Meet The 5 Nigerian Women Who Won National Assembly Seats In 2023
With the clamour for gender equality, the female gender has found the need to hold political positions in their various communities.
As the 2023 elections in Nigeria take center stage, some women have shown they have what it takes to participate in politics.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day (IWD) which is fast approaching, meet the five women who won seats in their constituencies at the national assembly in the recently concluded 2023 general elections.
1. Idiat Oluranti Adebule
Idiat Oluranti Adebule was born on 27 November 1970 in the Ojo local government area of Lagos state.
Adebule had her early education at Awori College, Ojo before proceeding to tertiary education at the Lagos State University, Ojo to study Islamic Education in 1992.
Much later, she had a certificate in early childhood development curriculum and school administration and assessment from the Nigeria Institute of International Education Association in 2006.
She continued her master’s degree at the same institution in curriculum studies. She later progressed to obtain her Doctorate degree again at the same institution which she completed in 2012.
Dr. Adebule was appointed as the Secretary to the State Government by the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) in July 2011.
On May 29th, 2015, she was sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Lagos State.
Adebule won the Lagos West Senatorial Seat in the 2023 elections defeating Segun Adewale of the People’s Democratic Party.
Adebule contested under the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Ireti Kingibe is a frontline philanthropist and outstanding advocate of women’s empowerment.
She was born to a Muslim father, who is half Yoruba and half Fulani, and a Christian mother. She is also the younger sister to Ajoke Mohammed, the wife of former Nigeria head of state, Murtala Muhammed.
Kingibe started her education at Emotan Preparatory School, where she had her elementary education before heading to Queen’s College in Lagos and Washington Irving High School for her secondary education.
She bagged a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
In 2003 she was the FCT senatorial candidate for the All Nigeria People’s party. She defected to the People’s Democratic Party in 2006. However, in 2014 she joined the All Progressive Congress (APC) because she could not handle the politics in PDP. In 2015 she ran for the senatorial seat under APC, but she later withdrew.
Kingibe joined Labour Party in 2022 and became their FCT Senatorial candidate for the 2023 Nigerian elections which she won.
She scored 202,175 votes to emerge the winner while Philip Aduda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with 100,544 votes.
3. Ipalibo Gogo Banigo
Ipalibo Gogo Banigo is a Nigerian medical doctor, politician, and the first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
Banigo was born on 20 December 1952 to the Harry family of Obuama in Degema, Rivers State.
She attended Queens College, Lagos where she bagged the West African School Certificate (Division One) and the Higher School Certificate. Prior to graduating from high school, she was the Best All-Round Student of The Year from 1969 to 1970.
She obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and attended Harvard University School of Public Health for her master’s degree. Between 1990 and 1992, Banigo received diplomas in both Tropical Hygiene and Dermatology from the University of London.
In December 2014, she was chosen to be the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Ezenwo Wike in the 2015 election. She was elected as Deputy Governor of Rivers State and took office on 29 May 2015. She currently serves as the 6th and first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
Harry-Banigo who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2023 elections, defeated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who is also a former chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Honourable Asita to win the Rivers West senatorial seat.
4. Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu
42-year-old Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu is the daughter of Chief James Ibori, the former Governor of Delta State.
She studied Business Studies and Information Systems in the United Kingdom. She is the second wife of Abioye Suenu, a Muslim.
Ibori-Suenu is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and also a member of the Ethiope Delta State House of Assembly.
In 2022, she defeated Ben Igbakpa, the current lawmaker of the Ethiope Delta State House of Assembly, at the rerun primary elections.
Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu won the House of Representatives seat for Ethiope Federal Constituency in the 2023 elections scoring 20,814 votes, while her closest rival, Halims Agoda of the All Progressives Congress, APC, got 15,172 votes.
5. Blessing Onuh
Blessing Onyeche Onuh was born on 30th June 1976 in Otukpo, Benue State. She is the daughter of former Senate President, David Mark.
She obtained her first school leaving certificate from St. Andrew’s Primary School, Otukpo in 1988.
She attended Federal Government Girls’ College Gboko and graduated in 1993. In 1995, she got admission to study Sociology at the University of Abuja and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1999. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Gender Studies at the University of Abuja.
In 2018, she contested for the position of the House of Representatives member for Otukpo/Ohimini federal constituency under the People’s Democratic Party in Benue State but lost the primaries to her uncle Johnson Ahubi. She left the party to join the APGA where she contested and became a member of the House of Representatives representing the Otukpo/Ohimini federal constituency.
In February 2021, Onuh defected to the APC, citing a crisis in Benue State APGA leadership.
Blessing Onuh was declared the winner of the House of Representative election for Otukpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency in the 2023 elections.
She polled 29031 votes to defeat her closest rival, Alex Ogbe the People’s Democratic Party PDP who polled 21741 votes.