OrderPaperToday – The current House of Representatives suffers a huge gender imbalance with a meagre 18 out of the 360 members being females.
In spite of this male dominance, some female members have stood shoulder to shoulder with the men and made their marks as vibrant and respected representatives.
2018 is significant in the life of the legislature being the final lap before the end of the 8th assembly wherein law of diminishing returns has already set in. The enthusiasm and bounce of the early days has been defeated by the routine nature of legislative work, save for the periodic drama witnessed in parliament.
These are our top five females in the House of Reps:
Standing unarguably at number one is the member representing Abua/Odual/Ahoada East Federal Constituency of Rivers State, Betty Apiafi. The former banker turned law maker has been in the House since 2007.
She has sponsored over 20 bills in the 8th assembly alone, mostly on the healthcare sector. She also has several motions to her credit.
The committee on health institutions she chairs has been one of the most actives committees in the House. Despite not being in the formal leadership of political opposition, Apiafi has been a force in spearheading opposition views.
Her attendance in 2018 has been impeccable; when there is a need to fill the opposition’s front row, there is always Apiafi. Little wonder she has been rewarded with the People’s Democratic Senatorial ticket in the 2019 elections.
Coming second is another ranking member from 6th Assembly. Ukeji represents Bende Federal constituency of Abia state.
The Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson is one of the most active lawmakers, having been at virtually all sittings in 2018.
She is versatile on lots of issues, and is some sort of authority as far as the Foreign Affairs beat is concerned. Just like Apiafi, she has sponsored numerous bills in the House.
She was recently appointed in the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organization as one of the spokespersons, the only female in the lot.
Coming at number 3 is another representative from Abia State and member of the 6th Assembly, Nkiru Onyejeocha.
Onyejeocha represents Isuikwato/Umunneochi Federal constituency. Her recent defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a real plus for the All Progressive Party (APC) where she now belongs.
She is ever present in plenary and a hot debater for that matter. She is the chairman of House committee on Aviation and was vocal in putting pressure on the Federal Government to ensure it keeps to the delivery date for runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe international Airport.
The daughter of the late former PDP Chairman, Chief Solomon Lar, is one strong voice in the House right from the inception of the 8th Assembly.
In terms of bill sponsorship, motions and contributions in debate, she can equally compete with any lawmaker whether male or female.
The ranking member from Plateau State is also the Chairman Committee on Science and Technology.
Orji is the only female representative out of 24 members from Lagos state.
She is a combative debater, and in 2018, stands out pretty well among the members.
Always on the floor of the House and a regular during committee of the whole. She chairs the committee on Diaspora and has been active in that capacity.