• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Meet female lawmakers in Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly

Meet female lawmakers in Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly

Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly was inaugurated for legislative duties earlier in June.

Both chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate have since settled down for legislative duties with the election of its principal officers.

However, it is interesting to note that the dwindling number of women elected into the nation’s parliament has continued in the 10th Assembly. Experts say the situation is deplorable, especially considering increased agitations for having a gender-balanced parliament.

In the Senate, out of the 109 senators, three are female, which was a reduction from the seven in the 9th Assembly.

All female senators in the 9th Assembly lost their re-election bid, going away with rich legislative experience.

In the House of Representatives, sixteen women were sworn in out of the 360 lawmakers, there is a slight increase here, compared to 13 in the previous House.

The female lawmakers are from Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Imo, Ogun, Plateau, Lagos, Yobe and Oyo.

Here are the profiles of the female lawmakers

Senators

Ireti Heebah Kingibe (Senator, FCT, LP)

Ireti Heebah Kingibe (Senator, FCT, LP)
Ireti Heebah Kingibe (Senator, FCT, LP)

Kingibe was elected on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) representing the federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Although, she was not seen as serious contender prior to the election, she stunned Nigerians by defeating Philip Aduda the then incumbent senator, who had spent several terms in the upper chamber.

She studied at the University of Minnesota, United States, where she acquired her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Civil Engineering in the 1970s.

She first contested the FCT senatorial election in 2003 under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). She joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and, later, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.

She is a younger sister of Ajoke Mohammed, wife of former Nigerian head of state Murtala Mohammed.

Born 2 June, 1954 (69 years), she was married to a former Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF) Babagana Kingibe.

Ipalibo Banigo (Senator, Rivers West, PDP)

Banigo, representing Rivers West on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and served as the first female deputy governor of Rivers State from 2015-2023, in the administration of Nyesom Wike.

She is a medical doctor; she studied at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, where she got her MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).

She Obtained a Masters (M.Sc.) degree from Harvard University School of Public Health.

She had earlier held various important offices at the Rivers State Ministry of Health, during her service; she assumed the position of director of public health service, acting commissioner, director and permanent secretary.

Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Senator, Lagos West, APC)

Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Senator, Lagos West, APC)
Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Senator, Lagos West, APC)

Adebule, representing Lagos West, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had previously served as the deputy governor of Lagos State from 2015 to 2019.

Adebule, an educationist, holds a Doctorate degree from Lagos State University in Curriculum Studies.

Early in her career, she had worked as a junior lecturer at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education in Lagos and Lagos State University.

She also served as a Commissioner in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commission (PP-TESCOM), now Teachers’ Establishment and Pensions Office.

She was appointed and sworn in as secretary to the state government by the government of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola in July, 2011.

Born 27 November 1970, she is 53 years old.

House of Representatives

Regina Akume (Benue Reps: Gboko/Tarka, APC)

Regina Akume (Benue Reps: Gboko/Tarka, APC)
Regina Akume (Benue Reps: Gboko/Tarka, APC)

Akume served in different political capacities at the grassroots level in the past. She is a woman leader in her constituency and across Benue State.

She is the wife of George Akume, who was Benue State governor between 1999 and 2007 and is now the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF) in the current administration headed by Bola Tinubu.

Her opponents from opposition parties are challenging her victory at the election petition tribunal.

Akume was born in 1955.

Maureen Chinwe Gwacham (Anambra Reps: Oyi/Ayamelum, APGA)

Maureen Chinwe Gwacham (Anambra Reps: Oyi/Ayamelum, APGA)
Maureen Chinwe Gwacham (Anambra Reps: Oyi/Ayamelum, APGA)

Gwacham is a businesswoman who had served in different capacities. She held the position of Managing Director at Best Western Meloch Hotel, Awka, Anambra, prior to her election into the House of Representatives.

Her election into the House is being being challenged at the Election Petition Tribunal by other candidates, including Uchenna Okafor of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Vincent Ofumelu, People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Marie Enenimiete Ebikake (Bayelsa Reps: Brass-Nembe, PDP)

Marie Enenimiete Ebikake (Bayelsa Reps: Brass-Nembe, PDP)
Marie Enenimiete Ebikake (Bayelsa Reps: Brass-Nembe, PDP)

Ebikake served in the government of then governor Seirake Dickson as Commissioner for Transportation from 2012 to 2015.

She was relieved of her appointment following allegation of teaming up with Nigerian first lady Patience Jonathan to work against re-election of governor Dickson for a second term and have him replaced with Waripamowei Dudafa a domestic aide to former president Goodluck Jonathan.

Ebikake was a teacher before she ventured into politics.

She had contested for the Brass-Nembe seat in 2019, but lost to Isreal Sunny-Goli. She challenged the results at the Election Petition Tribunal but lost the case for lack of adequate evidence.

Zainab Gimba (Borno Reps Member: Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge, APC)

Zainab Gimba (Borno Reps Member: Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge, APC)
Zainab Gimba (Borno Reps Member: Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge, APC)

Gimba is a member of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and advocates for representation and maintenance of gender equality. She has a Doctorate degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of Abuja, Nigeria and was a senior lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State prior to venturing into politics.

However, from 2011-2014, Gimba was the Commissioner for Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment in Borno. She also served as the Commissioner for the State Universal Basic Education Board between 2014 and 2015.

She also served as a Commissioner under the Ministry of Water Resources in Borno State from 2015 to 2018.

Gimba was born on 25 December, 1972.

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu (Delta Reps: Ethiope East/Ethiope West, PDP)

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu (Delta Reps: Ethiope East/Ethiope West, PDP)
Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu (Delta Reps: Ethiope East/Ethiope West, PDP)

Ibori-Suenu is a 42-year-old politician who studied Business Studies and Information Systems in the United Kingdom.

It was serious controversy for the PDP to elect a candidate at the primary from the constituency for the ticket; however, she defeated the incumbent Reps member, Ben Igbakpa, to clinch the PDP ticket for the National Assembly in 2022.

She is also the daughter of former governor of Delta State James Ibori.

Mariam Onuoha (Imo Reps: Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo, APC)

Mariam Onuoha (Imo Reps: Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo, APC)
Mariam Onuoha (Imo Reps: Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo, APC)

Onuoha hails from Umunachi Osu-Ama in the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.

She got a B.Sc. in Estate Management from the University of Lagos and an M.Sc. in Environmental Planning and Protection from the University of Abuja.

Onuoha served as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State on International Development Cooperation before her election into the House of Representatives.

Onuoha, a returning legislator, won the 2019 elections for the House of Representatives after the election petition tribunal sacked Obinna Onwubuariri, who was earlier declared winner.

She is also the only female lawmaker who indicated interest in the position of Speakership of the House.

Kafilat Ogbara (Lagos Reps: Kosofe, APC)

Kafilat Ogbara (Lagos Reps: Kosofe, APC)
Kafilat Ogbara (Lagos Reps: Kosofe, APC)

Ogbara hails from Aiyepe Ogun State. She studied at the University of Lagos, where she got a B.Sc. in English Language and Literature.

She also acquired her M.Sc. degree in International Law and Diplomacy and another in Public Administration, both from the University of Lagos.

She started her career in Property and Facility Management in the Family Business. She had a background in the prints and Electronic Media as a Television Presenter on NTA on the programme ‘Faces and Events.’

She is the Publisher of Today’s Prime newspaper, and the former Managing Director/CEO of National Mirror Newspaper in the print media.

She also worked at the Nigeria Television Authority Abuja, National Centre for Women Development Abuja, and National Horticultural Research Institute.

A thorough bred Politician and Woman Right Activist, she was the House of Representatives Candidate (PDP) for Elections in Kosofe Federal Constituency in 2003 and 2007 respectively.

Read also: Why Nigeria needs to tackle challenges facing widows Seinye Lulu-Briggs

Oriyomi Onanuga (Ogun Reps: Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North, APC)

Oriyomi Onanuga (Ogun Reps: Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North, APC)
Oriyomi Onanuga (Ogun Reps: Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North, APC)

Prior to her election to the lower chamber, Onanuga had served in different capacities at the grassroots politically. Onanuga was born on December 2, 1965.

She is a returning legislator who was the Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development in the 9th Assembly.

Beni Butmak Lar Plateau (Reps Member: Langtang North/Langtang South, PDP)

Beni is the daughter of the late Solomon Lar, founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

She is a lawyer who was re-elected into the House for a fifth term in 2023, as she first became a legislator in 2007.

He was born on August 12, 1967, and had gained political tutelage under her father.

She served as Chairperson of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights in the 9th Assembly, and is an advocate for women’s rights.

She has also headed several committees during her time in the House, including the Science and Technology Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.

Boma Goodhead (Rivers Reps: Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru, PDP)

Boma Goodhead (Rivers Reps: Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru, PDP)
Boma Goodhead (Rivers Reps: Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru, PDP)

Goodhead is the sister to Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant.

She was born on 24 November 1970. She challenged masked State Security Service (SSS) officers who blocked the entrance to the National Assembly Complex in 2018, preventing lawmakers, staff, journalists and the public from entering the complex.

Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (Yobe Reps Member: Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa, APC)

Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (Yobe Reps Member: Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa, APC)
Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (Yobe Reps Member: Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa, APC)

She began her secondary school education at Queens’ College, Lagos. In 1980, she proceeded to Headington School, Oxford, where she completed her secondary school education in 1983.

She is also a returning legislator, and before her election into the 10th National Assembly, she was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Abba-Ibrahim defeated her stepson to win the APC ticket.

She is the wife of former Yobe State governor Bukar Abba-Ibrahim. Abba-Ibrahim was born on January 6, 1967.

Fatima Talba (Yobe Reps Member: Nangere/Potiskum, APC)

Fatima Talba (Yobe Reps Member: Nangere/Potiskum, APC)
Fatima Talba (Yobe Reps Member: Nangere/Potiskum, APC)

The lawmaker is a philanthropist who is noted to have touched the lives of hundreds of people in her constituency by providing educational scholarship and other forms of support.

She is a returning legislator who, under the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), contested the senatorial elections against her brother, Adamu Garba Talba in 2007 and lost.

She challenged the brother’s victory and again lost after the election petition tribunal declared her brother winner. Talba was born in 1959.

Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (Oyo Reps: Oluyole, APC)

Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (Oyo Reps: Oluyole, APC)
Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (Oyo Reps: Oluyole, APC)

Akande-Sadipe began her career as an accountant at a communication processing company called Enterprises for New Direction, which worked on transportation matters for the U.S. President.

After that, she joined an accounting firm in Washington D.C. called Gardiner Kamya & Associates, where she gained experience in both audit and management consulting.

She later worked as the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Projects in 2016. Akande-Sadipe was elected into the House of Representatives in 2019. She is the chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora.

Chinwe Clara Nnabuife (Anambra Reps: Orumba North/Orumba South, YPP)

Chinwe Clara Nnabuife (Anambra Reps: Orumba North/Orumba South, YPP)
Chinwe Clara Nnabuife (Anambra Reps: Orumba North/Orumba South, YPP)

Nnabuife, studied Mass Communication and got her Higher National Diploma (HND) from Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, in 1991, and worked briefly with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), FCT.

She ventured into Real Estate developer and began her career in 2006.

Nnabuife contested the 2019 National Assembly elections under the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and lost, though she scored the second-highest votes for the position.

Nnabuife was born in Orumba, Anambra State in 1971.

Blessing Onuh (Benue Reps: Otukpo/Ohimini, APC)

Blessing Onuh (Benue Reps: Otukpo/Ohimini, APC)
Blessing Onuh (Benue Reps: Otukpo/Ohimini, APC)

She is the daughter of former Senate president David Mark.

Onuh was appointed as Secretary for the Social Welfare Secretariat in the FCT in 2010 before her election into the House of Representatives.

Under the PDP, she had contested against her uncle Johnson Ahubi, also a member of the same party, for the Otukpo/Ohimini ticket in 2018.

She lost the ticket to her uncle and defected to APGA, under which she won the elections into the House.

She defected again to the APC and won her re-election.

She was born in 1976.

Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra Reps: Awka North/Awka South, LP)

Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra Reps: Awka North/Awka South, LP)
Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra Reps: Awka North/Awka South, LP)

Orogbu is an academic and a professor of Business Administration at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.

She has a Doctorate degree in Business Administration and Management from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

In 2022, Orogbu was named to be the running mate to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chukwuma Umeoji, in the Anambra state gubernatorial election.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) replaced their names with Chukwuma Soludo and his running mate Onyekachukwu Ibezim, who emerged victorious at the 2022 polls.

Her quest to serve forced her to contest and won Awka North/Awka South senatorial zone in 2023 under the LP ticket.