Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, the senator from Kogi Central, has garnered the esteemed title of Politician of the Year in the prestigious 2023 Leadership Excellence Awards. Senator Natasha’s notable achievement in becoming a Nigerian senator is attributed to her unwavering determination, exceptional intelligence, and unwavering perseverance, despite facing considerable opposition in the complex landscape of Nigerian politics, where female representation remains scarce. The Leadership article refers to her as a proven powerhouse within the realm of politics, noting that at the age of 44, she exemplifies the notion that bravery is often rewarded by fortune.
Hence, Natasha’s ascension as the first female senator from Kogi State was the result of an exceptional demonstration of political determination. Her political voyage not only represents the common obstacles faced by women in politics but also portrays an unparalleled test of her political character and resilience. The arduous election and intense legal proceedings she endured resulted in a significant rise in the representation of women senators in the National Assembly, a universally recognized and challenging political breakthrough for the female population. In 2019, her political journey embarked as she decided to vie for the position of representing the Kogi Central Senatorial District, aligning herself with the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
She displayed unwavering resilience and determination.
In spite of her defeat against Sadiku Ohere, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), she bravely decided to challenge the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, for the governorship position in that very same year. Despite falling short in the polls, she displayed unwavering resilience and determination. During the 2023 election season, Akpoti-Uduaghan made the decision to align herself with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Being an attorney equipped with a Master of Business Administration specialized in the oil industry, she brought forth a unique skill set and perspective to the political landscape. Natasha’s undeterred commitment to her constituents earned her an exceptional level of support, ultimately leading to her victory in securing the PDP ticket for the senatorial election.
Also, Akpoti-Uduaghan encountered unforeseen obstacles leading up to the senatorial elections in February 2023. There were reports that the Kogi State government implemented severe measures to obstruct the transportation of electoral materials to her district. Allegedly, certain sections of the road were even dug up to impede access, sparking concerns about the integrity and fairness of the electoral proceedings. Despite the supposed challenges, Akpoti-Uduaghan persisted and decided to run for the senatorial position with the PDP. She faced off against Sadiku-Ohere from the APC in a heated election. The outcome of the race clearly demonstrated its competitiveness, as Akpoti-Uduaghan managed to secure 52,132 votes compared to her opponent’s 51,763 votes. However, despite the narrow margin of only 369 votes, she unfortunately suffered a loss in the initial result.
On Sept 6, 2023, the election tribunal proclaimed her as victor.
Nevertheless, her unwavering determination and unwavering dedication to upholding justice fueled her ongoing pursuit of legal endeavours. Subsequently, on September 6, 2023, the election tribunal officially proclaimed her as the victor of the senatorial poll, invalidating her opponent’s previous triumph. On October 31, 2023, the Abuja Court of Appeal reiterated the validity of Akpoti-Uduaghan’s triumph in the Kogi Central senatorial election. In addition to her victory, the court also rejected her opponent’s claims, thus exposing the insignificance of the allegations made against her.
Furthermore, Natasha, the lone daughter of Dr. Jimoh Abdul Akpoti, a Nigerian, and Ludmila Kravchenk, a Ukrainian, grew up in Ihima, Okehi locality of Kogi State, alongside three siblings. The essence of her formative years was deeply influenced by the abundance of cultural traditions stemming from her multi-ethnic background. In 1998, her father’s demise led to her family moving elsewhere. Despite this setback, the adventurous young woman pursued her education both domestically and internationally. Now, on a political path, she carries within her the unwavering determination to create a profound and enduring influence.
Akpoti-Uduaghan will forever be remembered in Nigerian political history.
Additionally, Akpoti-Uduaghan shines like a guiding light and embodies the spirit of perseverance amidst the dynamic realm of Nigerian politics. Her path from a tenacious contender, grappling with obstacles in her quest to emerge victorious in the Kogi Central senatorial election, not only showcases her individual success but also celebrates the triumph of fairness and the desires of the populace. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan’s impact surpasses mere politics. Her influence reaches aspiring leaders, particularly women, as she exemplifies the strength found in unwavering determination, boldness, and devoted steadfastness to one’s beliefs. According to the Leadership, Akpoti-Uduaghan will forever be remembered in the archives of Nigerian political history as an innovator who transformed the storyline and imprinted an unforgettable impact on the individuals she selflessly dedicated her service to.