Meet Oluremi Tinubu: Pastor, Senator and Nigeria’s incoming First Lady
Nigeria will by May 25 have a new president taking over from Muhammadu Buhari and with a new president comes a new guard at the presidency and by default a new First Lady.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect despite being Muslim is married to not just a Christian but a Pastor with one of Nigeria’s biggest congregations – the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The incoming First Lady is in the person of Oluremi Tinubu, popularly referred to by a contraction of her name, Remi.
She has undoubtedly been part of the husband’s political journey from Senator through to governor – all in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos – to becoming leader of a mega party that displaced a ruling party of 16 years.
When her husband’s electoral victory was confirmed on March 1 after the February 25 vote, Remi’s profile shot from a Senator of a Constituency in Lagos (a post she has held since 2011) to the First Lady of Nigeria.
Below are some quick facts about Oluremi Tinubu:
a. Oluremi Tinubu was born on September 21, 1960, to an Itsekiri mother and Yoruba father. She was the youngest of 12 children and was raised in Ogun State.
b. She received a B.Sc. in Education from the University of Ife, and a National Certificate of Education in Botany and Zoology from the Adeyemi College of Education.
c. She entered active politics four years after her last role as First Lady i.e. in 2011 when she was elected Senator for Lagos Central.
d. Prior to that, she served as First Lady of Lagos State (1999 – 2007) when her husband, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was elected governor at the return of civilian rule.
e. She was known in her time as Lagos First Lady to engage in youth empowerment and advocacy through her New Era Foundation, dedicated to establishing centres for “all round development of young ones and promote public awareness on environmental health and community service.”
f. She has also written a number of publications; including an auto-biography- The Journey of Grace – My FaithWalk.
g. Remi is a senior pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
h. She has four children with the president-elect – Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Oluwaseyi Tinubu, Abibat Tinubu, and the late Jide Tinubu.
i. She is also known to have executed a lot of philanthropic acts to alleviate the plight of indigent persons as well as better the lives of girls and women in her constituency.
j. She holds the third highest national honour the Order of the Niger (OON). With her husband known as Asiwaju of Lagos, she is also referred to culturally as Yèyé Asiwaju (initial of a traditional title given to women.)
Tinubu beats two main contenders
Tinubu was in the race along with the main opposition People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
In terms of the hard figures, APC polled 8,805,655 valid votes as against the PDP’s 6,984,520 and LP’s 6,098,588.
The New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) got 1,496,687 valid votes whiles the fourteen other aspirants together got the remaining 666,298.
Nigeria’s peculiar means of determining president means that the winner must get at least 25% of votes in two thirds of the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
Tinubu had at least 25% of votes in 29 states, Atiku had 25% of votes in 21 states, Obi had 25% of votes in 16 states whiles Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP passed the threshold in only one state.
Tinubu has since been handed his certificate of return at the Abuja International Conference Center where INEC had used as the collation center for the presidential elections.