner in the old Ondo State. She once contested a senate seat against the late Ex-Gov Agagu. She had also served as Board Member Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. She is a woman with focus and determination and knows what she wants, though she was once a PDP member before she joins APC last year. She had since be appointed chairman of SUBEB again by Gov. Akeredolu-led administration.
ERELU TITILAYO ALAO
She is one of the frontline women leaders in the Labour Party (LP). She hails from Arigidi Akokoland. She is one of the influential women in Ondo state politics. She was a pioneer member of Labour Party in 2006 when she was appointed Assistant Publicity Secretary for the party. She is being groomed by northern political leaders like PDP former national Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, among others. She was once an Assistant Social Welfare Secretary for the South-West during UNCP days. Many refer to her as Erelu of Akoko politics as she is a grassroots person. She has served as Special Assistant to former Gov. Mimiko on project monitoring between 2009-2013.
MRS KEMI IYANTAN
She is the wife of the late deputy governor, Pastor Afolabi Iyantan, during the late Adefarati’s administration in Ondo state. She is one of the most active female progressive politicians in the state. This Ikale woman started her politics as Alliance for Democracy (AD) to Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) that is now the All Progressives Congress (APC), she was the Director, Women mobilisation for the Independent Campaign Network (ICN) of Aketi for Governor in 2012. She is the convener of National Association of Women Empowerment in Politics (NAWEP).
MRS SOLA OMOTOSHO
This veteran female journalist-cum-politician is an influential and grassroots politician in Ilara Mokin in Ifedore Local Government area. She is a strong APC’s person. Grandma as she is fondly called is the publisher of Style Network Magazine.
BARR. FOLA OLASEHINDE
Though, much has not been heard about her recently, but when you talk of Ose/Owo influential female politician, then Yeye Fola Olasehinde name will be mentioned. She was one of the 3 female lawmakers in the 7th Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Ose Constituency. She was one of the few politicians who didn’t follow Gov. Mimiko to PDP from Labour Party, rather she pitched her tent with APC.
ERELU MODUPE AKINDELE
She was the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) revolutionary women leader in Ondo state. She is another member of the Akindele Dynasty in politics. Before she ventures into politics, she was running a private conglomerate that deals in farm produce, trading, petroleum marketing and hotel business. She is a successful Ikale trader and one of the formidable forces among the progressive female politicians in the state.
HON MRS LOLA FAGBEMI
This APC women leader in Ondo West and East local government area of Ondo state is the coordinator of “TEAM AKETI” in Ondo town. She is the coordinator of Hon. Lola Fagbemi mobilization movement in Ondo West and East. She is the second female commissioners that run Ondo State with Arakunrin Akeredolu being the Commissioner For Local Government And Chieftaincy Affair.
CHIEF MRS OLASIMI AKINDELE-ODUNMBAKU
Aunty Simi as fondly called is another powerful and influential woman in Ondo State politics. The fact that this political activist is born to the family of Unilag don, Professor Akindele from Akunnu Akoko made her popular. She is married to one of the Lagos most influential APC leaders, Cardinal Odunmbaku, fondly call Baba Eto. This successful businesswoman-cum-politician storm Ondo state political circle in 2007 to contest a seat of the House of Reps under the auspice of Action Congress (AC), but owing to the political alliance then between LP and AC then, it was said that she deployed all her resources and supported Gov. Mimiko during the turbulent race to Alagbaka Government House. Another thing that makes her more relevant to her people and her constituency is her annual empowerment programme for her Isowopo ward. She was a former Commissioner For Community Development And Co-operative Society and former Commissioner For Women Affairs and A Social Development in Ondo State. She belongs to various socio-political groups but is the convener of Oodua Women Council.
HON MRS. BANKE IKEOLUWA SUTTON
She is a highly urbane and cosmopolitan women, who hails from Ilaje-Agerige in Aheri kingdom. She is the immediate past chairman, Ondo State Micro-Credit Agency. Today, many see her as the force behind the popularity of LP among majority of the riverine women when she coordinated the Ilaje/Ese-Odo areas of the state. This UK-trained Public Servant came into politics in 2010 when she contested the seat of Ilaje/Ese-odo federal constituency at the House of Representatives under the auspices of LP, but she had since joined the PDP. She is one of the strong forces to reckon with in Ondo South senatorial politics and the state as a whole as she knows how to play her card among her people in the grassroots.
She was the unseen hand behind the rapid urban renewal and transformation during former Gov. Mimiko’s administration in the state during the first term of the governor. This Owo Princess was the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Direct Labour Agency. She used her tenure to touch many lives. She came into politics with the influence of her husband, Hon Tunde Suara, an Ibadan man and one time House of Reps Members.
This Akunu Akoko-born super woman and the South-West women leader of the National Coalition for Jonathan & Sambo Presidency (NACOSJP), has been a source of inspiration to many Akoko female and male politicians. She contested and lost her councillorship ticket of NRC in 1983, but 14 years after, she was elected UNCP Vice Chairman of Akoko North local government in 1997-1998. She also served at SPEB. She was wooed into politics by Senator Bode Olajumoke then who, was an APP presidential aspirant.
PRINCESS KEMI OLUWATUYI
She is an Akure-born Princess and active member of Labour Party, who left LP with former Governor Mimiko to PDP. She has served as Board Member, Teaching Service Commission and one of the former SSA to Mimiko. This loving and friendly politician once contested the Ondo Central Senatorial Seat. Aside politics she is also into cleaning services.
HON OLUWAKEMI ADESANYA
Princess Kemi has in the last few years, become one of the influential women in Akure South and Ondo state to reckon with. This female lawmaker representing Akure South Constituency 1, has remained committed to making an impact in many people’s lives through her humanitarian service. She was a former whip of the Ondo State House of Assembly. She came into politics over a decade ago, when she was the coordinator of Solidarity Organisation for Bola Ahmed Tinubu (SOBAT) for Governor in 1998. She is the coordinator, Brighter Days Network, UK. She is the brain behind Kemisola Skill Acquisition Centre in Akure where she empowered many young and aspiring career women. She has also used her Kemisola Peace Cup to promote grassroots football among the youth.
ASIWAJU ADEYINKA BELLO
She is one of the few influential female politicians, who hail from Ogbagi Akoko in Ondo State. She has been a progressive since her days at the Action Congress, which later become ACN and now APC. She is one of the conveners of Oodua Woman Council, having served in Lagos as the Chairman, Igando/Ikotun ICG steering committee in 2015. That was one of her many positions she had held in the pasts. she is an active member of her party both in Lagos, Ondo and at the national level.
CHIEF (MRS) JUMOKE ANIFOWOSE
She was formerly the State Chairperson of Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) and governorship Aspirants during the last Ondo State governorship election and She had served as the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Ondo state during the late Gov. Adefarati administration. She is the first daughter of the late former Governor of Ondo state, Adebayo Adefarati. She served as the Chairman Governing Council, University Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State. She is one of the women in the state whom people look up to in politics.
LADY YEMI MAMUD
Aunty Yemi as fondly called is an educational-cum-politician. This former lecturer at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo was the state women leader for Labour Party (LP) and her role during the last governorship election could not be over looked, as she was able to deliver women during the last governorship election, which led to her appointment as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social development then. She was the only Ondo state female delegate at the National confab, Abuja. Though, she is no longer a Commissioner for Women Affairs but a strong force to reckon with in Owo.
YEYE OLUYEMI AJONIBODE
Yeye as she is fondly called is another well connected and influential woman in Ondo State politics. This public administration graduate was then PDP Woman leader in Akoko North West Local Government Area. She was the Director of Women Mobilisation during Oke/Lawal for governor campaign committee in 2012. She is a mentor to lot of young politicians, who elected her as South west Women Leader of Young Democrats.
She is a female journalist-cum-politician who commands respect among her contemporaries as she emerged the first Ondo female senatorial aspirants. She won the ticket on the platform of the defunct ANPP to represent South Senatorial District in Abuja. She was in the race with late Gov. Agagu of PDP and the former senator Kunlere of LP who are men of high political influence in the state. She remains a strong factor to reckon with in Arogbo politics. She is a veteran Ijaw broadcaster and translator having spent over 30 years in the state.
She is the CEO of PLUMGATE Nigeria. Though, she is very powerful in Ondo State listen politics, but she remains that politician without political aspiration and she always tells those who care to listen that politics is for people to have abundant life. She was appointed state Woman leader for Jonathan/ Sambo for President Campaign in 2011. She was also the senatorial women coordinator for Oke/ Lawal for governor in 2012. She hails from Idanre.
ADENIKE OMOLARA FASAWE
She is the heir of the Owo-born influential PDP politician, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe. She is a strong member of Labour Party in Owo. She was a former Special Assistant to Gov Mimiko on special interest for 2 ½ years before she resigned her appointment. But owing to her connection and influence she was seconded to Ondo state Liaison Office Abuja.
EBIERE VICTORIA GOLD
The name Ebiere Gold rings bell as one of the powerful and well-connected Arogbo/ Ijaw, Niger Delta woman activists. This retired State Security Services woman is the National Welfare Officer of Ijaw National Congress and Her NGO Binitoru Women Global Development Initiative, cut across the whole Niger Delta states in Nigeria. She was a former Ondo state coordinator of women for change initiative (WFCI), a pet project of a former Nigerian First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. Though she had decided to go low profile in politics ahead of the next general election.
SHERIFAT KOKUMO OLUYEMI OGUNMODEDE
She is currently a member of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). She is called various nicknames like Yeye Labour, Atupa Iye and now Mama SUBEB. She is a founding member of Labour Party in 2006 and she was then appointed the first senatorial woman leader of LP. She later became a commissioner, Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC). She is said to have her political tutelage under Ibadan late politician, the late Lamidi Adedibu.
ALHAJA FAUSAT KAZEEM
Alhaja is one of the respected female politicians in the sunshine state and she is the woman leader of APC in Ondo North Senatorial districts.
BARR (MRS.) YETUNDE OGUNDIPE
She is one of the frontline female politicians from Ondo South Senatorial District. This lawyer cum politician is nee Faguwa and she has served as Chairman Ile-Oluji/ Oke-Igbo Local Government Council and she was the only female House of Reps APC candidate for Ile-Oluji/ Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency.
REGENT SOLA EBISENI
This Apoi-Regent and philanthropist is married to a three times Commissioner for Environment and former Chairman Ilaje/Ese-Odo Local Government, Barr. Sola Ebiseni. She is influential in the South Senatorial District I the sunshine state. Her roles as Regent and wife of a commissioner make her strong politically.
LADY FOLAKE AKINJOKO
She is one of the strong women in Ondo State politics, having served as Central Senatorial District Chairman of PDP. She has also served as PDP woman leader, the post she held on until she join ACN now APC 2 years ago. She sees politics as part of her and in 2011, she was one of the Ondo State Ministerial Nominees.
HON. (MRS) TITI AKINMADE
Hon. Mrs. Titi Akinmade is one of the women, who had made impact as far as Ondo politics is concerned. She made it to the State House of Assembly to represent Ondo West Constituency1, on the platform of the PDP as the only female lawmaker in 2003 during the late Agagu administration.
HON. OMOWUNMI OLATUNJI- EDET
Until some months back, much was not known political about this female lawmaker in Ondo state politics rather she is well known among Lagos politician because she was a two-term member of Lagos House of Assembly, having contested and won twice the Oshodi/Isolo Constituency II seat since 2007. She made a huge statement with her women empowerment project that cut across the 3 senatorial districts with over 1,500 women in attendants. As it is now, she has taken over the political circle in the sunshine state of Ondo state as all men aspirants in APC are lobbying her for Deputy Governor slot.
HON MRS YINKA ALABI
She had been in politics for a while, having served as the Special Adviser on Media to Ondo former first lady, Mrs. Kemi Mimiko. She was later appointed Commissioner For Woman Affairs and social development and SSA to former Gov Mimiko.
ERELU ABIKE AKIN OLUBODE
She is a native of Oke-Agbe Akoko. She is a grassroots political mobiliser. This APC women leader started politics when she was at Adeyemi College of Education, where she contested the students union Presidency and was the first female to do so. She taught in various secondary schools in Ondo state namely; Ikare, Oke-Igbo, Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure, Commercial Secondary School, CAC United, African Church Grammar School Alagbaka, and Muslim College before she joined the State House of Assembly as a legislative language translator in 2006. She bagged her Master’s degree in Linguistic and Languages from Adekule Ajasin University Akungba Akoko and later joined politics as a member of AC, ACN, and now APC.
She is one of the young and vibrant female politicians in Ondo state as she contested the 2016 Ondo Governorship election as the candidate of Democratic People’s Party (DPP). This female politician is the Programme Manager Of Girls To Women Research and Development Center and the National Coordinator of Ondo State Women must Count (OSWMC). She also anchors a popular radio programme called, “Kikelomo”. She is well educated and influential in Ondo state politics.
This pretty physically challenged babe is another new female politicians rocking Ondo state. She hails from Odigbo local council area of the state. She is the Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu on Special Person and she is also part of the executive of the special people at the national level.
HON MRS MORENIKE ALAKA
She is, indeed, a woman of history as she was the first female to be appointed a caretaker chairman of Okitipupa local government area twice. Hon Mrs. Morenike Onunkun Alaka’s father was a Senator. She attended University of Ibadan and until her appointment, she was the Executive Director at Gender Equity and Development Initiative (GEDI) and she is also member of Women for Equity & Fairness Orangisation of Nigeria (WEFON). She is passionate about human & women right.
HON (MRS) ATERE MARGRET
Akure South local government council will be experiencing a new leadership style following the appointment of Hon (Mrs) Margret Atere as the caretaker chairman of the local government. She played a prominent role during the last Ondo State governorship election. She is very connected in the grassroots and having served for some months, she has been reappointed the caretaker chairman.
PRINCESS DUPE ADETUWO
This Princess of Ikaleland is one of the Hollywood star-turn politicians in Ondo State. She has served as SA on Cultural Tourism in Ondo state. She is a member of BERCAN. Princess is a grassroots politician and a supporter of progressive in the state. She is member Boarding Council of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.