A few female senators who have previously held varied posts have made their mark while representing their constituents in the Senate.
Their passion, endurance, and vision continue to inspire and shape the political landscape of the country. From advocating for women’s rights to taking the lead on critical policy issues, these senators have shown that gender is not a barrier to leadership.
HowNG delves into the lives and accomplishments of these five groundbreaking female senators, shedding light on their long-lasting effect and why they are important characters to be aware of right now.
1. Monsurat Sunmonu
Monsurat Sunmonu was the first female senator from Oyo State from 2015 to 2019, and she was the state’s first female senator.
During her tenure in the National Assembly, she was recognized for her support of women’s rights, anti-corruption measures, and environmental sustainability, including her participation in the landmark COP21 meeting.
One of her most notable accomplishments, however, was the quick action she took to address a major infrastructure issue: the decaying Ibadan-Ife Expressway.
The troublesome stretch of freeway was restored within one month of her assistance, demonstrating her effectiveness and dedication to her clients.
2. Florence Ita Giwa
Florence Ita Giwa, commonly known as “Mama Bakassi,” is a role model for female senators in Nigeria. Her unwavering participation in the Bakassi feud cemented her fame and gained her the loving moniker “Mama Bakassi.”
By 1999, she had been elected to the Senate from the Cross River South seat, where she served on numerous committees and became a vocal champion for the oppressed Bakassi people.
Ita Giwa, a recipient of The Sun Lifetime Achievement Award and an Officer of the Order of the Niger, continues her humanitarian efforts through the Bakassi Children Foundation, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to social justice and communal well-being.
3. Nkechi Nwaogu
Nkechi Nwaogu, a two-term senator and financial technocrat, is a role model for female senators in Nigeria.
Nwaogu began her first stint in the upper legislative house as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, armed with a solid educational background that included a Doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
She successfully restored discipline and regulatory compliance in the nation’s volatile banking sector in her post. Nwaogu’s commitment to transparency and accountability did not end there; as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas Resources, she advocated for reforms and growth in the gas business.
4. Oluremi Tinubu
In Nigeria’s political landscape, Oluremi Tinubu OON CON is a towering figure among female senators.
Throughout her senatorial career, she was a proponent of social change, most notably introducing a game-changing measure to overhaul the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in March 2021.
Tinubu, who has been Nigeria’s First Lady since 2023, has a long history of political activity; 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.
5. Rose Oko
Rose Oko was a classic female senator from Cross River North in the Ninth Senate. Until her unexpected death in 2020, she was a pillar of the People’s Democratic Party and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment.
Oko distinguished herself as a committed advocate for transparent governance throughout her political career, 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 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution (Alteration) Bill.