Ahead of the election for Presiding Officers in the Tenth National Assembly in June, the lawmaker representing Okigwe North Federal Constituency has declared her intention to become the second female Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives
Second-term lawmaker, Miriam Onuoha, has made known her intention to run for the seat of Speaker in the 10th House of Representatives.
Declaring her intention at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, which had members of the Imo State Caucus in the House of Representatives, friends and some incumbent lawmakers in attendance, the federal lawmaker said she is joining the contest to bring fresh ideas and pragmatic solutions to the challenges bedevilling the nation.
Onuoha, who has since 2015 represented Okigwe North Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber, secured re-election into the 10th Assembly in February and is the only female contestant in the Speakership race.
READ ALSO: 10TH NASS: What the early signals indicate in race for Speakership
“I am in this race for the Speakership of the 10th Assembly to bring fresh ideas and pragmatic solutions to the harrowing current challenges of national cohesion to proffer a new Legislative Agenda for addressing the current debilitating issues of our dwindling economy, mass poverty, promoting bills that support massive industrialisation of the economy to create more jobs, inclusivity and unity of the Nigerian State.
I believe that Nigeria is at the threshold of history. I believe that the incoming government has heard loud and clear, the current hues, cries and aspirations of the Nigerian youth and as such, I have no modicum of doubt that my Speakership of the 10th Assembly will very much help the incoming government to foster a government that empowers the people, includes the people (youths & women of every region) and works 100% for the people to deliver the promises that my fellow Nigerians have long yearned for through the instrumentality of the House of Representatives.
The 10th Assembly promises to be a watershed of some sort for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy. As a nationalist and a dynamic team player to stem the tide of our dwindling economy and the much-needed dividends to Nigerians. A service-driven leader who understands citizens’ consideration and participation is what Nigeria truly needs.
On the threshold of service, natural cohesion, effective and cutting-edge legislative engagement with the executive, with the view to profer microeconomic solutions to the nation’s economic health, as well as dealing with other social challenges.
I confidently yet humbly seek the support of my fellow members elect and the prayer of the generality of my Nigerian people, for the office of the Speaker in the 10th Assembly. My emergence will create opportunities for NASS-stakeholders engagement to provide access for public participation in lawmaking,” the Imo-born legislator declared.
READ ALSO: Parliament Special: Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly and the ghost of 2015
The federal lawmaker also appealed to all the male contestants to step down for her as a mark of honour for the women to contribute greatly to their electoral victory, adding that “over 55 per cent of valid votes cast are women.”
“The emergency of the dwindling number of women in parliament calls for a deliberate action, an action that will bridge the gender gap, an action that is a call for the leadership of the National Assembly to embrace the stance for a woman of competence and experience.
In almost about 90 positions of this country, the men have dominated it. Ceding this one position to me will be a way of proving that we are running an inclusive government. I use this opportunity to call on my co-contestants – my male contestants to consider the love and the care Nigerian voters have shown to them, and as a matter of honour, step down to support this woman,” she stated.
READ ALSO: 10th NASS: “I’m interested in Senate Presidency but…” – Senator Sani Musa
According to the her, President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu is “a he-for-she who has always empowered women in all spheres of life, having picked a woman as his running mate as the Governor of Lagos State and also supported his amiable wife to become a Senator in the parliament in line with the goals of the UN’S 35% affirmative action for women.
To this effect, my election as the Speaker, House of Representatives will therefore afford Nigeria the rare opportunity of killing the two ubiquitous birds of gender balancing and youth inclusiveness in its political/leadership landscape, with one stone.
Truthfully, I Princess Miriam amply represents the twin engine essence of Nigeria’s youth and female status quo whom the circumstances of our political exigencies have made an endangered and vulnerable specie.”
READ ALSO: 10th NASS: “North-West gave Tinubu highest votes, deserves Senate Presidency” – Barau
Rep. Onuoha, who is the House Committee Chairperson on Disability, also emphasised the issue of regional spread in the appointment and selection of leaders in positions of authority for the interest of national unity.
“Again the issues of regional balancing in the nation’s leadership equation is also another veritable national challenge that my election to the speakership of the House of Representatives will address and resolve simultaneously in the interest of national unity, peace and inclusion,” she stressed.
Other lawmakers jostling for the seat of the Speakership of the 10th House include incumbent Deputy Speaker; Ahmed Idris Wase, Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau), Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia); Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara); Makki Yalleman (APC-Jigawa), Tajudeen Abass (Kaduna); Sada Soli (APC, Katsina), Muktar Betara (APC, Borno), Abdulraheem Olawuyi (APC, Kwara).