By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A group, under the auspices of a campaign platform called ‘More Women’, has submitted a letter of support to the chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomole calling on the party leaders to support Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and Senator Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, for the position of Speaker and Deputy Senate President respectively.
The 150 groups endorsed the call through a statement jointly signed by Dr. Abiola Akiode-Afolabi of the Transition Monitoring and 9 other women, heading gender and civil rights organisations across the country.
The group of diverse non-governmental organisations, said they were worried by the continued marginalization of women in leadership positions in the country and committed to ensuring that women are in decision making positions in line with Nigeria’s international commitments on gender equality.
According to the group, Mrs. Onyejeocha (Elected on the platform of APC) has acquired a great deal of legislative experience while serving as honourable member representing the Isuikwato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency, Abia State in the House of Representatives from 2007 to date.
Onyejeocha, the current Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, was elected for the fourth time in the last National Assembly polls.
The group supporting her, thinks she has garnered enough experience to take up the job of Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
“Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha is no doubt a ranking member and has recorded landmark achievements, worked tirelessly to advance and institutionalize societal development. As a Federal Lawmaker, her attendance and participation at parliamentary sittings is phenomenal, Hon. Onyejeocha has successfully put together and assisted in the passage of several bills into laws of the federation of Nigeria. Moreover, as the current House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Onyejeocha has consistently supported the Transformation Agenda of the current Administration and has significantly contributed in bringing sanity to the aviation sector that was becoming a source of nightmare to Nigerians and a reproach to the nation at the international community. These laudable efforts have been commended by all stakeholders’ in the industry”, the group stated.
The group also threw it’s weight behind Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) who vying for the position of Deputy Senate President of the Upper Chamber.
Mrs. Tinubu, is a former first Lady of Lagos State and currently a ranking senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
According to the group, “she(Tinubu) has held several positions within the NASS including being the Chairman of Women Committee and Environment at different times, Chief Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu is very connected to her consitutency and holds frequent town hall meetings with the people, a record which distinguishes her from the very many pool of people in NASS who are often disconnected from their constituency, she is a regular, vocal and distinguished member of the hallowed chamber who hardly misses any sitting and at different times expressed support for the popular views of the people in the senate”.
The group called “on the leadership of the party and members of the NASS to consider these eminently qualified female parliamentarians for the posts they are vying for, more so that they are both ranking members and possess all the attributes expected of the said positions”.
They assured that “Taking this step, will not only position All Progressives Congress (APC) as a gender-friendly party, but it will go a long way in placing Nigeria in the comity of nations committed to gender equality and women’s participation in power and decision making. It will set a precedent for other governments across Africa and increase the gender rating of Nigeria