In ancient Greek mythology, the Amazons were a group of female warriors and hunters, who beat men in physical agility and strength, in archery, riding skills, and the arts of combat.
This description no doubt fits Princess Chichi Ojei, the presidential candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) who is an Amazon in the midst of 17 men aspiring for the coveted office of the Nigerian presidency in 2023.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday released the final list of presidential candidates nominated by the 18 registered political parties for the next year’s election.
The final list of candidates for the 2023 presidential election published by INEC has Imumolen Christopher- Accord Party (AP); Al-Mustapha Hamza – Action Alliance (AA); Sowore Omoyele – African Action Congress (AAC); Kachikwu Dumebi – African Democratic Congress (ADC); Sani Yabagi Yusuf – Action Democratic Party (ADP), and Tinubu Bola Ahmed – All Progressives Congress (APC).
Others are Umeadi Peter Nnanna – All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Ojei Princess Chichi – Allied People’s Movement (APM); Nnamdi Charles Osita – Action Peoples Party (APP); Adenuga Sunday Oluwafemi – Boot Party (BP); Obi Peter Gregory – Labour Party (LP); Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso – New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Osakwe Felix Johnson – National Rescue Movement (NRM).
The list also include Abubakar Atiku – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Abiola Latifu Kolawole – Peoples Redemption Party (PRP);
Adebayo Adewole Ebenezer – Social Democratic Party (SDP); Ado-Ibrahim Abdumalik – Young Progressives Party (YPP), and Nwanyanwu Daniel Daberechukwu – Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Looking at the list, but for one candidate, it would have been like that of the biblical disciples of Jesus who were strictly men.
That one woman, in fact, an Amazon in midst of men of timber and calibre as Nigerians always love to say, is Ojei Princess Chichi of APM.
The prominent Delta State-born politician and astute administrator who schooled both in Nigeria and overseas, is a corporate finance specialist and the executive director of Nuel Ojei Holdings.
Chichi’s emergence as APM presidential candidate too was legendary as the hitherto presidential standard bearer of her party, Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, had to pull out to give way for the Amazon to slug it out with the men.
Dantalle, who is the national chairman of APM, had said he took the decision in order give women a pride of place in the political scheme of things.
The APM chairman had also said after an extensive consultation with leaders of APM, that he decided to support Princess Chichi Ojei as his replacement, with the conviction that the change would not affect the chances of the party in winning the next year’s presidential plebiscite.
He said: “Our great party is also gender-friendly and fielded a number of women and youths for the polls whose expected victories would breathe fresh air and dynamism into governance.
“For long, women and youths have been marginalised in running the affairs of the country despite their ever growing population that will determine the outcome of all elections in the country. It is time to give them a chance to run the affairs of the nation.
“Our great party has confidence in Nigerian youths and will continue to nominate them to occupy high positions in government including presidency.
“In pursuit of this, and after extensive consultations with my family, the leaders and members of our great party (APM) and stakeholders, l, Alhaji Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, the Presidential Candidate of the Allied People’s Movement, has decided to withdraw from the 2023 presidential race.
“The party leadership has unanimously chosen Her Excellency, Princess Chichi Ojei, a prominent Delta State-born politician, patriot and leader to replace me for the office of president.
“My withdrawal from the presidential race is in the overall interest of our great party. By this development, APM is further strengthened to win the presidential election.”
Dantalle left no one in doubt as to viability of the Princes when he said: “The situation in the nation today requires the competence, wisdom, versatility, tenacity of purpose and political sagacity of a woman.”
According to him, “APM presidential candidate is equal to the task and has the support of millions of our party members and supporters.
Nigeria is at a crossroads today and needs a female president to chart the way forward.
“There is no doubt that Nigerian women and youths will support her candidature and join other compatriots to elect the first female presidential candidate in Nigeria. This is the only way the nation will be rescued from insecurity, economic stagnation, political upheavals and despondency.”
For millions of women and other gender-sensitive Nigerians as well as proponents of politics of inclusivity, they are presented with the choice in Chichi, the only Amazon in the midst of 17 men to choose at the ballot on February 25, 2023.
Since the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999, efforts by some women to lead the country have not yielded any fruit.
For instance, Sarah Jibril and Remi Sonaiya, a professor, have contested the presidency on a number of times without success. Even their fellow women did not vote for them. The question on the lips of many is, can Ojei change the narrative in 2023? Time will tell.