The battle is now left for the men as the only female candidate in the race for the Speakership position in the incoming National Assembly, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has announced her decision to step down.
According to Onyejeocha, she stepped down after she was assured by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that her constituencies would be carried along, fully recognised and effectively reintegrated in the incoming federal legislature.
Onyejeocha who has now declared her support for Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC’s preferred candidate, revealed that much in a statement made available to reporters on Monday night less than 24 hours to the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly.
Her statement reads: “I threw my hat in the ring to improve the legislative framework for inclusive growth and social justice in Nigeria, especially for a marginalised group like poor women and the youth, who have been clamouring for more participation in the Nigerian economy and the state of affairs in recent times.
“It is a common knowledge that I also entered the race on behalf of my zone, the South-east, to address the agitation of exclusion alleged against our party and to equally zonal balancing in first-line leadership arrangement of our country.”
Onyejeocha said she was aware of her party’s stance since the inception of the race but decided to push ahead because of the exclusion the South-east zone and for gender balance.
“I am therefore stepping down with a greater hope based on assurances from my party leaders and colleagues, that in the leadership and management of the House of Representatives in the 9th legislative session, the interest and voice of my constituencies – Southeast and women in Nigeria – will be carried along, fully recognised and effectively reintegrated.
“I have confidence in this assurances and also that my campaign has further sensitised my party to the imperative of inclusion of the Southeast and women in the governance of the country in the next four years,” she said.
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