A handful of female senators who have occupied various positions in the past, made their mark while representing their constituencies at the Senate.
Their dedication, resilience, and vision continue to inspire and shape the nation’s political landscape. From championing women’s rights to leading on crucial policy matters, these senators have demonstrated that gender is no barrier to leadership.
Join us as we delve into the lives and accomplishments of these five trailblazing female senators, shedding light on their enduring impact and why they are essential figures to know about right now.
Monsurat Sunmonu fixed the Ibadan-Ife Expressway in one month
Monsurat Sunmonu served as a senator from Oyo State from 2015 to 2019 and was the first female to occupy this role in her state’s history.
During her time in the National Assembly, she was noted for her advocacy for women’s rights, anti-corruption measures, and environmental sustainability, including her role in the historic COP21 summit.
However, one of her most striking accomplishments was the swift action she took to address a pressing infrastructural concern: the deteriorating Ibadan-Ife Expressway.
Within just one month of her intervention, the problematic stretch of the expressway was repaired, exemplifying her effectiveness and commitment to her constituents.
Florence Ita Giwa: A defender of Bakassi
Florence Ita Giwa, affectionately known as “Mama Bakassi,” is a paragon among female senators in Nigeria’s political landscape. Her steadfast involvement in the Bakassi tussle solidified her legacy and earned her the endearing title of “Mama Bakassi.”
By 1999, she had represented the Cross River South constituency in the Senate, serving on multiple committees and emerging as a vociferous advocate for the embattled Bakassi people.
A recipient of The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award and an Officer of the Order of the Niger, Ita Giwa continues her philanthropic endeavours through the Bakassi Children Foundation, underscoring her unyielding commitment to social justice and the well-being of her community.
Nkechi Nwaogu: Restored order in the Nation’s financial sector
Nkechi Nwaogu, a two-time Senator and financial technocrat, stands as an embodiment of excellence among female senators in Nigeria.
Armed with a robust educational background including a Doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nwaogu initiated her first tenure in the upper legislative chamber as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
In this role, she successfully restored discipline and regulatory compliance in the nation’s tumultuous financial sector. Nwaogu’s dedication to transparency and accountability didn’t stop there; as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas Resources, she pushed for reforms and development in the gas industry.
Oluremi Tinubu proposed NIPOST reforms
Oluremi Tinubu OON CON is a towering figure among female senators in Nigeria’s political landscape.
Throughout her senatorial tenure, she was an advocate for societal improvement, most notably proposing a transformative bill for the reform of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in March 2021.
Currently serving as the First Lady of Nigeria since 2023, Tinubu has a long history of political engagement; she was the First Lady of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and represented Lagos Central Senatorial District in the Nigerian National Assembly from 2011 to 2023.
Rose Oko: An Advocate for Good Governance in the Ninth Senate
Rose Oko was a quintessential female senator who represented Cross River North in the Ninth Senate. She was a stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment until her untimely demise in 2020.
Throughout her political journey, Oko distinguished herself as a committed advocate for transparent governance, sponsoring key bills such as the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Est) Bill, the Compulsory Free Universal Education Act (Amendment) Bill, and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill.
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