It is one week to Nigeria’s gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections. There are 416 governorship candidates across 28 states. Political parties have used several antics to promote their candidates to Nigerians.
Comrade Chief Beatrice Itubo is one of 25 women running for governorship positions in the 2023 elections. When Itubo first emerged as the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate in Rivers State, she instantly gathered the support of her party as well as the acceptance of students and civil servants in the state.
Perhaps, it is not so surprising that she received such massive support. In the past, she had fought causes for students and civil servants in her capacity as the Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Rivers state. Those who are affiliated with the Nigeria Labour Congress in Rivers State will know Beatrice Itubo better than those who heard her name for the first time in 2023.
Whatever the case may be, the Labour Party candidate for the upcoming Gubernatorial elections in Rivers state, Comrade Chief Mrs Beatrice Itubo is the only female among all the candidates vying for the office of governor in Rivers state.
Although Itubo is competing against political heavyweights in her state, she has managed to hold her own according to Mrs Chinda, a civil servant based in Rivers state. She told Nairametrics that Itubo is an underdog in this election and will most likely win if there were no interferences with the election results.
Itubo’s main opponents include Tonye Cole of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), Sim Fubara of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Career and Education
Itubo has always been a Labour woman. She is the current Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rivers state chapter. She is serving her second tenure as Chairman. In her role, she has dialogued with the Rivers state government to demand the rights of workers in the state, minimum wage, implementation, pension and gratuity payments.
Itubo attended the State School in Amaigbo, Port Harcourt and Methodist Girls High School (formerly known as Government Girls Secondary School, Harbour Road) Port Harcourt. Afterwards, she obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Environmental Health at the College of Health Sciences. She also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Health and safety from Abertay University, Dundee United Kingdom.
Her other educational certifications include Industrial Relations, Human Capital Development and Human Relations Management. Before she emerged as the Chairman of the NLC Rivers state council, she served as a leader in various capacities within Rivers state, including the following;
- Financial Secretary of the Professional Association of Environmental Health Officers, Rivers State Chapter.
- State Chairperson, Medical and Health Workers Union, Rivers State Council.
- Vice Chairperson, Women Committee, Nigeria Labour Congress Rivers State Chapter
- Treasurer, Nigeria Labour Congress Rivers State Chapter.
The Obedient movement context
As a Labour candidate, Itubo has received the endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi as well as the endorsement of other party officials like the National Chairman, Comrade Julius Abure as well as spokespersons in the party. Following this, Labour Party supporters across Rivers state have adopted Itubo as their preferred candidate to occupy the state government house.
Noel Agbo, an artisan who lives in Port Harcourt told Nairametrics that the obedient movement has lifted the status of every political aspirant on the platform of the Labour Party, so Itubo has become a popular figure amongst the list of gubernatorial candidates.
Rise of the underdog
According to Agbo, there was a recent rumour that Beatrice Itubo had stepped down for the APC candidate, Tonye Cole, which turned out to be false. He believes that Itubo is the most feared candidate in Rivers state because of the Labour Party. Agbo told Nairametrics that everyone knows how the Labour Party pulled down many political strongholds during the Presidential and National Assembly elections to win up to 40 National Assembly seats both in the Senate and House of Representatives.
However, Agbo notes that due to the usual father-to-child pattern of politics in Nigeria, the PDP candidate, Sim Fubara, who is the choice of the present governor, Nyesom Wike, is the most popular candidate. Fubara’s greatest rival is the APC candidate, Tonye Cole. On the other hand, Senator Magnus Abe of the SDP is also pulling some serious weight in the state.
Agbo also told Nairametrics that after the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, some Rivers state indigenes and residents have adopted Tonye Cole of the APC. This is because of the alleged role of Governor Wike in the manipulation of the presidential election results which led to the APC being declared as the winner of the presidential election in the state. As payback, the people want to vote against Fubara who is Wike’s choice and adopt Tonye Cole of the APC.
Despite all these, Agbo maintains that Itubo is the most feared candidate in Rivers state not just because she is a powerful Labour leader, but the rise of the Labour Party and the dedication of its supporters, who have vowed to vote for Labour Party candidates not just in Rivers state, but across Nigeria.
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