Nigerian Women’s Scorecard In 2015 Polls
DEVELOPMENT experts and gender activists have continuously advocate the active participation of women in governance for the good of society. The result of the just concluded 2015 elections in the country has however, not shown improved women representation in elective positions in the country.
Out of the 14 candidates that contested for the seat of the president, the only woman amongst the contenders came out in the 12th position. Just as men have always dominated the National Assembly, the 2015 election result does not present a different picture in the number of women who will represent their constituencies in the next four years.
So far, eight women made it to the 109-member senate as opposed to seven elected in 2011. Three of the eight women senators are of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
They are; current member of the senate, Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), incumbent Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central), and Binta Masi Garba (Adamawa North). The five other women who will be joining the Upper Chamber are from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They are House of Representatives member, Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central); former aviation minister, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi (Anambra North); Rose Oko (Cross River North); House of Representatives member between 2003 and 2007, Fatimat Raji-Rasaki (Ekiti Central), and Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti South). For the House of Representatives, some women were elected on the platform of the APC and PDP. These include Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, PDP (Bende); Nkiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha, PDP (Isuikwuato/Umunneochi); Rita Orji, PDP, (Ajeromi-Ifelodun); Eucharia Azodo Okwunna, PDP, (Aguata); Asabe Vilita Bashir, APC, (Gwoza/Damboa/Chibok); Evelyn Omavovoan Oboro, PDP, (Uvwie/Okpe/Sapele); and Omosede Igbinedion Gabriella, PDP, (Ovia); Stella Ngwu, PDP, (Uzo-Uwani, Igbo Etiti); Fatima Binta Bello, PDP, (Kaltungo/Shon); Aishatu Jibril Dukku, APC, (Dukku/Nafada); and Olufunke Adedoyin, APC,
The gubernatorial elections have so far produced four women deputy governors. They are Oluranti Adebule (Lagos State), Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga (Ogun State), Ipalibo Banigo (Rivers State), and Cecilia Ezeilo (Enugu State). Senator Oluremi Tinubu is the current senator representing Lagos Central. Born in 1960, she had her secondary education at Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School Ijebu-Ode. She obtained National Certificate of Education in Botany and Zoology from the Adeyemi College of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Ife. She became the First Lady of Lagos State when her husband, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was elected governor.
As First Lady, she established the New Era Foundation, dedicated to establishing centres catering for all round development of young people and promotion of public awareness on environmental health and community service. Rose Okoji Oko won the senate seat under the PDP to represent Cross River North. She was born on September 27, 1956 in Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State. She had her primary education at the famous Holy child Secondary School, Mount Carmel, Igoli, Ogoja and obtained the WASC Division One in 1974 before proceeding to acquire a Higher School Certificate from the Federal School of Arts and Science, Ogoja in 1976. Uche Ekwunife, a former banker is currently serving her second term in the House of Representatives for Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency. She contested for the goubernatorial seat in Anambra State in 2010 on the platform of the Peoples Progressives Alliance (PPA) and again in 2013 under All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but did not succeed.
She won the senate seat in the 2015 election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Stella Oduah was born on January 5, 1962. She is to represent Anambra North. She was Minister of Aviation from July 2011 to February 2014. Oduah studied for her Bachelors degree in Accounting in the United States. She worked at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation briefly as well before venturing into politics. Monsurat Sunmonu, who is to represent Oyo Central in the senate, is currently the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly. She became the first female Speaker in the history of Oyo State on the 10th of June 2011. Sunmonu was born on the April 9, 1959, in Oyo town, Oyo State. She had her primary school education at Children’s Boarding School, Oshogbo.
She was at the Ilora Baptist Grammar School, Ilora, Oyo State, for the early part of her secondary school education before transferring to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo State. She later studied at the Kwara State College of Technology for her ‘A’ levels. She worked briefly at the Accounts Department of the Property Development Corporation of Oyo State (now Housing Corporation) in Bodija Ibadan, Oyo State before travelling to the United Kingdom in 1979. Adebule is the current Secretary to the State Government (SSG). She was born in Lagos State and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Islamic Studies in 1992 and Master’s (M.Ed) in Curriculum Studies in 1997. She equally got a certificate in Early Childhood Development Curriculum and School Administration and Assessment.
She earned a doctorate degree (PhD) in Curriculum Studies from the Lagos State University in 2012. She began work as a lecturer at the Lagos State College of Primary Education (LACOPED) in Noforija, Epe and later transferred to the Lagos State University as a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies. She served as Commissioner 1 in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commission (PP-TESCOM), now Teachers’ Establishment and Pensions Office, by former governor Bola Tinubu from October 2000 to February 2005.
She was appointed and sworn in as the Secretary to the State Government by the incumbent governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola on July 2011. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje is the Representative for Bende Federal Constituency, Abia State. She got into the office on the platform of the PDP in 2007 and also in 2011.
Born in January 1970 to the late Capt. Elendu-Ukeje and Justice Roseline Elendu-Ukeje, Nnenna attended Federal Government Girls’ College, Owerri, the University of Benin and University of Lagos. Prior to her political career, Ukeje enjoyed a successful career in the hotel management industry. Binta Masi Garba was born on 17 April 1967 in Kaduna to Muslim parents. She is the Senator-elect of Adamawa North Senatorial District. She was the Adamawa State chairman of the APC and the first female state chairman of a registered major political party in Nigeria. She was elected into Federal House of Representatives three times from 1999 – 2011. She is the only female Senator-elect in North Eastern Nigeria in 2015.
She won a Senate seat against a sitting governor, Bala James Ngilari. From 1975 to 1981, she attended Army Children School, New Cantonment D, Hayin Banki, Kaduna. From there, she proceeded to Government Day School, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna South, Kaduna, from 1981 to 1987 for her secondary school education. In 2004, she went to Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and obtained a degree in Public Financial Management.
She is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Theology from Smith Christian University, Miami, Florida. In the House of Assembly election, some women got elected under the platform of the two major parties, APC and PDP in different states. The result, no doubt, runs short of the National Gender Policy, which seeks to encourage women to occupy 35 per cent of elective positions in Nigeria.
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