Nigeria: 17 Women Who Will Shape 10th NASS

AFTER keenly fought National Assembly contests across 98 senatorial zones and 325 federal constituencies on February 25, only 17 women are left standing.

No fewer than 92 women fought for 109 senatorial seats and 288 women contested for the 360 House of Representatives seats. There were 1101 senatorial candidates and 3,122 House of Representatives flagbearers in all.

So far, 11 senatorial and 35 House of Representatives slots are yet to be occupied due to inconclusive polls that will be conducted on March 18, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Unless women win more seats on Saturday during the 46 polls, only 17 of them will be in the 10th National Assembly made up of three senators and 14 Reps.

While none of the eight serving female senators will be in the 10th Senate, seven of the 14 female Reps are returning legislators.

The number of those elected is a great setback for women representations in the Senate where they had eight slots in the 9th Senate but a slight improvement of in the House of Representatives where figure increased from 13 to 14.

As it is, with 17 women, 2023 marks the worst outing for women since 1999 when 16 women (three senators and 13 Reps) served in the National Assembly. The best outing for women, so far, was in 2007 (see table) when 36 women (9 senators, 27 Reps) made it to both chambers.

Attempt to provide 111 special seats for women in the National Assembly to bridge the wide gender gap in the federal legislature failed as a bill proposed to that effect was not voted on during the last constitutional amendments.

Currently, women’s representation in Nigeria’s parliament is among the lowest in the world. The overall national average for women participation is around 6 per cent for elective and appointive positions which is below the West African sub regional average of 15 per cent. Nigeria ranks 32 out of 35 sub-Saharan countries when it comes to representation of women in politics.

Dwindling fortunes of women in NASS

1999 (4th Assembly): 3 Senators, 13 Reps

2003 (5th Assembly): 4 Senators, 21Reps

2007 (6th Assembly): 9 Senators, 27 Reps

2015 (8th Assembly): 7 Senators, 22 Reps

2019 (9th Assembly): 8 Senators, 13 Reps

2023 (10th Assembly): 3 Senators, 14 Reps


*Banigo Ipalibo Harry, PDP, Rivers West

*Ireti Heebah Kingibe, LP, FCT, Abuja

*Adebule Idiat Oluranti, APC, Lagos West

House of Reps

*Nnabuife Chinwe Clara, YPP, Orumba North/Orumba South, Anambra *Orogbu Obiageli, LP, Awka North/Awka South , Anambra

*Gwacham Maureen Chime, APGA, Oyi/Ayamelum, Anambra

*Regina Akume, APC, Gboko/Tarka, Benue

*Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake, PDP, Ethiope East/Ethiope West, Delta

*Fatima Talba, APC, Nangre/Potiskum, Yobe

*Onuh Onyeche Blessing, APC, Otukpo/Ohimini Benue

*Zainab Gimba, APC, Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge, Borno

*Beni Butmak Lar, PDP, Lantang North/Lantang South, Plateau

*Goodhead Boma, PDP, Akuku Toru/Asari Toru, Rivers

*Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim, APC, Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa, Yobe

*Onuoha Miriam Odinaka, APC, Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo, Imo *Adewunmi Ariyomi Onanuga, APC, Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North, Ogun KingibeIreti, wife of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and 1993 Vice Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was born on June 2, 1954. Ireti, who is also the younger sister of Ajoke Mohammed, the wife of former Head of State, Major General Murtala Muhammed, won the sole Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja sole seat.

She was educated at Queens College, Lagos; Washington Irving High School, and the University of Minnesota, United States, where she bagged a degree in Civil Engineering.

The Senator-elect worked as a quality control engineer at the Bradley Precast Concrete Inc from 1978 to 1979/ Ireti was project supervisor for the Directorate of Works at the Nigerian Air Force station in Ikeja, Lagos between 1981 and 1982, after completing the mandatory one-year national youth service.

She joined the Minnesota Department of Transportation Design unit, where she worked as an engineer between 1979 and 1991.

She entered partisan politics in 1991 when she joined the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). She was appointed as the adviser to the party’s national chairman.


Dr Ipalibo, the medical doctor-turn-politician is the deputy governor of Rivers State. Born to the Harry family of Obuama in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State on December 20, 1952, she is the first female deputy governor of Rivers State and has been in the saddlesince May 29, 2015.

Ipalibo was schooled in Queens College, Yaba, Lagos between 1964 and 1968 and returned to the same school between 1969 and 1970 for a high school result.

Thereafter, she proceeded to the University of Ibadan and obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and qualified as a medical doctor in 1976.


Born on November 27, 1970, at Alaworo in Ojo Local Government area of Lagos State, Dr Adebule is a writer, educationist, and a politician. The lecturer-turn politician served as the 15th deputy governor of Lagos state and the sixth woman to occupy the office from 2015 to 2019.

She began her working career as an academic at Lagos State College of Primary Education, LACOPED, Noforija, Epe as a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies and later transferred her service to the Lagos State University as a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies and later Language Arts and Social Studies in the Faculty of Education.

Her political sojourn started with an appointment as a commissioner 1 in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commission (PP-TESCOM), now Teachers’ Establishment and Pensions Office, by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from October 2000 to February 2005 and later as board member of the Lagos State Scholarship Board from February 2005 to November 2005.

She was appointed Secretary to the State Government by the Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola in July 2011. She was elected as deputy governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2015.

Lilian Orogbu

Professor Lilian Orogbu, a lecturer in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK, won the Awka North and South federal constituency of Anambra State on the platform of the LP.

Professor Orogbu, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe, is a Professor of Strategic Human Resource Management. The accomplished administrator has served in many capacities in the university including being head of the Department of Business Administration.

The returning officer of INEC, Mr Uche Nriagu, declared the Labour Party candidate, Lilian Orogbu winner with 29,629 votes, defeating her closest rival, Obi Nwankwo, who got 18,081 votes.

Khadija Bukar Abba

Khadija Bukar Abba is a four-time member of the House of Representatives, representing Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa federal constituency of Yobe State. She is returning for the fifth time. She was first elected in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023. Abba has also served as commissioner for transport and energy, Yobe State, as well as minister of state for Foreign Affairs under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Regina Akume

Regina Akume is the wife of Senator George Akume, a former two-term governor of Benue State, and current Minister of Inter-Governmental Affairs and Special Duties.

Blessing Onuh

Onuh Onyechi Blessing is the daughter of former Senate President David Mark.

Beni Lar

Beni Lar is the daughter of late foremost politician , Second Republic Governor of Plateau State, and first National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Solomon Lar.

She has served in various committees of the House of Representatives such as Women Affairs and Human Rights.


Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu is the daughter of former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori. She won the Ethiope Federal Constituency of Delta State on the platform of the PDP. She was elected after scoring 20,814 votes, while her closest rival, Halims Agoda of the APC, got 15,172 votes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *