Hon. Princess Miriam Onuaha.

The House of Representatives is said to be considering electing a female Speaker of Igbo extraction in the 10th Assembly.

A source hinted that if this consideration eventually sees the light of day, it would help to pacify the southeast region that has complained of being politically marginalised in the country. Also, it would seek to excite the womenfolk.

However, the source disclosed that those flying the flag of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for the position of Senate President, are working to truncate this as it would affect the chances of the former Abia State governor, a strong Tinubu loyalist and ranking senator.

It was gathered that Miriam Onuoha, representing Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo Federal Constituency, Imo, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress is the only female among those jostling to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly.

In the history of Federal legislation in Nigeria, Mrs. Patricia Etteh has been the only female to be elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

It will be recalled that Etteh later resigned following allegations of a contract scandal involving N628 million.


In the 9th National Assembly, Rep. Nkiruka Onyejiocha was the only female lawmaker that indicated an interest in the office of House Speaker but her dream was dashed when Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, the incumbent Speaker, won the election.

Some gender-based pressure groups have thrown their weight behind the agitation for a female Speaker.

The Coalition for Women Participation in Governance and Leadership has even threatened legal action if female lawmakers are not nominated as presiding officers in the House of Representatives.

Atinuke Olaolu, secretary of the coalition was quoted by the media as saying that there were enough competent women such as Onuoha to lead the House.

“They must consider women who are ranking in order to emerge as presiding officers and chair of significant committees,” Olaolu said.

Similarly, the Women in Politics Forum have urged the Lower Chamber to uphold provisions of the national gender policy by electing a female as Speaker.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, WIPF President, Ebere Ifendu, told newsmen that in addition to electing a female Speaker, the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly should also appoint female lawmakers to lead key committees.

Although male legislators have successfully led the House in recent years, however, as gender advocates argue, what a man can do, a woman can do better.

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