The South East All Progressives Congress Publicity Secretaries have endorsed Nkiru Onyejeocha, representing Isiukwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State, for the Speaker, House of Representatives.
The publicity secretaries made their position known in Enugu on Wednesday while briefing journalists on the forthcoming ninth Assembly.
The leadership of the party, led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had last week announced the choice of Femi Gbajabiamila, as the choice for the speaker’s position.
Oshiomhole said this was the position of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, with Senator Ahmad Lawan endorsed as the president of the Senate.
But the APC Publicity Secretary in Abia State, Benedict Godson, said Onyejeocha was over qualified in terms of experience in politics, human development and management.
Godson said Onyejeocha was going to the House of Representative for the fourth time and had served as the Aviation Committee Chairman for 12 years.
He said she had equally served as a local government chairman and commissioner in Abia State.
Godson said on that basis, the group decided to endorse her, to throw their weight and solidarity to ensure that she got the position.
“We have considered all the people showing interest in the speaker position and we have settled for Hon Onyejeocha. Besides, there is no woman in the six positions,” he said.
He said this was the first time the publicity secretaries were coming together to endorse a person for a particular position, adding that it was necessary for a woman to pilot the affairs of the Green Chamber.
He urged all legislators, women and youth to support the women to encourage gender equality.
The Enugu State Publicity Secretary, Kate Ofor, said it was high time women were considered in such key positions in this country.
“If you train a woman, you have trained a nation. Hon. Onyejeocha has what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level,” Ofor said.
She said Onyejiocha was over qualified in character, experience and had all it took to be the Speaker even outside gender.
The Publicity Secretary of the APC in Anambra State, Madukife Okelo, said in a presidential democracy, there were six important positions, which included the president, vice president, Senate president and speaker House of Representatives.
Others, he said, were the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Chairman of the ruling party.
Okelo said the six formed the power equation, adding that the South East had a point to score in the six key positions, before moving from the known to the unknown.
According to him, the president is from the North West, the vice president is from the South West, the Senate president from the North Central and the Speaker, House of Representative is from the North East.
He added: “Others are the Chief Justice of the Federation, which is dangling between the South South and the North West, and finally the National Chairman of the party is from the South South.”
He said that the South East needed to come into the equation six, adding that it would be great injustice giving the number of the voting population in the South East if they are excluded from any government.
He said: “South East no longer wants to be given an impression that they are part of it while they are not; we are talking about these six positions that we have mentioned.
“Looking at the whole House of Representative members, the South East has so many qualified members and with different ranking who can vie for the topmost position of Speaker.
“Some are going there for the first, second, third and fourth time.”
Okelo said that the APC publicity secretaries sat together, brain stormed, did their interaction with a number of people who had shown interest in positions being contested and came up with a clear position.
He described one of the things troubling South East as “prevarication”, adding that if it was the will of God for them to give direction to the zone, they would accept the responsibility.
In a related development, the Ebonyi State Publicity Secretary, Chika Nwaoba, urged the party at the national level to give the South East what was due to them.
Nwaoba said their endorsement would settle the problem of gender inequality in the country, adding that the female lawmaker had paid her dues in terms of humanitarian services.