Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?

Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


Not too long ago, I cannot really recall what exactly happened, but I suddenly developed some interest in the personality and politics of Florence Ita-Giwa, the fashionable and ebullient former Senator of the Federal Republic and until about yesterday or so, the Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters. I was then moved to start reading up whatever I could find about her, and equally gathering some of them in a small file.

 

I have since found out that Ita-Giwa is a very interesting politician. She exudes power, influence and pomp, and appears always very comfortable ONLY at the very centre of power and influence. I would recall that I first heard her name in late 1986 when Dele Giwa, former Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine was brutally killed with a parcel bomb. I was to read about her later, in greater detail, in the controversial book, Born To Run, by Dele Olojede and Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo. Although she was to later refute some accounts about her in the book, the story somehow helps to throw some light on this complex personality called Florence Ita-Giwa.

 

After this time, I heard practically little or nothing about her again (maybe because I am a not a great fan of soft-sell and society magazines), until she became very active in politics and became a Senator, where she and Khariat Gwadebe were about the most vocal and prominent female senators. During the battle of wits between President Obasanjo and late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo for the soul of the Senate, Ita-Giwa was solidly behind the towering figure of Okadigbo, and she did not hide it, even though she was in a rival party, the APP. She was once even quoted as saying that those fighting Okadigbo were intimidated by his height and great intellect. But when Okadigbo fell and a certain Pius Anyim was thrown up as Senate President, the newspapers splashed on their front pages the next day the famous picture of Florence in a warm bear-hug with Anyim that must have provoked deep envy in several male hearts. Again, it became clear that Ita-Giwa only relished being at the centre power, and had little or no patience with those who have fallen by the wayside. She was to latter join the PDP, and when Obasanjo conquered both the Senate and the House of Representatives to become Nigeria's maximum "civilian" leader and the most powerful man in the land, Ita-Giwa became his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, and it was in this position that she emerged in her best elements as a great influence wielder. Indeed, it is believed that Ita-Giwa understands the inner workings of the National Assembly more than even several lawmakers, and could be counted upon to sometimes wield great influence to save her boss from head-on collisions with lawmakers.  Although that power appeared to have significantly deserted her with Senator Ken Nnamani on the saddle.

 

It would appear that sometimes Ita-Giwa perceives herself as some kind of mother-figure to the National Assembly. She once made a famous statement when former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, was still in the good books of Aso Rock, and his colleagues were about to impeach him. While the meeting called to save Wabara lasted far into the early hours of the next morning, some concerned persons reportedly asked Ita-Giwa: "Madam, why not go home and rest?" To which she replied: "How can I go home when my House is on fire?" And recently, when Obasanjo almost met an empty National Assembly when he went there to present something (I can't remember now), it was reported that Ita-Giwa had to call some of the Assemblymen on phone and succeeded in persuading a number of them to come to the House to save her boss the embarrassment of addressing an empty hall. And she does this so effortlessly. I also watched her the day Obasanjo went to the National Assembly to submit the census figures or so, and was amazed how she was guiding Baba through the whole proceeding like a mother would his frightened schoolboy, ensuring he did not make any mistake. Apart from politics, Ita-Giwa has also been into charity work, especially in her Bakassi area of Cross River State (now ceded to Cameroon). I was deeply touched when I read that she had adopted about a hundred children whose upkeep and education have become her sole responsibility.

 

But as I look at 2007 and beyond, I try hard to locate Ita-Giwa's likely next bus stop in the whole power set-up, that is, the next centre of power from where she would throw her weight and influence about. I am afraid, the horizon appears hazy? Will Yar'Adua find another job for her or retain her as his Adviser on National Assembly Matters, or would Madam Bakassi retreat to the background to look after her countless adopted kids, attend high profile parties and earn prominent spots in the society pages of our newspapers, and receive more awards from the ever-willing Award-giving PLCs that seem to swarm the entire landscape these days? The next few days will tell.  

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www.ugochukwu.blog.com



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Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Papino posted on 05-30-2007, 10:31:18 AM
Ugo Nwannem,
Madam Bakassi would have to go back to her counry.....CAMEROUN!!LOL
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
El_pharoah posted on 05-30-2007, 10:47:01 AM
Is she still a Nigerian?
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Mikky jaga posted on 05-30-2007, 11:25:40 AM
Many did not know the Madam they are commenting on.

Madam Bakassi is the epitome of using what you have to get what you want. You think she was just being circulated in the corridor of power for nothing? The woman knows her way. I am very sure she will bounce back higher than any mischievous person can imagine.

For your information, The lady has just returned from her routine checks abroad. She reported to the admiration of all that her vital stastistics are still intact. That the shape she is in now would make any sweet sixteen go green with envy. Thanks to the various body enhancing surgeries she had undergone.

Now if a lady invests so much to enhance her looks at her age (some say sixty something) how does she reap the return on her investment.

My point is, we are going to see more of our dear Florence for some time to come. No amount of blackmail will make her become a Cameroonian. She is in Nigeria for good. And that is certain.
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Ozoodoo posted on 06-01-2007, 14:46:44 PM
Did the routine checks abroad reveal her AIDS status? She is indeed the Queen of AshXXo
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Skanbroy posted on 06-01-2007, 15:21:25 PM
QUOTE:
Many did not know the Madam they are commenting on.

Madam Bakassi is the epitome of using what you have to get what you want. You think she was just being circulated in the corridor of power for nothing? The woman knows her way. I am very sure she will bounce back higher than any mischievous person can imagine.

For your information, The lady has just returned from her routine checks abroad. She reported to the admiration of all that her vital stastistics are still intact. That the shape she is in now would make any sweet sixteen go green with envy. Thanks to the various body enhancing surgeries she had undergone.

Now if a lady invests so much to enhance her looks at her age (some say sixty something) how does she reap the return on her investment.

My point is, we are going to see more of our dear Florence for some time to come. No amount of blackmail will make her become a Cameroonian. She is in Nigeria for good. And that is certain.






This is disgusting, damn right disgusting!!! Why do we have to come this low to malign somebody's mother's reputation all in the name of making some useless points, and yet all on the basis of hearsays and rumours.
These comments are only fit for some beer parlours and hair dressing saloons not on our own dear NVS.
This woman's only sin is daring to succeed as a politician. Why is it that no successful Nigeria woman (especially single women) ever escapes the insinuations or outright allegations of BOTTOM POWER?
Where are the feminists on the site when you need them!
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Mikky jaga posted on 06-02-2007, 06:25:57 AM
See me trouble o,

Skanbroy, where you come see BOTTOM POWER in my post. I said the woman knows how to use what she has to get what she wants. Anything wrong with that? My broda, know your way no be curse o

If somebody posted what is fit to be discussed in beer parlours and somebody responds in like manner. Is there anything wrong with that? Are beer parlours not part of a village square? Na waa for you o

Next time, if you do not like any discussion on the village square, just move on. You will not be penalised for doing that
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Soul Sista posted on 06-02-2007, 08:19:33 AM
Florence Ita-Giwa is a survivor of the Nigerian political terrain. She will re-invent herself into relevance in the new government. I like her very much. I like the fact that she plays politics as a human being the way it is played in Nigeria. I think she is a very interesting woman and in other climes, she is the kind of character that one would expect political scientists to study. I like Ejinkeonye's article but it is not indepth enough to describe this woman and I don't think he meant it to be.

If people could insinuate that Okonjo-Iweala (serious-looking, no-nonsense, highly-credentialed, demonstrably competent, married woman) was baba's girlfriend, then there is nothing stopping them from saying all sorts in respect of Ita-Giwa who is clearly a very different sort of personality. Many people that are incompetent on analysis will go to the morally loose tag first. It is the low hanging fruit that such people kick first. Does anyone truly believe that this woman would thrive politically as she has done if she was using "what she had to get what she wanted?" At what age? And, is she the only one? They refuse to consider that there may actually be other explanations. And, I thank Ejinkeonye for highlighting some of the skills that she used to negotiate the terrain. I like thinking through her interesting use of her mothering skills. I also thank him for highligthing the all night meetings that have nothing to do with bottom power. That is what it takes to get things done and whether you are a woman or a man, you can go to an all night meeting without engaging in anything but the substantive business for which the meeting was called. But for certain people, every successful woman must have used "what she has to get what she wants." Oby Ezekwesili did not escape the insinuations. Unarguably successful Dora Akunyili did not escape it.

Women going into politics or public office in Nigeria have to lose the fear of being label morally loose. It is going to happen, especially if you choose to have a colorful personality. As if it is unusal for a politician to be a controversial, colorful character. Think of how many people remember KO Mbadiwe or Okotie-Eboh or Weeping Sam. These men were successful politicians. They were also bold and colorful characters. Once a woman stops allowing that fear of being labeled to keep her down, nothing anybody says in a beer parlor will affect her. Because she has conquered the first line of attack against successful women.

While one may not be able to stop those whose take refuge in beer parlors and project their "serious" commentary and analysis therefrom you can decide what you want for your life, recognize the obstacles in your way, and proceed to acheive your goal notwithstanding such obstacles.

Soul Sista a/k/a Soul Sizzling
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Ugochukwu posted on 06-02-2007, 09:11:28 AM
I hope, and sincerely too, that "very intelligent and perceptive" readers on NVS do not impose on my short piece what it never intended to say, and then turn around to malign it for a clearly contrived offence.

All I wanted to share was my fascination with the personality and politics of Florence Ita-Giwa, and to reveal that my finding is that she enjoys (and works hard for it) to be at the very centre of power.

I concluded by expressing the fear that with the suspected dullness that might characterize the present dispensation, would Florence be able to find a place that would gratify her desire to always be at the very spot "where it is happening."

Now, my people, all the insinuations flying left and right here are probably oozing from the pre-conceived notions of their writers, not from the article.

I could have said everything I said here about a man. Please.


@ Soul Sister

eku 'she
I always enjoy your comments, even those I don't agree with.
I enjoy particularly your style and diction....

Wait a minute!
There is one gracious lady that writes a column in The Nation on Sunday, Tola Adenle. I started reading her, in the defunct Comet On Sunday. Try and read her this Sunday. Maybe, you may or may not agree with me, after reading her, that there is someone out there who shares an identical style with you.
Have a nice weekend.
Avatar
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Oguzie j.j. posted on 06-02-2007, 09:30:06 AM
This mashilista's we have in this village will not allow us enjoy this piece from Ejinkonye. Our women shouldnt be daunted with all these name callings in their aspiration for political and social relevance that they are entitled to. If there is one big lesson the menfolk have learnt in the last political dispensation, thats the arrival of our women who have proven that given a level playing ground, they can hold their own anytime any day in our current quest for nation building.
Re: Florence Ita-Giwa:What Next?
Soul Sista posted on 06-02-2007, 11:22:21 AM
QUOTE:


* * *


@ Soul Sister

eku 'she
I always enjoy your comments, even those I don't agree with.
I enjoy particularly your style and diction....

Wait a minute!
There is one gracious lady that writes a column in The Nation on Sunday, Tola Adenle. I started reading her, in the defunct Comet On Sunday. Try and read her this Sunday. Maybe, you may or may not agree with me, after reading her, that there is someone out there who shares an identical style with you.
Have a nice weekend.


My good friend:

It is always a delight to read your pieces. This is so even when you take positions with which I disagree, sometimes, vehemently, as you well know. I started reading The Independent because of you. So, I am flattered by your kind comments. Don't worry, it is not the kind of flattery that will get to my head. It is the type that puts a little spring in your step and makes you want to do better.

Of course, it should come as no surprise to you that I read Tola Adenle. I have known her for years. Years ago, probably in the late 70s to early 80s, she used to publish a women's magazine known as Emotan. I was much younger then and have no real conception of its content any longer. But, judging by the women that I know that read it, I think she had something interesting to say. She also used to spot the meanest Afro in the planetary system at that time too. She is a very interesting woman. I will go read her again now to see whether I agree with you on sharing her style. I know I share some of her views.

Okay, while I have your attention, when are you going to re-publish that your stinging article on feminism on NVS? I have begged you in the past. I am begging you again. I just want to have it. I don't even want to comment. I just want a copy. I kept a copy when you published it in the Vanguard as a guest of McPhillips Nwachukwu. I don't know what happened to it. I cannot locate it anymore and I cannot find the full article on line. Okay, please re-consider your position on not re-publishing it on NVS. Thank you!

Soul Sista a/k/a Soul Sizzling
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