Hon. Princess Miriam Onuoha, the lawmaker representing Okigwe North/Onuimo/Isiala Mbano federal constituency of Imo State and the only returning female House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly, has declared her intentions to join the race for the Speakership.
Onuoha, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Disabilities and Special Needs, said she was in the race to help address the dearth of female parliamentarians in Nigeria.
She also noted that her chances were bright in the Speakership contest.
She said, “I have sponsored three infrastructure bills for my Federal Constituency and the bills are before the Senate for concurrence. One of my three bills on Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, was concurred last week by the Senate and I am faced with more tasks to see to it that it gets Mr. President’s assent.
“I am also in the race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, knowing that a presiding officer position would help to address the lingering gender deficit at the National Assembly.
“I absolutely stand a strong chance now. It is becoming more difficult to win elections in Nigeria and worse for women,” she noted; adding, “If a woman, at this point, is not appointed as Speaker or deputy, our political existence might just be coming to extinction.
“We do not just need a voice as presiding officer or member of the House, but a strong voice as a presiding officer.
“Having a woman as a presiding officer at the House of Representatives would go a long way to augment the perennial gender deficit in the House of Representatives.”
It may be recalled that a number of female lawmakers, particularly in the South East, lost their seats during the February 25 National Assembly elections.
This resulted in women winning 17 out of the 469 seats in the National Assembly. While three won in the Senate, 14 women got seats in the House of Representatives.
Onuoha was first elected into the House on February 25, 2020, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Upon her inauguration, she was made the chairman of the Committee on Disabilities and Special Needs.
In the outgoing 9th House, Onuoha sponsored many impactful motions and bills, one of which was the establishment of the Federal College of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Sciences, Isiala Mbano LGA, Federal College of Horticulture, Okigwe, Federal Medical Centre, Okigwe, some of which are currently at the Senate for concurrence and subsequently, presidential assent.
A graduate of Estate Management from the University of Lagos, Onuoha also has in her kitty a Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning and Protection from the University of Abuja.
Before her election into the federal parliament, she had served as a Senior Special Assistant to a former Governor of Bayelsa State on International Development Cooperation, among other previous political engagements.
She was also a board member of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.
The lawmaker was a member of State Implementation Committee (SURE-P) Community Services, Women and Youth Employment Scheme: a task which earned her the name – Mama SURE-P.