Historians will likely remember 2023 to be a year of firsts in Nigeria. Specifically, it would be the year that so many politicians stepped forward to bear the burdens of governance while declaring that they deserve nothing less or that it is their turn to do so. For the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Miriam Onuoha has stepped forward, stating that she deserves nothing less than the position.
It started with the current President-elect, Bola Tinubu. He was the first person that dared to say that a political position belonged to him by right. Even though he was laughed at when that happened, many other politicians have taken up his mantle, raising their fists and declaring that it is their turn to lead. Onuoha is one of these people, and the justifications for her claims are not blameless
According to Onuoha, the House of Reps member serving Okigwe North federal constituency of Imo State, women’s political participation is a growing concern in Nigeria. Few women have been allowed to get in on the decision-making processes of Nigeria’s polity even though we no longer live in the age of grunters and gatherers. Therefore, seeing as the office of Deputy Speaker has been zoned to the South-east, Onuoha sees no reason why she can’t take up the position.
Indeed, it has been established that while the Nigerian political system is robust, it has an existing gap with respect to balancing genders. Essentially, the supposed genderization of political offices has sequestered brilliant minds like Onuoha into third and second-positioners. But Onuoha has stepped forward to say that things have to change. Given how the winds are blowing, things might indeed change. But having Onuoha as Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps is not something that would come about just because strange winds are blowing.