Female Rep laments exclusion of women in APC zoning formula

A member of the House of Representatives, Adewunmi Onanuga, has protested the exclusion of women in the All Progressive Congress (APC) zoning formula released ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly.

Onanuga, who is also a member of the party, said women in the National Assembly were excluded from the zoning formula for leadership positions in the 10th assembly.

The lawmaker representing Remo Federal Constituency said this on Thursday, May 11, while speaking as a guest on Channels Television.

According to her, the party ignored women who indicated an interest in leadership positions.

The APC National Working Committee recently released the zoning arrangement.

The party, in its zoning plans, endorsed Godswill Akpabio from the South-South geopolitical zone as Senate President, and Barau Jibrin, from the North-West, as Deputy Senate President.

Also, in the House of Representatives, the party endorsed Tajudeen Abass from the North-West as Speaker and Benjamin Kalu from the South-East as Deputy Speaker.

Commenting on the development, Onanuga disclosed that she and two other female representatives showed interest in leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly, but they were not given a chance.

According to Onanuga, she aspired for the position of Deputy Speaker.

Frowning at the development, she said the party should have consulted with members before releasing any zoning formula.

“There were three of us who came out, aspiring. The reason we wanted to put our hats in the ring is that we feel that the female gender needed to have a seat at the table of decision-making,” she said.

Onanuga urged the party to stop denying women the opportunity for leadership positions in the Assembly, noting that it is essential for equity to prevail.

“As it is now, there is no balance. 4-0 for presiding officers is not a good balance. We need to engage some more and recognise all those who are aggrieved. I am aggrieved, especially for myself and for the lack of gender balance.

“We are asking that whatever remains in the majority, at least one should come to a woman and two others. We are asking for three out of ten, and I don’t think that is too much.

“The two presiding seats have been taken in the House of Representatives, there are eight more seats — three for the majority leaders and five for the minority leaders. If we are going to go by the 35 per cent affirmative action that has just been won in the court,” she said.

In Nigeria, the influence and representation of women in politics is minimal.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), women’s representation continues to decline across all tiers of government in Nigeria.

In the 2023 general election, 378 women ran for Senate and House of Representatives seats, but only 17 were successful.



    All the current female senators are not returning.

    The NBS said women have never been appointed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, or elected as President or Vice President, despite constituting almost half of the country’s population.

    In 2016 and 2017, six women and 73 men occupied principal positions in the Senate.

    The year 2018 and 2019 have the exact figure. In 2019, women had 6.2 per cent representation in the National Assembly, while men occupied 93.8 per cent of the positions.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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