Following the conclusion of elections into 98 out of the 109 Senatorial Districts, here are the three Senators-Elect who would be flying the flag of the women in the incoming 10th National Assembly
As stated in previous articles, the just-concluded National Assembly Elections recorded a very shocking fashion, as only three (3) of the ninety-two (92) female candidates that ran for Senatorial elections across the 109 Senatorial Districts succeeded in the long run.
It was so shocking as these 92 female Senatorial candidates constitute only about eight per cent of 1,101 candidates that contested elections into the 10th National Assembly in the first place. Again, this is coming on the background that only 1,553 of the total 15,307 candidates for the 2023 general elections were women.
According to a 2021 stat from the World Bank, women constitute 49.5% of the Nigerian population. Similarly, women constitute 44.4 million (47%) of the voting population, put at 93,469 008 million as at January 2023 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Interestingly, one key message of #IWD annually is the call for equity and fairness, especially in the area of representation in parliament.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day (IWD), we present a quick profile of the three female candidates to be sworn in to the apex law-making body in the country come June 2023.
1. Ireti Heebah Kingibe (FCT, LP)
A three-time FCT Senatorial hopeful, she eventually succeeded in the February 25 legislative elections, defeating incumbent lawmaker Phillip Aduda.
Kingibe’s political career began in 1990 with her appointment as A former Adviser to the National Chairman of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 1990s, she polled 202,175 votes compared to the 100,544 votes garnered by Aduda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
2. Ipalibo Harry Banigo (Rivers West, PDP)
The Senator-Elect is a medical doctor, politician and the incumbent Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
A former Permanent Secretary. Acting Commissioner, Head of Service of Rivers State and later Secretary to the Government of Rivers State, she is a household name in her home state due to her achievements.
Having achieved the enviable feat of being the State’s first female Deputy Governor, she went on to become a beneficiary of the political dynamics in the state chapter of her party, which will see Senator Betty Apiafi bow out of the Red Chamber in June.
3. Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Lagos West, APC)
Like Dr Banigo, Senator-Elect Adebule is a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State. Although, she was the fourth woman in the state since 1999 to have occupied the exalted office.
Before her nomination as Deputy Governorship Candidate to Akinwunmi Ambode, both of whom eventually won, Dr Adebule had served as Commissioner 1 in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commission (PP-TESCOM) and later appointed Secretary to the State Government in July 2011.
Her biggest political victory it would appear, came after her defeat of Musiliu Obanikoro to emerge as the APC Senatorial Candidate. Obanikoro, one of the most formidable politicians in the state is a former High Commissioner to Ghana, former Minister of State for Defence and member of the 5th Senate.
Adebule went on to poll 361,296 votes on February 25 to defeat Segun Adewale of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 248,653.
Editor’s Note: Of the eight incumbent female lawmakers in the Senate, only three sought re-election and were sadly defeated. The other five, for various reasons, did not seek re-election.