by IPC |

No, Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, Isn’t the First Elected Female Deputy Governor in Nigeria

On March 9th, 2024, Hon. Bello El’Rufai, the House of Representatives member for Kaduna North Federal constituency, claimed Hadiza Balarabe was the first female elected deputy governor in Nigeria.

Hon. Bello El’Rufai, who is also the son of the immediate former governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El’ Rufai made this claim while speaking on a podcast titled “Mic On Podcast with Seun Okinbaloye” which was uploaded on YouTube. At around 50 minutes of the video, Bello El’Rufai praised his father for revamping the health sector in the State. He also alluded to his father’s decision to have a female deputy as one of the reasons his administration as governor was successful.

“Fortunately, one of the things my father did with his deputy governor Dr. Hadiza, who was the first female elected deputy governor in Nigeria, was to revamp 255 primary healthcare centers in Kaduna”

As of the time of this report, the post had generated 101,580 views with 3k likes.

Hadiza is a Nigerian politician, medical doctor, and former Executive Secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency who served as a deputy to the former governor in the state from 2019 to 2023. She was also selected as the deputy to the current governor of Kaduna State.

The iVerify Nigeria was prompted to fact-check the claim due to the widespread notion that women are not being given equal opportunities to participate in top leadership positions in Nigeria due to gender politics. Though laws have been put in place to improve gender equality, women are still not well-represented in political positions due to a plethora of reasons.


Hon. Bello El’Rufai claims Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe was the first deputy governor in Nigeria

Rating Justification

In an attempt to verify the claim, iVerify Nigeria did a keyword search on the past female deputy governors in Nigeria. As a result of the search, we came across a list of a few states where women held forth as Deputy Governors.

Chief [Mrs] Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu 1992 – 1993 (Lagos State)
Mrs Funmi Olayinka 2010 – 2013 (Ekiti State)
Princess. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire 2011 – 2015 (Lagos State)
Mrs Yetunde Onanuga 2015 – 2019 (Ogun State)
Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo 2015 – 2019 (Enugu State)
Mrs Ipalibo Ipalibo Banigo 2015 – 2019 (Rivers State)

All the above and others were Deputy Governors in Nigeria before Hadiza Sabuwa Balaraba was elected as the deputy governor of Kaduna state.

After a clear search into the claim, iVerify Nigeria concluded that the claim by Hon. Bello El’Rufai that Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe is the first elected female Deputy Governor in Nigeria is False.

Evidence and References