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The case for and against Remi Tinubu’s dream to become a principal officer in the senate

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The case for and against Remi Tinubu’s dream to become a principal officer in the senate

Lagos Central senator, Oluremi Tinubu, believes it is her time. When the ninth senate is inaugurated in June, she would make history as the longest ever serving female senator in the country. So she believes that she deserves a position among the ranks of principal officers in the senate.

Why she should get it: The best person to make the argument for why Remi Tinubu should be in a pole position to become the first female principal officer from the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the senator herself.

“As it is, women have not been given their fair share and to be the first leader to be reelected for a third term consecutively, the first woman in Nigeria, I think they have to consider what they would give to the woman,” she said on Thursday while speaking to journalists after receiving her certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). “I believe that I have represented the women folk for over twenty years and they can trust me, my office would be open and then we can move the agenda of the women further and I’m looking forward to that.”

  • Clearly this government needs to be more inclusive of women. Tinubu is right when she says that women have not received a fair share. That has been the case historically, but it has been worse under the current administration compared to, say, that of Goodluck Jonathan.
  • If women get a good deal in the senate then Tinubu is in pole position. As the ranking female senator, she has institutional memory, which is useful in the legislative arm.
  • Let’s be honest, she cannot possibly do worse than some of the men who have held that position in the past or some of the names currently being touted. This is not an endorsement of her competence but an acknowledgement that it has hardly been the factor senators use in choosing their leaders.

Why she should not get it:

  • Last Saturday, the wife of the APC national leader exposed herself as a sectional politician as she told an Igbo voter in pidgin: “We no dey trust una again?” Tribalism and sectionalism are the staple of Nigerian politicians who use those divisions when they need votes. But the question is: If you are an Igbo lawmaker, would you trust Tinubu to serve you justly?
  • Her history of divisiveness isn’t limited to the Igbos. Don’t forget how she refused to recognise the former senate leadership and showing a disregard to the will of her colleagues despite the senate being an independent institution.

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