NIGERIAN WOMEN, in the past were stuck at the bottom of societal ladder. Last few decades have seen good number of Nigerian women, in the country and abroad, making significant gains. Today, many of them have ascended various top national and international callings – in politics, business and professional careers. They have proved, and keep proving that they can be as good as men, even better.
Victoria Obaze (Mrs), indigene of Imo State, southeast Nigeria, Wednesday, was sworn-in as first black female Civic Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets, United Kingdom. Obaze contested three previous councillorship elections in 2010, 2014 and 2016, but failed. Unrelenting, she contested election conducted, May 5, 2018, in Whitechapel Ward and succeeded.
After three previous failed bids in councillorship contest, she became Council’s Deputy Speaker, nominated by her Councillor Colleagues from where she stepped into the mantle as Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Obaze’s swearing in, Wednesday, becomes latest of Nigerians who emerged Mayors in Area Councils of their residence in the UK, according to Agency report.
Ernest Ezeajughi, and Kate Anorue (Mrs), both from Anambra State, were not too long ago, sworn-in separately as Mayors of London Borough of Brent and Enfield. Despite these accomplishments, so far, Nigerian women continues to climb national and international leader in various facets of life.
Obaze’s brief history obtained from her close associate and UK Chapter Coordinator, Ugonwanne Social Club Nigeria International, Nigerian Socio-Cultural Group in UK, Blessing Chijekwu, showed she has lived in Borough for over 30 years, before becoming a Mayor.
Chijekwu’s statement about Obaze, according to news agency source said: “For Councillor (Cllr) Obaze life is all about service to humanity with diligence. Her political experience started when she was elected as one of the board of directors to oversee the regeneration of her area, the Ocean Estate, in the 1980s.
“The move motivated her to get into politics having noticed that there were no black women in the council chambers and this led her to open a project named Healthy Life Style for Stepney Women, East London. The project was funded by local authority through Ocean African Caribbean Association which she and her late husband Chief Evangelist Charles Obaze, co-founded.
“She also established Ocean Saturday School aimed at ensuring school attainment for children, as well as Ocean Football Club through which young boys were able to have residential football experiences with Chelsea football Club.
“Above all, Cllr Obaze loves God with a passion; she is a member of Parochial Church Council (PCC), as well as an Executive Council member at St Dunstan’s Church of England Parish in Stepney. She is also a Secondary School governor in Tower Hamlets and a habitual visitor to the elderly and physically challenged in the community”.
Lolo Ngozi Nwanze, President, Ugonwanne Social Club Nigeria International, was also quoted saying Obaze was chosen as life matron of the club because of her meekness and morality. “These are the virtues that have brought her to where she (Obaze) is today”, she said.
Obaze has four children and two grand Children. She studied Business Administration and Community Sector Management at West London College and Metropolitan University. She operates registered charitable childcare centre “Vicharles Play Centre” in UK.