ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Miriam Onuoha, a member-elect of the House of Representatives, has joined the race for the Office of Speaker in the 10th National Assembly.
The current member of the House officially declared her speakership ambition recently at a press conference in Abuja.
Onuoha is representing Onuimo/Isiala Mbano/Okigwe Federal Constituency in Imo State on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and she is the first female to openly declare a bid for the office.
The lawmaker, who has been reelected for a second term in the House, is the second member from the South-East region to have joined the race, after Benjamin Kalu from Abia State who is Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
Onuoha speaking at the conference, was accompanied by two serving male members of the House, Messrs Abdulkadir Abdullahi (APC/Bauchi) and Emeka Chinedu (PDP/Imo) as well as several fresh members-elect and members of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
In her address titled ‘The Unity House,’ Onuoha noted that the 10th Assembly “promises to be a watershed of some sort for Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.”
The lawmaker said that Nigeria needs “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’ participation.”
Onuoha said: “The emergency of the dwindling number of women in parliament calls for 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.
“I honourably call for my fellow contestants to support me, a woman with competence, integrity and full of vision. No doubt, our President-elect, His Excellency, 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 supported his amiable wife to become a senator in the parliament, in line with the goals of the UN’s 35 per cent 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 represent 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 species.”
She added that the issue 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.”