OrderPaperToday – The National Assembly polls that held on the 23rd of February saw a turn of the tide for some serving senators.

However, some female candidates had a tough battle with their male counterparts and were able to clinch victory against all odds. At the end of the day, only seven women were successful and would be inaugurated into the 9th assembly.

Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North)

Stella Oduah has a Bachelors degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration. In 1983, she joined the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Oduah came into political limelight when she was appointed Minister of Aviation in 2011 but was relieved of her duties in 2014, following a procurement scandal under her watch. In 2015, she contested for Anambra North senatorial district and won under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the build up to the 2019 elections, she dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and returned back to the former after some weeks.

In the extant senate, she has quite some remarkable bills to her name such as the Data protection bill which affirms the right of privacy by introducing measures to ensure that the personal information of an individual is safeguarded when it is being managed. She also sponsored another bill to grant legal backing to the controversial constituency projects scheme by setting aside a minimum of 20 per cent of the total annual federal budget for the projects. And more importantly, Oduah co-sponsored the establishment of South-East Development Commission bill.

For her constituents, ‘the mother of Anambra’ as she is fondly called sponsored a bill to create the Federal University of Aquatic studies, Ogbaru, Anambra state.

In an interview with this newspaper, she canvassed special fund for women in politics due to its expensive nature.

Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North)

Rose is a Linguistic professional with Bachelor’s and Masters degree in the discipline from the University of Calabar, Cross River State. She also acquired her Doctorate in Linguistics from University of Port Harcourt and an MBA from Management Institute of Canada.

In 1989, Oko was appointed Commissioner of Education in Cross River state and served as a Director General, National Defence and Security Council under the military regime in 1993. She held that position alongside being a National Commissioner of the defunct National Electoral Commission (NEC). Between 1993 and 1994, She was appointed the Director General, Provisional Ruling Council.

Oko was a former member of the House of Representatives where she represented Yala/Ogoja federal constituency between 2011 and 2015.  She was the first female representative from her constituency before crossing over to the red chamber in 2015 for Cross River North senatorial district. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Diaspora and Civil societies.

She is known for her resoluteness on cases relating to women and gender issues. Notably, her motion on the death and burial of 26 Nigerian women in Italy asked for a probe.

Her other motions included one that dealt with a communal clash that occurred in her state and displaced hundred of residents; another on loopholes in the excess crude account; and yet another on the living conditions of Nigerians in Cameroon.

OrderPaperNG identified Rose Oko as a beacon for the 2018 International Women’s Day being a seasoned politician and humanitarian activist.

Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central)

Remi Tinubu has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Ife and a National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Botany and Zoology from Adeyemi College of Education.

Oluremi’s emergence as First Lady of Lagos State when her husband, Bola Tinubu, was elected as governor, launched her into a political career that culminated as being the senator representing Lagos central since 2011.

She is the Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and has been quite notable in the Senate.

She reintroduced a bill to establish the Chartered Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria which had ‘died, resurrected and reincarnated’ in the past 17 years.

Another bill sponsored by her was to amend the National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) law to make the agency more empowered to discharge its functions. A motion by Tinubu resolved to probe the stalling of work on the Ogoni clean up program.

She also has a knack for the welfare of women, girls and children of which she sponsored a bill against gender discrimination in the Police force and a motion on forced marriage of under-aged girls alongside rape.

Aishatu Dahiru (APC, Adamawa Central)

Dahiru holds a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics Engineering.

She was elected as a member of the House of Representatives in the 7th assembly representing Yola North/Yola South & Girei federal constituency under PDP. She served as the Chairman House committee on Constituency Outreach.

Following her victory in the 2019 elections, she will be a member of the red chamber come June.

Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central)

Ekwunife earned her first degree in Business and Accounting at the University of Calabar and then an MBA at Nnamdi Azikwe University. Prior to her political sojourn, she worked as a banker.

Ekwunife was a two term member of the House of Representatives as representative of Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia federal constituency.

In 2015, she contested for Anambra Central senatorial district and won in June but was replaced by Victor Umeh in December after a judicial intervention.

Despite her brief stay, she was notable as chairman senate committee on petroleum (downstream) where she conducted investigative hearings on NNPC over subsidy claims and fuel scarcity.

She equally sponsored a bill on Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West)

Betty is arguably one of the most active female member in the 8th assembly. She was a banker before venturing into politics in 2007 to represent Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency of Rivers State.

She chairs the committee on Health institutions.

She is vocal and maintains an impressive attendance in plenary.

One of the bills to her credit is to amend the Food, Drugs and Related Products act to increase the fine for violators of the act.

Akon Eyakenyi (PDP, Akwa-Ibom South)

Eyakenyi holds a Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) alongside a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) degree from the University of Calabar as well as a Master of Education (M.Ed) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Curriculum Education.

Her teaching career led to her first appointment as Mistress I & II by the then Cross River State Education Board from 1986 to 1993 then as a Supervisor for Education, Youths, Sports and Culture in Oron Local Government Council, Education Officer in Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education and subsequently, Senior Education Officer from 1994 to 1999.

She also served as a Member, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board from 1999 to 2000 which got her an appointment as Commissioner for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in 2000, by former Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Victor Attah.

In 2013, she was appointed as Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board, by Governor Godswill Akpabio before becoming the Minster of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2014 under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The following year, Eyakenyi was appointed into the Technical Committee on the Realization of the Ibaka Deep Seaport; and in October 2016, she was appointed as Chairman Governing Council of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua.

This will be her first legislative experience representing Akwa-Ibom South senatorial district in the 9th Senate.

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