The Coalition of Women for Good Governance in Nigeria has appealed to the 9th Assembly members, in the Green Chambers, to consider a female for the Speakership and principal officer positions.
The Chairperson of the group, Mrs Esther Izieoma in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, said Rep. Nkiruka Onyejeocha remains the best candidate for the position of the speaker.
Onyejeocha is representing Isuikwato/Umunneochi Constituency
Ezuoma also maintained that Rep. Kadijat Bukar Abba, representing Damaturu/Gujba/Tarmuwa Constituency, Yobe, should be considered forvprincipal position in the 9th House of Representatives.
Izieoma said, “Over the past few weeks, we have remained stringent in our call, not only for gender equity but also geographical balance in the choice of who emerges as the Speaker in the House of Representatives.
“We remain highly persuaded and motivated, more than ever, that Onyejeocha remains the most credible, authentic and suited for the position of the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
“Similarly, Abba is the most qualified as a principal officer in the lower Chamber of the National Assembly.
“It should be reiterated that the position of the office of the speaker is for those with vision and without hanging questions on their character.
“It is for those that can deliver on the mandate of promoting good governance and working with the executives in realising the next level agenda.
“ I want to say, here, that for all of them canvassing for the position, Onyejeocha is the most suited for this position because of her interpersonal relationship with the members of the parliament.
“However, this is her fourth term coming back to the House of Representatives; she has the experience, capacity, character and integrity to deliver in leading the House.’’
According to her, Onyejeocha as the speaker will be able to galvanise the House together for harmonious relationship among members and other arms of government.
Izieoma stressed that it would be appropriate to have a speaker that would see all the members as equal, bringing to the table what will develop the country and not for their personal interest.
“It would be a disaster to have a speaker who would just be there for himself and members scrambling to become Chairman and members of Appropriation Committee.
“Onyejeocha is contesting for the office not because she is a woman, but because she is somebody with character, capacity and integrity to hold that office.
“She was a commissioner in her state and went on to become a local government Chairman and now in the House of Representatives for the fourth time.
“The records are there, she in the parliament and able to touch lives, even away from her constituency.
“Onyejeocha was able to sponsor the following bills in the House; Old Peoples, Anti-torture, Witness Protection, and Compulsory Treatment of Gunshot Wounds among others.
“I urge the members of the incoming 9th Assembly to do the right thing by voting for the best person and that person is Onyejeocha.
“I want to also say that, Rep. Abba is also a ranking member, going back to the parliament for the fourth time and we are calling on the parliament to also endorse her for a principal office.
“We appeal to all the members of the 9th National Assembly to think Nigeria by voting gender balance, geographical equity and moderation.’’
Similarly, Mrs Ebere Ifendu of women in Politics, also a member of the coalition, said women should be encouraged to take up leadership position in the National Assembly.
“Let them be there to bring in human face to good governance; Onyejeocha and Abba are coming back because they are doing something right.
“We are advocating that the 9t National Assembly consider these women for the speakership position and a principal officer position.’’
Meanwhile, the Organising Secretary of the Coalition, Mrs Zainab Mohammed said Nigerian women under the coalition were solidly behind Onyejeocha and Abba “to make things right in the parliament.“
“These women have been doing the right thing and their constituencies always vote them back; aside being a woman, Onyejeocha has a good relationship with other members of the parliament.
“Abba has done a lot; she went into the terrain of Boko Haram and dialogue for the release of Dapchi girls.
“In her third term, she was appointed a minister but her people said no, let her continue to represent them in the House.
“These women deserve to be in a position that would take the House of Representatives to the next level of greatness,’’ Mohammed said.
The Coalition is an umbrella of all women in Nigeria, cutting across political, ethnic, religious and regional inclinations. (NAN)