It has been reckoned globally that the immense contribution of women in the socio-economic advancement of the continent can’t be over emphasized. This and many more are the reasons for the need to include women in administrative roles for sustainable development in the country. The nation’s National Assembly being in its 10th Assembly is on the verge of electing notable lawmakers to direct its affairs for the roles of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority leader, Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip to mention a few, and recently the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives (APC) endorsed Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna) and Hon. Benjamin Kanu (Abia) as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively. This move has not gone well with some lawmakers, thereby asking the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC to seek for deep consultation.
This move by the party to select those that will steer the leadership positions in the House of Representatives seem to have thrown up dissenting voices that are bent on rocking the boat and thereby going against the party’s approved candidates to elect those they seem as right for their interest. In this ensuing drama in the House amongst members-elect of the lower chambers of the National Assembly, a woman from Imo State by name, Princess Miriam Onuoha, seems to be the only female lawmaker poised to make a good impression for good governance in leadership as she has spoken to be considered for a spot in the top four of the House leadership as who gets what hots up.
The agitation for women to be considered for the top four positions at the National Assembly became paramount and a necessity for the sake of gender equity. And one of such women is Hon. Princess Miriam Onuoha, representing Okigwe North at the House of Represen- tatives. She is the only female lawmaker from the South-East and South-South elected to serve in the incoming 10th As- sembly to be inaugurated in June. She earlier made her aspiration known for the post of Speaker of the 10th Assembly a month ago but chose to abide by party laid down decisions to choose whom they selected to lead the House. A ranking member by all means, Hon. Onuoha has displayed significant charac- ter, adequate legislative knowledge and indeed a bold voice in the affairs of the House of Representatives since she was elected. She has also continued to play vital roles in matters affecting the legisla- tive House and the country at large, little wonder the call of service of her fatherland is about to take her higher in her pursuit of delivering good governance to her constituents and the nation at large. Her appointment into the House leadership will in no small way, con- tribute significantly to inclusive governance and national development as many women are frowning over being under represented at all tiers of governance in the country. Hon. Miriam is ready to bridge that gap and discharge her duties diligently to the admiration of citi- zens. The incoming 10th Assembly will find in her, the qualities it needs to pursue a cohesive leadership as re- quired in sane climes, where women are given a voice to speak out for their constituents. It is against the backdrop of gender equality as highly recommended by UN that a coalition of over 231 women organization, under the umbrella of Womanifesto demanded the inclusion of women in the leadership of the 10th Assembly. A woman like Hon Onuoha if called to become one of the mem- bers of House leaders will represent about 50 per cent of women in the country, which will serve as a mat- ter of equity and social inclusion. This will assuage the feelings of women groups in the country and encourage more women participa- tion in the politics.
Record has it that in Nigeria’s 24years of democracy, no woman has become Senate President or Deputy Senate President. It was Hon. Patricia Etteh, who in 2007 was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, while Hon. Mulikat Akande became the first female Majority Leader at the National Assembly. The call for women inclusion among the top four in the 10th As- sembly has begun and Hon. Onuoha is best qualified for any of the slots available. A brief foray into her educational history shows that she also attended Aquinas Model Secondary School, Osu, Isiala Mbano, Imo State, where she got her Senior Secondary Certificate.
She proceeded to study at the University of Lagos and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Estate Management. She attended the University of Abuja and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning and Protection (MEPP). Before she was elected to the House of Representatives, Onuoha served as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State on International Development Cooperation amongst other previous political engagements. She was also a Board member of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), member of State Implementation Committee (Subsidy Reinvestment Program Sure-P) Community Services, Women and Youth Employment Scheme, a task which earned her the name – MAMA SURE P. Princess Onuoha was first elected as a member of the House of Representa- tives on January 25, 2020 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) to represent Okigwe North Federal Con- stituency. During her first tenure in the Green Chamber, she was the maiden House Committee Chairman on Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs. She sponsored many impactful motions and bills, one of which is the establish- ment of Federal College of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Sciences, Isiala Mbano Local Government Area; Feder- al College of Horticulture Okigwe and Federal Medical Centre Okigwe. Which are aat the Senate for concurrence and Presidential assent. The female lawmaker endeared herself to her constituents by offering robust and visibly impactful repre- sentation to them. Little wonder, they overwhelming returned her for another tenure in office on February 25. Indeed this Amazon who is the lone voice for all female politicians in the Federal House of Representatives from the South East has a lot to offer in line of service delivery for the growth of the nation, and what better way to reward excellence than to ensure that her ele- vation into the leadership of the lower chamber is given utmost priority. Let the Amazon fly! ●Obiegbu writes from Abuja