Nigeria’s Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, no doubt has been a behind-the-scenes rock for his principal, President Muhammad Buhari in the last four years or so. The unassuming former lecturer brought class and competence to the presidency and might be walking his way to historic reckoning as Nigeria’s best vice-president ever. Little wonder, he is lovingly referred to as ‘Star Boy’. It’s no longer news that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has been the face of President Buhari Social Investments Programmes like Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which consists of the popular TraderMoni, FarmerMoni, and Marketmoni. What many don’t know is that behind the Vice-President are some of Nigeria’s epitome of beauty and brain, dedicated and hard working women, who have contributed significantly to the successful running of the Office of the Vice-President in the last four years. They are presidential aides serving in the Office of the Vice-President (OVP). In this special report, your darling magazine, Abuja Standard presents to you, the STAR GIRLS running things behind the scenes.
A woman of grace and poise, who remain a source of inspiration to many especially young women, is one of the most educated and highly respected presidential aides serving in the OVP. Aunty Maryam as she is fondly called is the Special Adviser to the President on National Social Welfare serving in the Office of the Vice-President. Maryam’s brief include coordinating the Buhari administration’s Social Protection Schemes, including a N60 billion micro-credit schemes for artisans and market women. Mrs. Uwais, wife of Muhammad Uwais, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria attended the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where she studied Law and graduated with an LL.B in 1980 and was called to the Bar in 1981. The ageless woman of substance, Maryam Uwais is a respected lawyer with over 30 years experience. No doubt, Mrs. Uwais is one of the powerful women in the OVP.
PROF. JUMOKE ODUWOLE
Dr. Jumoke Oduwole’s heartwarming smile is enough to rekindle hope in the Nigerian dream – the ever cheerful lawyer is the complete package. She is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Trade and Investment, a driver of ease of doing business (PEBEC). Dr. Jumoke is currently serving in the OVP where she has been working tirelessly to deliver on her national assignment. In 1998, she graduated with a LL.B degree in Law from the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1999. She also holds a LL.M degree in Commercial law which she obtained from the University of Cambridge in 2000 as a DFID-Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholar. Her affectionate nature has won her a wide network of friends in high places.
DR. MARIAM MASHA
Dr. Mariam Masha is one of the powerful Aso Rock women whose profile will intimidate you. The beautiful woman of substance is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs). Now that is a tough job but this brilliant woman is wired for the top jobs. She’s scored many first, both in academics and career. She has a PhD in Public Health from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Burden of disease from road traffic injuries in the Sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia regions. The likeable top presidential aide was at a time the Senior Special Assistant on Transport Education to former Lagos governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, (SAN). She is a board member of WHO Violence and Injury Prevention Mentorship Programme; she has also authored several academic papers on road traffic injuries.
Novo is one of the most charming ladies in Aso Rock, she is slick and savvy, and she captures some hell of breathtaking photographs. The Edo-born ace photographer is the Special Assistant to the President on Visual Communication and the official Photographer to the Vice-President. Her job is a tough one but there is no one, perhaps in the OVP that has that kind of access. She is always on her toes to capture those unexpected action photographs. Novo is the beautiful woman behind the pictorial story of VP Osinbajo activities. She attended Yaba College of Technology where she studied Bilingual, Office Technology and Management. Novo is the CEO of Novo Images, a photography and image management company in Lagos. She is the founder and visionary of ANISZA Foundation, a non-governmental organization dedicated to showcase the largely untold stories of our country’s unity and togetherness.
Koko Idaresit Iyamu is the Special Assistant, Administration to the Wife of Vice-President. She is an Alumni of Ahmadu Bello University, ABU Zaria where she bagged a degree in Sociology. Koko, best known for her quiet disposition and warm personality has behind her back a 13 years experience in Administration. Right from her days at the Elias Centre, a non-profit organization where she started her career as an Administrative Office; it has been onwards and upwards from there. At the Elias Centre she learned the ropes and quickly mastered her craft. She rose through the ranks and became the Head of Administration and Grants Administrator, overseeing human resources, managing the organization’s entire grant programmes, projects and coordinating all the organizations major events. She has grown in leaps and bounds. She is doing her bit in the area of service to humanity through her Social Enterprise called Ida’s Pride which is a platform for strengthening the voice and capacity for girls.
Best known for her infectious smile, Olatoyosi is one of the most fashionable presidential aides in the OVP. She has a high taste for fashion and panache. She is intelligent too and a bubbly personality. Olatoyosi is the Special Assistant on Social Investment Programme. She is good at what she does and that has earned her the respect of her colleagues.
Golden fish they say have no hiding place, little wonder she is right there at the top in the office where things happen. Beautiful, smart and intelligent are some few words to describe this woman of honour. She is the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Humanitarian Affairs. She is a humanitarian liaison who interfaces the OVP and the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), the United Nations agencies, INGOs, and primary responders of disaster management in Nigeria.
Beckley is young and definitely getting it. This beautiful lady is the Special Assistant to the President on Documentation. Call her a jack of all trades and you won’t be wrong, she is a female drummer, an online communications executive and a Jesus lover.
TAYO BASIRAT FAKOREDE
She is the Special Assistant on Special Duties to the Office of the Wife of the Vice President. She is known for her competence and patriotic sense of duty. She is no doubt a prominent figure at the Aguda house.
Foluso is the SSA on Admin, Office of the Vice-President. Those who have worked with this brilliant woman described her as a results-oriented person. She has brought her many valuable years of experience to the presidency. Mrs. Idumu celebrated her big 40 last year. She is one of the quiet star girls behind the scenes in Aso Rock.