Nigerian government officials have made misleading claims about Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, a candidate from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, party vying for a state governor’s seat in polls set for March 11, 2023.
An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari alleged Ahmed would be Nigeria’s first woman governor if she won the race in Adamawa, while a minister claimed she was the only woman from a major political party running in Nigeria’s north.
However, AFP Fact Check found both claims to be misleading. Firstly, there are other female contenders from key parties partaking in the election. Moreover, Ahmed would not be the country’s first-ever woman governor: Virginia Etiaba served as Anambra state governor for three months between 2006 and 2007 after her predecessor Peter Obi was impeached.
“Our party, the APC is doing it rightly to produce the first female governor in Nigeria,” Buhari’s communications aide Bashir Ahmad tweeted on January 9, 2023.
The post featured a video of a crowd at a pro-APC rally.
The same day, junior labour minister Festus Keyamo, who is also the spokesman for the APC’s presidential campaign, shared a photo of Ahmed with the caption:
“This is the moment President Buhari raised the hand of the only female candidate of the major political parties in the entire North, Senator Aishatu Binani.”
Ahmed is also known as Aisha Binani.
Ahmed was elected to the House of Representatives in 2011 as a member of the People’s Democratic Party.
She later defected to the APC and was elected to Nigeria’s senate in 2019.
She won the APC primary nomination to run for the Adamawa seat in May 2022. Although a federal high court initially quashed her nomination, an appeal tribunal later reinstated her as a candidate.
While Ahmed could become Nigeria’s first elected woman governor, she would not be making history as the country’s first-ever female governor.
Virginia Etiaba was sworn in as governor of Anambra state on November 3, 2006, after the state assembly impeached then-governor Peter Obi. The Court of Appeal later annulled Obi’s impeachment, cutting short Etiaba’s tenure as governor. Etiaba left office on February 9, 2007.