A non- governmental organisation, Coalition of Women in Governance, has made case for a female speaker in the 9th National Assembly, just as the group decried the masculine inclined leadership in Nigeria which they said is not working well.
Addressing a press conference on behalf of the coalition, President, Women in Politics Forum, Barr Ebere Ifendu, Wednesday in Abuja, said Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Hon Kadija Bukar remained the most credible and suited for the high office of Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
According to Ifendu, “Nigeria is too masculine-inclined in terms of leadership and it is not working well. We have an opportunity to break ranks with the norm and demonstrate that after 20 years of democracy Nigeria has come full circle by electing a credible, untainted and passion driven woman to set a new paradigm in leading the House of Representatives.”
Speaking further she said: “Over the course of the past few weeks, we have remained strident in our call not only for gender equity but for geographical balance in the choice of who emerges as the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
“We remain highly persuaded and motivated more than ever that Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Hon Kadija Bukar, remain the most credible, authentic, and suited for the high office of Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
“Our motivation is further galvanized by the show of shame on a national TV today by the spokespersons of two of the contestants for the position – Hons. Abdulmumin Jibrin and Afam Oghene.
“These two demonstrated on behalf of their principals, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Umar Mohammed Bago, that the clamour for the Speakership is for the spoils of office. It is even more insulting for them to suggest that there are no other candidates for the Office of Speaker.
“It should be reiterated that the position for office is for those with a vision for a House, without hanging questions on their character and those that can deliver on the mandate of promoting good governance and working with the executive in realising the Next Level Agenda.
“Hon. Nkeiruka Oyejeocha is eminently qualified as a ranking member of the House of Representatives being her 4th-term in office. History shows that even in the United States a woman, Nancy Pelosi, is holding up eminently well as the Speaker.
“If a woman goes in as the speaker, she would be able to galvanise all members to bring development to the country and not for personal aggrandisement.
“She is contesting for office not because she is a woman but because she is competent and qualified for the office. She is a ranking member of the house on her 4th term in office.”We appeal to all new members of the House of Reps to think Nigeria by voting for gender balance, geographical equity and moderation.”
In her remarks, Founder, Proactive Gender Initiatives (PGI), Barrister Esther Uzoma, stated that Nigerian women are gathered from all parts of the country to make case for Ms Nkiru, who without the support of a godfather had been returned for the 4th term, which implies she must be doing something right.
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She said, “Another reason Nkiru and Kadija should be voted is to show to the committee of nation’s that Nigeria politics is inclusive.”