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Ninth House: I am better qualified for speakership position than Gbajabiamila, Onyejeocha tells APC

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By Gabriel Okoro, Abuja
A female lawmaker representing Isukwuato/Umuneochi federal constituency in Abia State, Nkeiruka Onyejeoch has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) preferred candidate, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) to sacrifice his ambition for the sake of federal character.
Onyejeocha, an aspirant of the Speakership position in 9th  Assembly gave the advice at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja where she made official her intention to vie for the position.
She said there was the need for equity in the sharing of political offices in the country.
The lawmaker said with her years of experience in the lower chamber, she was competent and qualified to lead the House.
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”In my over 11 years of being a member of the House of Representatives, I have served my constituents and Nigeria diligently and with distinction.
”I have sponsored several motions and bills, conducted oversight over multiple activities and initiatives of government, ministries, departments and agencies and helped deliver meaningful constituency projects to the people of Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia that I represent.
”I have chaired very important committees of the House, including the Committees of Aviation and Women in Parliament.
”As the Chairperson of the Aviation Committee of the House for two sessions now, I oversighted the successful building of the new International Airport Terminal in Abuja, as well as the remodeling and renovation of several other airports and runways across the country.
”I believe that I am very well equipped with knowledge, experience and the integrity needed to manage bigger responsibilities.
”It is in the light of this, that I offer myself for consideration by my colleagues for a higher responsibility as a presiding officer and speaker of the House of Representatives of the 9th National Assembly,” she said.
According to her, as a member of APC, who struggled against all odds to win a re-election under very difficult circumstances in Abia, I believe that my party has a lot to do to help consolidate on the significant victory that the party recorded in winning this seat in Abia.
The Abia State representative noted that there had been various cries of marginalisation in the sharing of top political offices in the last four years.
She said that south south and the south east were largely marginalised in the sharing of top political offices in the country and that it was time for healing.
”Gbajabiamila was a minority leader and then he became majority leader and so he is a leader in all ramifications.
”A time comes when leaders make sacrifices and the time is now,” she said.
She, however, called on him to make the sacrifice and step down for national interest as the nation needed healing.
Onyejeocha said that President Muhammadu Buhari is good man, recalling that when he was military Head of State, his deputy was from the South East.
She also recalled that during Buhari’s re-election campaign, the president promised a more inclusive government and to carry women along in his second term in office.
The aspirant said that there was no way Buhari would support an arrangement that would negate his campaign promises.
Onyejeocha said she was a loyal party member who believes in party supremacy, stressing that it was not too late for the party to withdraw its endorsement of Gbajabiamila.
The legislator, who was elected for the fourth term in the 2019 general election under the APC platform, said if elected speaker, she would ensure technology is applied to the daily activities of the parliament.
She said she would ensure support for the executive while maintaining the independence of the parliament.
The lawmaker said she would ensure respect and equal treatment of all members, including those elected for the first time.
She pledged to promote and enhance communication between the parliament, the general public and among lawmakers.

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