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South East APC Rep joins race for House Speaker – why it matters

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South East APC Rep joins race for House Speaker – why it matters

A member of the House of Representatives, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has declared her intention to contest for the position of the Speaker in the ninth assembly.

Details: Onyejeocha, the lawmaker representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State, announced this at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Her decision to run comes a week after her party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), declared support for House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila’s candidacy for Speaker in the Ninth National Assembly.

Onyejeocha, who chairs the aviation committee of the House, made two main arguments for her candidacy:

  • The concerns of the people of the south-east region regarding the distribution of presiding officers’ positions in the National Assembly. The preferred distribution favored by the APC would mean that no lawmaker from the South East would occupy any of the top elected executive or legislative positions.
  • She called on the APC leadership to fulfill its promise to Nigerians to increase female participation in the governance.

Onyejeocha has promised to strengthen House Committees and Processes, as well as adopt a Legislative Agenda with a clear framework for compliance and monitoring, among others.

Why it matters: Her two main points for seeking the position have to do with regional and gender identity. Those issues matter in Nigeria. How the APC handles inclusive governance over the next few months may determine how successful its second term would be.

  • It is however unlikely that her candidacy will force the hands of the ruling party to alter its preferred leadership formation.

Go Deeper: Read Onyejeocha’s declaration statement here.

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